Center for Digital Government names 2014 Digital Cities Survey winners

Re-posted from the Center for Digital Government:

Center for Digital Government Names 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners
Cities with Best Practices in Public Sector Information and Communications Technology Honored

DIgCit_Wnr14_RGBe.Republic’s Center for Digital Government (The Center) today announced the top-ranked cities in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey.

In its 14th year, the annual survey is part of the Center’s Digital Communities Program, which focuses on collaboration among cities, counties and regions. Open to all U.S. cities, this year’s survey questions targeted which initiatives cities were most proud of in the areas of citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data.

The top-ranked cities in their population categories – Los Angeles; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Avondale, Ariz.; and Dublin, Ohio – provided financial transparency, city performance measurement dashboards, and citizen feedback on city initiatives. They also made improvements in their infrastructure, open-data architecture, security levels and collaboration efforts, providing cost savings and enhanced services. Learn more about their accomplishments here.

“This year’s Digital Cities’ winners brought about impressive change across all aspects of government by leveraging information technology investments to expand open government, citizen participation and shared services,” said Todd Sander, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government. “Winning cities spanned the nation, indicating a trend that more and more cities are making it a priority that digital government be easier to access, navigate and interact with.”

The top 10 ranked cities will be honored at a special awards ceremony during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Austin on November 20th.

The Center for Digital Government thanks this year’s survey underwriters: AT&T, Laserfiche, McAfee and Sprint.

Congratulations to the 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners:

250,000 or more population:

  • 1st City of Los Angeles, CA
  • 2nd City of Kansas City, MO
  • 2nd City of Seattle, WA
  • 3rd City of Jacksonville, FL
  • 3rd Louisville Metro Government, KY
  • 4th City of Philadelphia, PA

For more information, visit http://www.digitalcommunities.com/survey/cities/?year=2014.

The specific Seattle blurb is found in Government Technology magazine:

Seattle has a full slate of initiatives under way intended to strengthen government operations and engage citizens. Internally, the city is centralizing technology services, which includes consolidating multiple data centers and developing coordinated IT policies. The mayor’s IT Subcommittee – comprising the deputy mayor, city CTO and six city department heads – was creating in July to oversee the effort. Externally, Seattle makes extensive use of interactive technology like social media – through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – and mapping of crime statistics to build closer bonds between residents and its police force. A Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the mayor and city council on issues like community connectivity, e-government services and access to technology. Seattle also has multiple programs to promote technology use throughout the city, including a Technology Matching Fund that provides matching grants as large as $20,000 for community technology projects.

 

City of Seattle hires Chief Information Security Officer

Bryant Bradbury, CISO

Bryant Bradbury, CISO

The City of Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller today announced the hire of Bryant Bradbury as the citywide Chief Information Security Officer.

“The Chief Information Security Officer is a very important role for the city, ensuring a secure computing environment that enables City staff to serve the public,” said Mattmiller. “Bryant has proven himself while serving in the role on an acting basis for the past year. His skills and knowledge are well-suited to continuing to serve the city in this role.”

“I’m honored to continue my work in information security at the City,” said Bradbury. “It’s my privilege to work in the Department of Information Technology as we realize innovations and keep information security and privacy at the forefront of the work we do as a city.”

Bradbury joined the Department of Information Technology in March 2013 as the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer. His work history in technology spans over 25 years, including private sector service in the insurance, commercial software, airline and air cargo industries and in public service starting with the City’s Fleets & Facilities Department in 2007.

DoIT manages creation and enforcement of policy, threat and vulnerability management, monitoring, incident response, and security-related compliance activities for the City. The Chief Information Security Officer position was created to oversee the citywide strategic efforts to properly protect the City’s information technology systems and the data associated with it.

Report highlights how Seattleites use technology

SEATTLE 5/23 - At a launch event last night, the City of Seattle released new findings on technology access, adoption and interaction by Seattle residents. These findings are based on feedback from 2,600 residents via online and phone surveys and in-person focus groups in multiple languages about their use, concerns, and barriers to using the Internet, social media, cable TV and online government services.

“This data shows that we’re making great strides in technology, but a digital gap still exists between our neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We’re already using the data in this report to influence how the City of Seattle interacts with our neighbors and to better target our outreach and engagement strategies.”

Every four years the City of Seattle conducts community research to find out how Seattle residents are using technology.The technology adoption study findings were detailed at the interactive launch event, and are available online at www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators. The summary of findings and recommendations are available in multiple languages.

“The continued rise of smart phone and tablet use provides outstanding opportunities for government to reach more residents,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “The information from the focus groups will help us improve services and how we reach all communities. We will take action on improving access to web services by making them available in multiple languages.”

Since 2000, the City’s Community Technology Program has been collecting extensive and statistically valid data on residential use of cable TV, broadband adoption and uses (including health, work, education, finance and civic engagement), barriers to broadband adoption, use of online city services, and customer service needs. The measures used were based on goals for a technology-healthy city developed in collaboration with the City’s volunteer Technology Advisory Board.

