could not count on the consistency of product across the country. The work done by the highly skilled work force would change as standard procedures give way to more specialized jobs -- in other words, when fries don't come in premeasured bags and a giant beeper doesn't remind you when to pull them out of the fryer, you can't always trust any 16-year-old with a pulse to serve up those salty golden treats.

Truth is, the entire operation changes, and at a corporate level you would only hope the recipes and policies you put out are being followed, that the standards are being upheld and that profits are what each place says they are. It would not -- could not ¬¬-- be the same efficient place we know it as today, and while that might seem like a good thing to some, remember there is a reason billions have been served in the blink of an eye.

Where states do almost the identical processes driven by federal requirements, why can't we franchise? Either through the cloud, or through shared contract, why can't we standardize UI and have the same system at least offered to every state? It would drive down costs, assure compliance, and improve quality and consistency across the country. Just like a franchise, states can buy in at a fraction of what it would cost them to start from scratch and take advantage of all the efficiency benefits immediately.

Now, I'm not naive. Tons of issues would need to be worked through -- everything from the argument of state independence to how do you get your hands around so many state departments who will no doubt argue they do the same thing, just in the most unique of fashions? But the time is right. Hope of a new administration and the elevation of technology at a national scale, and shrinking budgets that are postponing projects we have already postponed too long. I think it could be done. It could radically change the nation and offer better, cheaper services to citizens.

So that's my idea. I encourage you to add yours in the comment space below.

Bill Bott  |  Contributing Writer
Bill Bott is a consulting partner with the Change & Innovation Agency, which helps organizations improve performance. Bott is the former deputy CIO of Missouri. In 2007, he was named Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine, and in 2008 was recognized by Government Technology as one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in the public sector.