There was a great turnout of cities from across the State (Miami, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Jupiter, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Ocoee to name a few) and some interesting discussions came out from the group. What’s on the mind of Florida’s cities? They are right in line with what we are hearing from folks here in Georgia: RFP management, addressing the “graying” of the IT department staff, handling open records requests via indexing, transparency, social media initiatives, and, of course, budgets.
St. Augustine had great weather for enjoying the oldest city in the country. I’m a high triple digit golfer, far from par, so I stayed clear of the course and enjoyed the very good food and local scenes of St. George street.
The webinars take place on the week of July 20 and
registration is at recovery.gov.
That’s why it’s great to see other’s championing IT
financial management, which is a nice way of saying that IT should be managed
like any piece of an organization: with data, research, and total cost of ownership
in mind. It’s not always easy, but opening up the IT department to the kind of scrutiny
necessary to perform these tasks can lead to a much more efficient, secure, and
stable environment throughout. As more cities move to online services for citizens,
having a reliable network with rock-solid storage is a must have but IT
financial management allows it to also be cost-effective and efficient too.
The latest application is an enhancement to city 311
services. San Francisco is the first city in the nation to enhance their
non-emergency services this way. From the City’s 311 web site, users with
Twitter accounts can sign up to send direct messages to the City. This
service is monitored 24/7/365 to ensure a prompt response. (You’ll recall that
I recently posted about a similar service in New York City.
In researching this, it does not yet appear to be available there, so for now,
San Francisco stands alone).
To set this up, the City created a link on the 311 services
web site to sign up for the service. The user must be on Twitter to make
this work, and the actual correspondence takes the form of private, direct
messages between the City and the resident.
Twitter has a set of tools that allow integration into
existing web sites as well as the creation of entirely new applications, so if
you think of new ways to use it, chances are there is a way to do it. As far as
a city is concerned, the best application is an enhancement to existing 311
services, not as a stand-alone offering.
In conjunction with this effort, the city has created a new competition called "Big Apps" to see who can come up with the best software solutions to common problems facing the city by using publicly available data. It is a different approach to hiring a consultant and its one more example of how city governments are making moves to use transparency and crowdsourcing to find intelligent solutions to difficult problems. We'll be keeping an eye on this one.
While Sophicity is
based in Georgia, we are moving outward to support cities and municipal leagues
in other states. Our partnership with the Kentucky League of Cities is a sign
of our commitment to support the organizations that help American cities. There
are many great cities in Kentucky and we are excited about the opportunity to
meet with them, hear their stories, and potentially help them reduce costs and improve
their technology infrastructure. Working closely with the municipal leagues brings
value for them and for Sophicity, and we will continue to look for similar
partnerships in other states.
Sophicity also has a long-standing relationship with the
Georgia Municipal Association through its Friends of Georgia Cities program. The
KLC partnership marks the second state municipal league that Sophicity supports
more than 10 years, Sophicity’s expertise has unleashed the potential of
government IT for municipal leagues and their member cities, meeting the needs
of everyone from city hall to public safety. Our senior consultants help improve
budget efficiency and increase employee productivity beginning with detailed
assessments that identify risks, opportunities, and guidelines for planning.
Sophicity makes any IT project worry-free by defining the requirements,
managing the project and implementing the right solution. At Sophicity, we put
the IT in city.
About The Kentucky League Of Cities
Kentucky League of Cities is an association of 380 Kentucky cities that was
formed in 1927. KLC provides resources, advocacy and assistance to help make
cities more livable. KLC offers cities, leaders and employees a number of
services including insurance, loss control and employee benefits; policy
development, research, finance, legal and information technology services,
training and education and legislative advocacy. Their corporate office is
based in Lexington and they have an office in Frankfort.
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