Abstracts: February 14th, 2013

‘Smart cities’ that make effective use of information and technology to inform policy and decision-making are in fashion, but the same approach can make all government smart, argues the Society of IT Management.

In its latest briefing, Smart cities: how are they really different? Socitm points out that leaders in urban areas are not the only ones that should be looking to deliver better outcomes for their citizens based on ‘smart thinking’.

While cities have specific problems, particularly congestion and social issues, all government can be made smarter by application of information to make the best use of the resources available.

The briefing describes how data provides the foundation for information and decision-making, and how processing operational data, combined with monitoring tools such as key performance indicators, provides the information to improve business processes.

Along with knowledge from managers and practitioners, that information should guide tactical decision-making, while top level, strategic plans should be built from evidence moderated with wisdom and experience.

Technology is giving government the opportunity to collect and analyse data from its records and real-time sources to produce information upon which
it can act to make its operations more efficient, and its products and services more effective for communities.

The briefing also describes the opportunities from ‘Big data’: because government organisations have access to huge volumes of customer and operational data that today’s technologies can ‘mine’ for value.

Joining up:also presents an opportunity because plentiful and pervasive information provides the means to share and coordinate activities between multiple agencies, at a time when severely limited resources demand collaboration anyway.
The briefing is available here.