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GovIT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

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Microsoft Open Government - To the Cloud!

An overview of Microsoft's Cloud-based solutions for Open Government

With the US Government announcing a 'Cloud for Clunkers' migration plan for Cloud computing, and also an Open Government initiative to make agencies more transparent and responsive to the public, this overlap area is a very fertile zone for driving adoption of the technology and new models.

Needless to say Microsoft is one vendor offering a powerful solution set for the requirement.

They offer a Gov 2.0 resource centre, where there are tools like case studies, news, and articles that explain what Open Government is, and even an implementation plan template so that agencies can document their own strategy and business plan for achieving compliance with the OG Directive.

Their white paper 'The Way to Go Gov 2.0' (22 page PDF) provides a comprehensive overview of what's involved, covering various points such as:

  • Examples of how agencies are using Twitter et al, to deliver news to citizens, and how there are social networks for government works like GovLoop. There are potential legal risks for agencies to consider using these mediums, as this article explains.
  • How agencies are improving citizen service delivery through using their Citizen Service Platform
  • How they can further improve processes through online tools like interactive maps

In particular the paper makes the key point that "Gov 2.0 needs to incorporate an enterprise IT strategy that Web 2.0 alone does not address". This is not simply an exercise in posting information to Facebook, but rather comprehensively re-engineering processes, and updating internal and external systems accordingly, and ensuring areas like cybersecurity are also suitably addressed.

The Canadian Federal Government and their plans to adopt Cloud computing through their roadmap plan is a great example of this, which I map to this Open Government strategy in my white paper 'Unified Cloud Computing'.

To the Cloud!
How all of these solutions can be applied through the Cloud is then documented through the Cloud Software + Services model.

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