IBM Makes Case For 'Fast Government'

New report says federal agencies can improve performance by implementing gaming, mobile and other technologies that speed up operations.

Patience Wait, Contributor

May 23, 2013

2 Min Read

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: 10 Towns Raise Tech IQs

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: 10 Towns Raise Tech IQs

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: 10 Towns Raise Tech IQs(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

IBM wants government agencies to move faster. In a new report, IBM makes that case that "fast government" is more efficient and more effective and operates a lower cost.

Time saved by streamlining operations and improving service quality should be measures of government performance, writes Daniel Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government and former branch chief for information and IT policy at the White House Office of Management and Budget, in the report.

IBM managing partner Charles Prow adds that accelerating business processes is "arguably the single largest driver of improved mission effectiveness" in most government work. "Reducing time almost invariably results in higher service levels and lower cost points," he writes.

[ Mobile, cloud and social technologies are poised to help agencies improve services, says former U.S. CIO Kundra. Read more at 'Third-Wave' Tech Tools Reshape Agencies: Kundra. ]

Mobile and gaming technologies, analytics, supply chain capabilities and self-service portals are among the technologies that can help drive faster processes in government, according to IBM.

In the area of gaming, for example, Nicole Lazzaro, president of XEODesign, says that thinking about how game designers create levels of engagement can be used to design government-citizen interactions.

The report's recommendations include establishing "time" as a performance metric, using technology to automate tasks, accelerating service delivery through redesigned business processes, providing interactive self-service capabilities to citizens and applying analytics to bring greater efficiency to processes.

IBM's 78-page "Fast Government" report is comprised of 11 essays on topics such as "instituting accountability" for speed in government and security and privacy actions that support fast-government strategies. Author Robert Shea identifies conditions that are necessary to accelerating government operations: set clear goals, be transparent about objectives, empower strong leaders and hold them accountable, take risks and collaborate.

Robert Luby and Tom Glisson (a retired U.S. Army general who served in the Defense Logistics Agency) make the case that better supply chain management can lead to substantial cost savings. They cite U.S. Transportation Command's Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative, which they say has chalked up $158 million in "cost avoidance" by achieving on-time pickup and delivery 98% of the time.

Uncle Sam's taken the lead on secure use of cloud services. Here's how FedRAMP can change your experience, too. Also in the new, all-digital Follow The Feds issue of InformationWeek: Candid career advice for women in IT includes calling work-life balance a myth. (Free registration required.)

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About the Author(s)

Patience Wait


Washington-based Patience Wait contributes articles about government IT to InformationWeek.

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