Gerry McGovern has been writing an excellent trio of posts on the topic of government and the web. He has identified five things that government should be addressing:
- Get away from a technology obsession
- Manage customer top tasks, not government websites
- Get politicians off government websites
- Stop government vanity publishing
- Develop a government archive
He expands on each of these things in the three posts. Recommended and thought-provoking reading.
The Economist has published an interesting article on “Why business succeeds on the web and government mostly fails”:
Why is government unable to reap the same benefits as business, which uses technology to lower costs, please customers and raise profits? The three main reasons are lack of competitive pressure, a tendency to reinvent the wheel and a focus on technology rather than organisation.
That reflects another problem. In the private sector, tight budgets for information technology spark innovation. But bureaucrats are suckers for overpriced, overpromised and overengineered systems. The contrast is all the sharper given some of the successes shown by those using open-source software: the District of Columbia, for example, has junked its servers and proprietary software in favour of the standard package of applications offered and hosted by Google.
Hmmm. Thanks to John Naughton for the tip.