New York City's mayor has vision when it comes to technology.
Like most large cities,
And it's the same with IT. We've given more than our fair
share of coverage to the city's IT program, especially its 311 service, despite
the fact that many other cities are doing similar projects.
But big IT stories don't happen just because
Bloomberg also has shown he has a politician's touch when it comes to getting the public behind expensive IT projects. As any CIO knows, 311/CRM (customer relationship management) systems aren't cheap. Not only do they require a hefty investment in technology, they also require lots of human operators to answer the inevitable increase in hotline calls, as the software and the three-digit number simplify how a citizen can inquire, complain or ask for help.
Under Bloomberg's direction,
That brings us to this week's news. Bloomberg presented his State of the City address and outlined nearly 12 major IT projects the city plans to undertake. They range from GPS for school buses to a new wireless platform for wireless, congestion pricing and, yes, more enhancements to the city's 311 program.
Not all these projects will be funded and implemented. But they represent a strikingly overt emphasis by the mayor to align technology with his vision of a safer, more transparent city, with services that are responsive to the needs of its citizens. In other words, the mayor is not afraid to put technology on the same page as the key business and service goals of his administration.
At a time when most government chief executives seem to be
backpedaling from the notion that IT is one of the few key drivers that can
transform Industrial Age government into 21st-century government, up steps
Bloomberg to speak out loudly that the city is going to move ahead -- thanks,
in large part, to smart investments in technology.
We could use a few more leaders like him.