Public Management - Lecture 007

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGS)
Sandford Borins

TECHNOLOGY – THE THICK OF IT 11 March 2014 Managing Information Technology in Government • Based on Borins, Digital State 2.0 and Brown, Information, Technology, and Canadian Public Administration • IT provides a new channel of interaction between government and society (campaigning and voting, policy discussion and lobbying, service delivery, procurement) • Channel choice: use of the e-channel will depend on convenience and cost relative to other channels (client relationship management) • Cost versus visibility a consideration for the government • Demographic factor: younger Canadians have strong preference for the e-channel, older and low-income Canadians have less access to e-channel IT and Collaboration • IT facilitates collaboration within government • Integrated front-line service delivery (IE: Service Canada, Service Ontario) • Shared internal services and procurement intended to reduce cost • Collaborative policy development often using shared data bases (security, foreign policy, trade, and development assistance) and internal wikis IT Procurement • Procurement of complex specialized software systems (complex, asset specific, few bidders generally multinational consulting-IT firms) • High probabilities of cost overruns, delays, access problems on big projects (recent example US • Skilled IT workers in short supply, widespread use of expensive consultants • Commodification of some aspects of technology (e.g. basic hardware, software) Digital Leadership • Tech-savvy politicians: start with campaigning, then bring their skills to governing (Barack Obama) • Corporate and departmental chief information officers (keep the electronic plumbing working, e.g. virus protection, Y2K readiness, manage procurement and IT workers, manage information as an asset, access to information and protection of privacy) • Front-line digital leaders (younger employees at the leading edge, hired for new media positions), e.g. SchoolNet developed by a Waterloo coop student Evolution during the Last 5 Years • Online politics o Most politicians, especially younger ones, on BlackBerries, iPhones, use Facebook, Twitter • Obama campaigns and presidency leading edge o Rally registration => email list of 13 million o Online fundraising => 50% of $750M US in 2008 o tools for activist supporters o Data mining to target voters and tailor messages o de fa
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