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Smarter Government

Efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, and citizen-centric services are the key factors in creating a smarter government (or governance). In order to achieve them, society and governments need to understand that everything is interconnected in our society nowadays. Concepts, actors and institutions, systems, environments, energy, citizens, infrastructures, information, policy and technology are elements or subsystems that are interweaved within a larger system, which needs to adopt the key of the governance efficiently.

The evolution in population distribution is heading towards the increase in the amount of people migrating residence to urban areas or residential areas changing from rural to urban due to technology and/or infrastructure growth. In either case, there is extensive use of information technology services by the citizen. This poses one of the biggest challenges for mankind: achieving sustainable cities as well as increasing the quality of life of such environments, in which the local government is the closest to citizens. Administrations have the responsibility to provide the best public services to citizens. They can more easily know and understand their needs, and foresee the best way to satisfy them. The local government is the government of cities and, in this context, it has the key to transmit and provide their services to the citizenship by using off-the-shelves Information Technology tools with minimum turnaround time.

In most of the cases, native governance processes can be lengthy and might lack transparency. Not to mention the tiresome and redundant workflow. Same application might pass through the same desk multiple times causing delay in approval process. These might not be a result of intentional actions but due to existence of multiple, obsolete and redundant operational manuals. Interestingly, from our experience, in many cases a clause in one manual could be interpreted to contradict another manual in existence, delaying the service delivery even further.

The association between Government & Governance and Citizenship & Cities within the Information & Technology Society are keys of a new view of our world as a “system” in which its optimal status should be to achieve the highest degree of governance within a city, in which their benefits are maximized and their disadvantages are minimized. The first key, should be associated with the adoption of the governance paradigm from the Open Government and, the second one, should be associated with an intelligent way to understand our environment as a Smart City. Both together are the optimized level of a new ecosystem within the public organizations, characterized by an open & smart government, where ICT and interoperability are powerful tools. The implementation of a Smart City is a complex task that requires a multidisciplinary approach. In this chapter, we provide a holistic view following a top-down approach so as to present the characteristic elements of Smart Cities and the challenges that have to be faced in their deployment from an ICT & Infrastructure perspective.

We, at Steerforth Private Limited, always strive to understand every governance processes of different government processes and study them for academic interest. We love to see an entire system that is linear, swift and compliant. Not all requirements we received are treated with business interest when it comes to Smarter Government. Let us know a brief about your business problem in smarter governance and we would be happy to assist.

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