Nine focus groups were also conducted to help understand the needs of communities who are often under-represented in the online and phone surveys or may be technologically-underserved.

Findings of the report include:

  • The report finds that 85 percent of Seattle residents have Internet at home and that more residents now own laptops than desktop computers.
  • Since 2009, Seattle has seen mobile phone ownership grow by 11 percent (80 to 89 percent), and has seen a 66 percent growth in the number of residents with smart phones (35 to 58 percent).
  • Broadband and cable TV prices continue to be of concern, but increasing broadband speed is important to those surveyed, with high interest in using higher bandwidth applications.
  • Cable subscribership has dropped 13 percent in the past four years as options for viewing video over the internet have grown.
  • Lower income residents have lower-speed broadband service, though a broad cross section of Seattle residents are interested in using higher speed internet services for activities like medical appointments or taking classes.
  • The study funds that there is still a significant gap in access to internet and the skills to use it, though the digital equity gap is more focused in skills and uses of the internet than on basic access.
  • Email was noted as the preferred way for residents to give their opinion to a community group or the City.
  • Education and age are the most significant factors differentiating technology access and adoption, but the data also shows important differences based on the income, ethnicity, and abilities of those surveyed.
  • The research also found that those with less education tend to make less use of the internet than users with more education.

For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators or contact communitytechnology@seattle.gov or 206-386-9759.

Great Turnout at Hack for Change – Seattle

Thank you to all who joined us!

 More than 100 software developers and 50 Washington MESA students, coaches and parents gave up a lovely Seattle Saturday to gather at Seattle City Hall for Hack for Change – Seattle, part of the National Day of Civic Hacking.  Developers formed teams to use from data.seattle.gov, and other open data sources to create applications such as an online parks features inventory, customized calendars and feral cat relocation tracking.  At the end of the day the MESA teams presented their apps designed to help students manage their time and assignments.

Hack for Change – Seattle presenters, the City of Seattle and Code for Seattle are delighted to thank:

  • Event sponsor and data.seattle.gov hosts, Socrata who not only provided Mighty-O donuts and a fine lunch from Husky Deli, but showed up in force to lend a hand and stayed all day.  Special thanks to Will Pugh for leading the Open Data Workshop, and Bryant Lau and Saf Raban for handling all the arrangements. 
  • Washington MESA, especially Phyllis Harvey-Buschel.  It was a treat to have you all there and to see the results of all your hard work.  Congratulations to all of you!
  • Data gurus Will Saunders from the State of Washington, Al Boss from King County, and Neil Berry from data.seattle.gov

And finally, many, many thanks to everyone who participated!  It was truly amazing to watch you work and see how much you accomplished with open data in a few short hours!

Green Computing

Have you spent much time wondering about green computing?  No, it is not taking your iPad with you to the Irish pub on St. Patricks day. 

A good technology operations manager has to live and breathe green computing 24 hours a day.   We have to understand the implications to power and cooling for every technology acquisition we make.  We need to know about EPEAT and EnergyStar.  Will our high-speed printers, used to print your utility bills, accommodate 100% recycled paper?  How fast can we virtualize our computing environment?  The list goes on and on. . .

We are also put in the position of having to defend our decisions.  Not that many people love it when you  implement software that shuts down their PC when they aren’t using it.   And what about those energy efficient multi-function printers that go to sleep and take forever to wake up, causing you to have to wait awhile for your document to print?   I don’t know a single person who thinks that is a good thing.

When these decisions are made I know I am most likely going to lose popularity points with some of my customers.  I make the unpopular decision anyway, knowing it is important for the environment and absolutely critical to ensure we are using taxpayers’ money wisely.   I think my job is to do both. 

Therefore, I have given up my dream of being the popular girl. . . no prom queen tiara for me.

Tech Boss Banter

Welcome to Tech Boss Banter,  part of the Department of Information Technology’s Tech Talk blog.   Join us for a light-hearted view of technology management through the eyes of Department of Information Technology employee, Deb Schlenker,  Director – Computing Services.     With any luck it will be informative, thought provoking and fun!

Change

Change.    You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it.  Kind of like your smartphone, laptop, parents, spouses, children. . . well you get the point.

However in the workplace you do have to live with change.  Changes can include a new technology, a new business process, a reorganization, budget cuts, and so much more.  If you are an effective technology manager you need to understand the impact of any change on your staff and how to manage that change.   It isn’t easy, especially when there is a lot of resistant.   It requires constant communication, patience and time.   All things that are in short supply in our busy world.

No need to panic though – I just googled “managing change” and got around 22 million hits.  There is a lot of help out there.  You just have to take the time to do your research and practice what you learn.   I believe technology managers owe it to their employees to be the best change manager they can be.     Don’t you?