GovTech and GRP News Roundup

News from Government Resource Planning and Government Technology curated by the FreeBalance Strategy and Innovation Group.
DIGITAL GOVERNMENT NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY: Two articles from last week. Tom Steinberg in Civicist describes how effective digital government requires more than technology. Compassion, fairness, respect and transparency are necessary for improved citizen services through digital technology. Mohana Ravindranath published a new report in NextGov  describing the transition to citizen-centric use of digital technology.
https://civichall.org/civicist/why-even-bother-with-a-user-centered-digital-govt
http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2017/08/evolution-digital-government/140109/
LESSONS LEARNED FROM GOVERNMENT ERP PROJECT FAILURE: A comment on the FreeBalance blog describes fundamental problems behind the “Phoenix pay system” in the Government of Canada. This implementation of PeopleSoft ERP currently has over 200,000 open cases. The commenter describes how the ERP system was customized to mimic the workflow of the previous legacy system, and the impact of premature layoffs of payroll staff to save money.
http://freebalance.com/economic-growth-development/fixing-a-government-erp-fail-when-politics-and-technology-clash/
PROBLEMS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF PRIVATE SECTOR ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE IN GOVERNMENT: Articles emerging last week ‘Russian roulette” scheduling problems with Kronos in the City of Toronto reported by Lauren Pelley of the CBC; an addition $40M spending to make Oracle software operate in Loudoun County in Virginia reported by Sydney Kashiwagi of the Loudoun Times-Mirror; and demand for more accountability in $81M SAP human resources project at the City of Anchorage in Alaska reported by Daniella Rivera of KTVA.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/paramedic-scheduling-software-controversy-1.4238742 
http://www.loudountimes.com/news/article/countys_multi_million_dollar_erp_system_dealt_another_blow
http://www.ktva.com/assembly-wants-accountability-costly-project-nears-launch-457/
IMPORTANCE OF TCO ANALYSIS IN TECHNOLOGY: Philip Howard of Bloor Research describes the importance of Total Cost of Ownership in making technology decisions. He points out that technology analyst firms more often measure product capabilities than overall costs.
http://www.bloorresearch.com/analysis/total-cost-of-ownership-tco-survey/
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN GOVERNMENT: Hila Mehr of the Harvard Ash Center Technology & Democracy describes AI use cases in government. “While the potential future use cases of AI in government remain bounded by government resources and the limits of both human creativity and trust in government, the most obvious and immediately beneficial opportunities are those where AI can reduce administrative burdens, help resolve resource allocation problems, and take on significantly complex tasks. Despite the clear opportunities, AI will not solve systemic problems in government, and could potentially exacerbate issues around service delivery, privacy, and ethics if not implemented thoughtfully and strategically.”
https://ash.harvard.edu/files/ash/files/artificial_intelligence_for_citizen_services.pdf

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