Leaders Discuss the Opportunities and Barriers to Implementing New Technologies in Government
NEW YORK—On October 31, public, private, and social-sector leaders gathered to discuss how governments can implement new technologies to deliver improved outcomes for residents at an event cohosted by the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In a panel and open Q&A, participants discussed everything from barriers to technology implementation to models of procurement and experimentation emerging in cities.
Featured speakers and panelists included Gale Brewer, President of the Manhattan Borough; Jennifer Bradley, Executive Director at the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation; Stonly Baptiste, Partner at Urban Us; Kamal Bherwani, CEO at GCOM Software and former CIO of NYC Health & Human Services; and Brian Cohen, Vice Chancellor for Technology and Chief Information Officer at City University of New York.
Panelists discussed how local and city governments are rising to the challenge of innovation in cities. In New York City, for example, the government launched NYCx, a program that both encourages global entrepreneurs to partner with the City to create business solutions and provides a platform for community feedback.
“We are all aware of the tremendous potential of technology. When deployed smartly by government, it can create systems that are more effective, transparent, and legitimate and that can, ultimately, deliver better outcomes to residents,” said Dan Vogel, North America Director at the Centre for Public Impact. “At the same time, public leaders face tremendous challenges in implementing new technologies, including procurement processes, tensions between private and public interests, and constituent expectations. We need new models for how government can partner with the private sector.”
“Remarkable cross-sector collaborations are emerging to facilitate technological innovation for the public good,” added Rich Davey, a BCG partner and the leader for state and local public sector. “There is tremendous potential in these approaches, and I have no doubt we will see more ideas surfacing in the near future.”
Earlier this year, in partnership with the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation and Boston Consulting Group, CPI launched the Future of U.S. Cities handbook. The handbook highlights findings from conversations with 45 city problem solvers about how cities are using innovation and technology to tackle problems and create more legitimate, equitable, and agile cities.
Panelists also stressed the importance of inclusivity. According to the panelists, existing procurement processes often leave out women and people of color. In order to ensure that technology is implemented in cities to meet the needs of their diverse residents, it is imperative that processes take care to support and include a diverse set of innovators.
With regards to procurement, panelists believe that a trend of fatigue is arising among both entrepreneurs and investors. According to the speakers, procurement processes and government approaches to new technology vary tremendously among and even within states. Therefore, it is difficult for innovators to create replicable or sharable processes to ensure success.
“Technology procurement cross-cuts the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. We can all benefit from putting the right mechanisms in place to work together,” said John Rose, a BCG senior partner and the leader of BCG’s North East Public Sector practice. “By applying agile methods to break down projects, codesigning with government partners, and building internal capabilities, we increase the likelihood of IT projects delivering results on-time and on-budget.”
For media inquiries, or more information, please contact Elysa Neumann, Centre for Public Impact, at +1 202-630-3383, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Centre for Public Impact is a not-for-profit founded by Boston Consulting Group. Believing that governments can and want to do better for people, we work side-by-side with governments—and all those who help them—to reimagine government, and turn ideas into action, to bring about better outcomes for everyone. We champion public servants and other changemakers who are leading this charge and develop the tools and resources they need, like our Public Impact Fundamentals, so we can build the future of government together.
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