October 31, 2008 By Matt Williams
as many forms and documents available online as possible, whether they are for fishing licenses, taxes or permits. In fact, Oakland County estimates that its 1.2 million citizens will download 2 million forms in 2008 - 1 million more forms than a year ago.
The next step to achieving the one-stop experience is making government Web portals functional and useful anytime and anywhere - on mobile devices. Chopra said this could be the horizon of the next-gen portal. He's asking himself how the availability of a GIS location code in mobile devices will change the way citizens interact with government. "Should I be able to say, 'I'm at this street corner. I want to find the nearest DMV'? Or 'I want to report a health violation. What is the easiest way? I'm at this restaurant right now. Locate this restaurant, and I want to upload a photograph that this particular restaurant has a rat.'" It's this potential that has Chopra thinking about how mobility will affect Web site design.
No matter what the future holds, Chopra said it's important for IT shops to foster a "culture of continual improvement" for their Web space, where changes are made in months instead of years. Otherwise, governments will surely be caught off guard by the next hot technology - the new YouTube or Facebook. Today's cutting-edge, next-gen portal will inevitably become tomorrow's dinosaur. Bertolini agrees.
"If you don't evolve your Web portal continually," Bertolini said, "then you will be looking at that next-gen again and you will have to rework everything you have if you're not evolving with the next technology as it comes along."
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