Tool to Register And Locate The City's Information Assets Which Helps for Daily Decision Making

Otto Doll, CIO, City of Minneapolis
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Otto Doll, CIO, City of Minneapolis

Otto Doll, CIO, City of Minneapolis

Technological trends impacting enterprise business environment

Of the 3,600 City of Minneapolis employees, around half of them spend most of their workday “on the streets”—police officers, property assessors, inspectors, firefighters, regulators, etc. The ability to bring local computing and information to their fingertips is critical to achieving the most efficient and effective city services.

Unless all our residents embrace the digital society being built, they will not be able to participate fully. A vibrant City needs digitally literate residents. As we move further into a technology-based society, city government can act as a catalyst to ensure digital inclusion by all neighborhoods and their residents. To accomplish this, households need to have the tools (computer with internet access), be digitally literate (not only in using the tools but understanding how to safely take advantage of the sea of knowledge we call the Internet), and see the value proposition for embracing the digital society.

Things done while tuning and elevating IT’s relationship with the business

My organization is accelerating the introduction of IT tools for a greater collaborative work environment, rich in group work participation, data sharing and analytics. We have built Map IT Minneapolis to share maps and datasets within city government and outward to the public. We are engineering an internal electronic library, Minneapolis Information Commons, to promote easy access to the city’s data and information—the workforce will not only be able to checkout “books” but can put books on the shelf. Finally we built an Intelligent Operations Platform which provides a common operational view of current and future city conditions, along with generic analytics supporting worker decision making—hotspot detection, event correlation, anomaly detection and patter discovery.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs

Our workers need real-time, integrated information from a digitized city at their fingertips. The City needs to go beyond our existing mission control capabilities with a new intelligent operations platform and information commons to more efficiently handle the event horizon that often drives city actions. A robust information exchange of city data from all departments, along with analytical tools, such as an anomaly locator, cause-n-effect analyzer, hotspot detector and pattern discoverer, are necessary to empower the workforce through technology. Workers also need a tool to register and locate the City’s information assets, so our employees can share information on-demand for their daily decision making.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist

Government needs to formulate better two-way public communications creating a compelling destination for city residents and businesses to engage city government with an interactive e-government platform, built on open-source technology, where constituents can engage with policymakers, service providers and each other to build better government and neighborhoods. We seek to go beyond a static web presence to real-time collaboration among all community stakeholders – residents, community-organizers, employers, and business operators. Social media, an intelligent operations platform and other technologies will provide analytics and visualization tools to revolutionize how we inform and engage constituents to sustain vibrant, livable neighborhoods. To overcome longstanding barriers to truly interoperable e-government, agency boundaries should be invisible to those served.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

My career movement from federal to state to local government service has placed me closer to where the “rubber meets the road.” At the same time the CIO role has been forced to move from operating technology to ‘technology solution’ provider to ‘business solution’ provider. Determining possibilities through technology for the various interventions governments take on-from youth violence to economic development-determines the value proposition IT can posit. Delivering value gains trust and trust is the capital that government runs on.

Lessons I learned as a CIO that can help

When it comes to the public sector, IT rarely generates votes. Hence, one’s ability to identify useful interventions, develop strategies to deal with the matters at hand, and execute flawlessly on those strategies, is key to success for the public sector CIO.

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