The new Digital Government Strategy released by the White House aims to drive fundamental change in how we manage digital information and services to better serve the American people.
There’s been a robust discussion online about the Strategy and what it means for government–which is itself a reflection on how much the digital landscape has changed. People all across the Web are sharing reactions and ideas about the Strategy, through tweets, photos and word clouds. You can see the compilation of these discussions via Storify, a tool that allows you to aggregate discussions across multiple social media platforms to tell a cohesive story. (To learn more about how to use Storify, see this on-demand DigitalGov University webinar.)
The Strategy calls for government to embrace this changing landscape, where a mobile revolution is changing the way we live and work. We must change the way we deliver digital services and learn to innovate more with less. The Strategy charts a course for this future, based on three main objectives:
- Enable the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.
- Ensure that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, we seize the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
- Unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.
So, how will we do it?
For starters, we’re setting up the Digital Services Innovation Center at the General Services Administration. The Center will build on the fundamental work already being done at GSA — expanding Data.gov to open up even more government information and services to citizens, providing shared services for mobile development, and building on the best practices guidance and training provided by HowTo.gov and DigitalGov University.
The strategy will push agencies to move to an information-centric approach. That means first ensuring our online information is accurate and available, and then structuring it so that it’s freely available for use by citizens, within agencies, between agencies, or in the private sector.
Government will also have to share resources more efficiently, both within the government and with the public. This means breaking out of the old culture of building a new website or mobile application for every new project, and instead learning to use existing infrastructure and resources when it makes good business sense.
And as always, we must put our customers first in everything we do, whether that customer is a citizen looking for information about how to get a student loan, or a federal employee who needs digital tools to do her job. That means listening and responding to customer feedback, and ensuring content is up to date, easy to find and share, and easy to understand. And it means protecting the customers’ security and privacy at all times.
Making this strategy a reality will require considerable effort, including the always difficult “culture change.” But the time has come for government to deliver the services our customers expect and deserve — where and how they want it.