If you dabble in government IT long enough you’re likely to come across Maury Blackman. He is a well known drum beater on the boulevard of civic reinvention and also happens to be the CEO and president of Accela, a cloud software company focused on the government market. Blackman can be heard in The Huffington Post pounding out the virtues of open data, or in TechCrunch trumpeting calls for in-house innovation teams, or in Government Technology op-eds where he explains and advocates for the latest civic strategies. From cloud to analytics to citizen engagement, Blackman is both a pioneer and torchbearer for a host of technological advancements.
In 2015, this zeal for progress drove a couple of significant milestones. Accela attracted more than $233 million worth of new investments, money slated for a spate of govtech acquisitions and partnerships. The company launched its Civic Platform 8.0 in October, refreshing the cloud management service for its more than 2,000 city and county customers.
Blackman said the past year’s achievements for the company only reaffirm what he’s long seen as the dawning of a great shakeup for government.
“Over the years, much of the focus of our business has been about creating streamlined processes and efficiencies for government agencies,” he said. “We’re now seeing a very distinct shift in demand, for not only technologies that improve intra-office processes, but also apps and software that create lines of communication between governments and citizens.”
To keep pace with the swiveling market, Accela acquired eight ventures in the past two years, and Blackman said future additions must further the company’s mission to be “impactful in the lives of residents and cities.”
“This shift keeps me up at night, in the best way possible,” he said. “I’m motivated by the prospect of citizen engagement becoming a true reality across cities.”
Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.