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John Foley
John Foley
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Top 15 Government IT Innovators For 2012

From mobile apps to testbeds on wheels, creative thinkers at government agencies are finding ways to better serve the public.
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In government IT, "doing more with innovation" is the big opportunity. Beyond just cost cutting, government tech teams are coming up with creative ways to offer new and improved services to their internal users and to the public.

For the fourth year in a row, InformationWeek Government set out to identify the top technology innovators at all levels of U.S. government--federal, state, and local. The 15 profiled here were chosen by our editors as InformationWeek's 2012 Government Innovators. Their fresh approaches take many forms, from mobile applications that put government information into the hands of on-the-go citizens to new cloud services.

For example, technology deployed by the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) organization is hastening the screening process for pedestrians entering the U.S. from Mexico.

The lanes that guide people through the process have gates with interactive screens that provide instructions in English and Spanish, document readers, and biometric fingerprint scanners. The system, which prepares pedestrians in advance of interacting with a CBP officer, offers several advantages. Officers are ready with information on pedestrians before engaging with them, and they can take action if someone is deemed a threat.

Mobile officers with handheld devices can scan travel documents and run database queries to further expedite processing. The system has cut processing time by up to 34%, the CBP says.

Go to the 2012 InformationWeek 500 homepage

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User Rank: Apprentice
9/28/2012 | 8:37:16 PM
re: Top 15 Government IT Innovators For 2012
I found this interesting in that people assume that the Cloud Providers understand "elasticity" and how to make it happen. Also that experts are needed to optimize and operate cloud infrastructure.

I'm seeing that management still thinks that these people are just plug and play. Plug one out that is causing waves, and plug in someone else from the stack of resumes waiting for a job. They should be able to pull their own weight once we get them access to our systems.

Tribal knowledge is not that easily passed around, nor are the 'standard ways of doing things' easily picked up.

Then there is the challenge of understanding that just because there is a slow down in an application, that people understand why there is a slow down and how to fix it.

Over the years we have seen that a CPU upgrade does not solve all the problems. A clear understanding of how things work is required to know what needs to be improved.

Thanks for publishing this and showing us that once again, there is need for real experts in the field.
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