RealTime IT News

Up-to-the-Minute Coverage from the Digital Government Summit

Seattle.internet.com was on the scene today at the Pacific Northwest Digital Government Summit, where a panel of local Internet execs expressed ideas on how to apply successful private sector transformations to government.

The panel consisted of Kate Connolly, Director of Marketing, State and Local Government for Dell; Scott Boggs, VP and Corporate Controller for the Microsoft Corporation; Michelle Grisham, Internet Business Solutions consultant for Cisco Systems; and was moderated by Barry Mitzman, host of KCTS's Serious Money.

Explaining their own experiences with information technology, the panelists offered insights into how the same successes could be applied to government agencies.

One thing that became particularly evident was the need to collaborate.

"It's time to think about the city and the county next door, and figure out how you can team up," says Kate Connelly.

In addition customer satisfaction was on the mind of both the panel members and the audience. As Keynote Speaker Doc Searles noted earlier in the day, relationships and community are essential.

"Customer satisfaction is key. That is one of the few metrics we track on a daily basis," says Michelle Grisham.

Concerns by government officials about slow speeds of development were also addressed by panel members.

"Just having interactivity on a website is a big thing. I wouldn't be that worried about not being able to provide the entire service chain right now," says Grisman. "In the government space most citizens are grateful for interactive functions."

Despite this positive response, there remains a need for greater innovation in the public sector. Grisham attributed some of this to a lack of backing throughout organizations.

"The leadership doesn't always do an effective job in convincing middle and lower tiers of the organization that its in everyone's best interest to re-engineer."

An essential solution, according to Scott Boggs, is to throw out old technologies.

"When implementing new technologies you need to leave the old way completely - you need everyone to adopt the new technology," says Boggs.

Check back tomorrow for a full summit report in tomorrow's edition.