Section 508

July 14th, 2016

Increasing Citizen Engagement through Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud

Today’s federal agencies have ranked mobile devices, data analytics tools and cloud computing technologies as being the most useful in enabling agencies to reach their digital goals. In our recent webinar, “Top Trends & Technologies Driving Mobility in Government”, our CTO, Varun Dogra, alongside Jacob Parcell, Manager of Mobile Programs at GSA, and Jim Tunnessen, CTO at FSIS/USDA shared actionable ideas on how to leverage the right leadership, tools and approaches to build a successful mobility roadmap that can truly transform agencies and drive mission success. One reoccurring theme throughout the discussion was around a fundamental shift in thinking when it comes to mobility. Rather than thinking solely about publishing a mobile app or building a responsive website – a user-centric approach delivers significant efficiencies by improving processes, increasing productivity, and enhancing the visibility of information. One specific example focused on the convergence of SMAC technologies. By leveraging these technologies, agencies can accelerate efforts to innovate and create meaningful experiences by designing systems and processes that match citizen expectations.

Dogra stated, “Mobility is not just about managing devices or building apps. The real transformation happens when you have the confluence of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC).”

As it sounds, this may seem like a big order considering many agencies still struggle to access, integrate and use all of the data they create and collect. However, as the general public and government evolve, these technologies can no longer be ignored. As Tunnessen explained, “We shouldn’t be implementing yesterday’s technologies tomorrow. We need to move in parallel.” In support of the adoption of these technologies, it comes to no surprise that the top five benefits of this include increased employee productivity, improved citizen experience, operational efficiency, cost reduction and improved services.


So where do we start? If we begin with the onset of social media, one top element that could be overlooked is making sign up non-clunky and continually meshing user habits with trends in technology. Following these three steps will ensure citizen engagement in social media:

  1. Access: Finding and getting connected to government services through real-time responses in social platforms quickly connects knowledge from one to many, across cultures and languages.
  2. Participation: Seamlessly integrated social touchpoints across all screens as well as IoT, invite user generated content and dialog on numerous topics that create new insights.
  3. Transparency: The potential to work together across developing issues throughout the globe through social channels with the latest secure tools and practices.


The next step to success is to ensure mobile first software is being developed. This can include anything from a responsive web design or a native mobile development for the citizens and employees.

Mobile first hardware including IoT is going to allow the basic foundation for capturing, analyzing, and using data. The federal government has dedicated over $300 million to IoT research. Tablets, VR devices, smartphones, beacon technology, cameras, sensors are all devices waiting to reduce latency and increase operational efficiency. Behind what is making mobile and IoT devices relevant is the data they provide and the insights gleaned from that data.


Next, the focus will shift from data management to data science, shares Varun Dogra, CTO at DMI. Open data platforms will be imperative. The combination of social data with the enormous amount of government data will continue to expand new ways of seeing patterns that lead to efficiencies in services. Vast amounts of social media data from multiple touchpoints will enable the federal government to engage and take action to improve citizen’s lives. Analytics can not only improve the citizen experience but also experience of internal employees by helping to improve processes and increase efficiency in the field.


Cloud services are critical to mobile, social, and analytics solutions in that they increase the responsiveness of the system. The best practices will leverage containers and micro-services to achieve agility, resilience, and portability. Cloud adoption for the government is predicted to have an annual savings of $10 billion.


Cloud services are critical to mobile, social, and analytics solutions by increasing the responsiveness of the system. Cloud hosting is becoming a commodity, but cloud management is not. The best practices will leverage containers and micro-services to achieve agility, resilience, and portability. Cloud adoption for the government is predicted to have an annual savings of $10 billion.

In summation, in order to truly gauge success agencies must measure performance by how employees and citizens are using the technology and measure cost by the transformation of your mission.

Jim Tunnessen recommends that you “Staff the agencies with people that have the know-how to make implementing new ideas and solutions with new technologies happen and empowering all members of society to help innovate.” With a reminder to us all, this will be a culture shock, so open communication is important.

The webinar will be available to view through FedScoop until September 28, 2016. If you are interested in learning more about SMAC, please click here to download our latest white paper, How Technology Convergence SMAC is Defining the Future of the Federal Government.

Tags: analytics cloud Mobility Strategy Social media webinar

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