Satisfaction with E-Government at All Time High

According to an article on GovTech, E-government approval has reached an all-time high, government analytics firm ForeSee announced July 24.

On a 100-point scale used by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the second quarter of this year earned a score of 75.6, taken from 300,000 surveys. The rating is up from 75.2 last quarter and up from a score of 70.9 in 2003.

Despite steady progress in satisfaction with government websites, the firm said there is still much room for improvement.

“Customers already interact with friends, family, companies and brands on multiple platforms. As consumers access the Web from mobile devices in greater numbers, it is natural for them to expect to interact no differently with the government,” ACSI Founder Claes Fornell said in a press release. “The federal government needs to connect with its users on multiple platforms or risk alienating them.”

The three websites with the highest user satisfaction rates are from the Social Security Administration: iClaim (92), Retirement Estimator (90), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (90).


States Look to Develop More Mobile Apps

With more than 91 million smartphone mobile devices in the country, states are pursuing the development of mobile applications to meet citizen needs (discussed in Govtech here).

According to a February 2012 survey of 100 members of GovTech Exchange, an online community of senior-level IT pros from state and local government, many states are already moving forward.  The survey found that 38 percent of respondents planned to launch new mobile offerings within 12 months.  Of those planning new deployments, 55 percent said they will use development approaches that allow a single source of content to be viewed by multiple device types and operating systems.  Roughly half said they’ll create the apps using in-house developers, while the other half planned to work with outside developers.


Next Generation 9-1-1 Finally Beginning to Take Off

More than a decade ago, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) recognized the need for changes to the nation’s 911 systems.

The old systems had their jobs for decades, but in a world of wireless calling and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), the country needed more accommodating technology. Enter the concept of next-generation 911 (NG911), a system that would run on a secure Internet protocol-based network and allow texting, data transfer and more.

Since then, a generation of youngsters has grown up texting pals not only with words, but with pictures and videos as well. In fact, a 2011 Pew Internet survey found that 73 percent of cellphone users text, and nearly one-third of them would rather text than talk. In addition, many people with hearing and speech disabilities have abandoned TTY in favor of text messaging. Despite this phenomenon, just a small number of the nation’s 911 call centers run on secure emergency services IP-based networks, and just a handful of the centers have piloted technologies that allow the public to text 911.

So what’s taking so long?

See more from Government Technology

Government with its Head in the Cloud

Cloud computing icon

Image via Wikipedia

Michael Koploy,  e-Procurement Software Analyst for Software Advice, writes a solid article on cloud computing in the public sector in his State of the Union: Public Sector and the Cloud.  He makes a good case that the key to government movement toward cloud services is, and will continue to be, cost reduction.  With huge debt and significant budget cuts, government IT managers will no doubt be drawn to cloud services as a lower cost approach to on-site management.

So why aren’t government IT managers flying full speed into the cloud?  Michael says threats to security, and a loss of ownership are key barriers.  It only takes a couple of well-publicized security breaches to make IT decision makers in the government squeamish.  Recent hacking incidents raise questions about just how safe the data is when it’s “outside the walls.”

From our perspective, we continue to be bullish on contractor cloud opportunities.  The commercial world is embracing it dramatically, and, like other trends, government will lag behind, but follow.

It goes back to one of our key principles related to selling to government buyers:  they don’t like risk.  IT contractors will need to double efforts at securing networks, data, etc. (and double efforts at convincing buyers).

Government Technology’s Five Most Important Stories of 2011

The use of technology  in government is a common interest of our readers as the topic impacts a wide variety of government contractors.  As such, we recommend you check out this linked article from Government Technology magazine.  Here, they highlight what they consider to be the five most important technology stories of 2011.  The stories cover the gamut from cloud-based services, to social media in government, to ultra high-speed broadband.  It’s well worth a read.

DHS Releases Blueprint for Cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Security

I know it’s geeky, but I rather enjoy reading through federal government strategic plans–particularly those related to technology or homeland security.  Makes me feel a little Jack Bower-like (I miss you man!) to see what’s going on in the minds of our leaders.  It also helps, from a business perspective, to know where the strategic areas of focus and opportunities lie within top target government agencies.

We have an opportunity to do this once again with the release of DHS’s Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future:  The Cybersecurity Strategy for the Homeland Security Enterprise.  According to Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, “The framework aims to help better use existing capabilities and promote technological advances that make government, the private sector and the general public more resilient online.”

The document focuses on two core areas of DHS’s cyber mission: protecting critical information infrastructure, and strengthening the broader “cyber ecosystem.”

Protecting Critical Information Infrastructure

According to the plan, DHS will protect critical information infrastructure by reducing exposure to cyber risk, ensuring priority response and recovery, maintaining shared situational awareness and increasing resilience.

DHS looks to create the National Cybersecurity Protection System, develop incident reporting guidelines, issue alerts regarding significant threats, and run the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center among other tactics.

Strengthening the Cyber Ecosystem

The other focus area relates to strengthening the cyber ecosystem. DHS says it will empower individuals and organizations to operate securely; make and use more trustworthy cyber protocols, products, services configurations and architectures; build collaborative communities; and establish transparent processes.

While the blueprint may not be as exciting as an episode of 24 (particularly the first few seasons), it may just provide you technology-oriented government contractors out there with some new ideas or at least some support for existing roadmaps



Finding Business Opportunities within Federal IT

A new survey by the immixGroup (highlighted in Washington Technology) says federal agencies are emphasizing value measurement, process improvement, elimination of redundancy, and the adoption of new technologies to improve operations.  Buying trends expected to emphasize cybersecurity, cloud computing/virtualization and telework/mobile computing.

The 2012 Federal IT budget request is approximately $80.9 billion up slightly from the $78.8 billion IT budget in 2011.  For 2012, 52 percent of the request is for the civilian sector and 48 percent is for defense.

Some 75 percent of civilian agencies are expected to be utilizing cloud technology in some capacity by the end of 2012, the immixGroup survey said.

Teleworking and mobile computing are also among the most important new initiatives being considered by the federal government, with mobile Internet and e-mail usage surpassing desktop Internet and e-mail by 2014.