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Posts tagged ‘PTI’

Is having a ‘Smart City’ important?

To me, the term “Smart City” always felt like a fictitious phrase made up by someone in marketing.  I’m probably more cynical than most since I come from the marketing world, but I wondered how you could debate a city was smart or not.  And does that mean the other cities are dumb?  No, of course not, but as I’ve researched this topic I have noticed that some cities do exemplify the definition of Smart Cities.  Yes, there is a Wikipedia page devoted to this.  In short, the term refers to the creation of knowledge infrastructure through technology and data.

Last month I attended the Smart Cities & Counties Summit put on by the Public Technology Institute (PTI).  They put on a great conference and gathered some outstanding cities and counties to come together for best practice sharing.  At that point, I got to really understand why the term “smart” was used.  Topics included 311, GIS, fiber optic broadband, transportation, etc…  But from the topics were overlying themes of efficiency, collaboration, and an overall goal of wanting to build a better community.  So for a city to be “smart” it doesn’t just adopt new technology and say “we are cutting edge”, it uses technology alongside people to look for ways to grow.  Here are just a few of the cities that presented on their initiatives at the summit:

  • City of Minneapolis is using analytics and data to make better decisions across departments and better coordination of city operations.
  • City of Charlotte is building solutions to connect the city and it’s citizens with sites like Open Charlotte and the Code for Charlotte Brigade complete with it’s own hack-a-thon.
  • City of Columbus is working with academia and businesses to conduct research on sustainability and economic development.

Workforce development was another element of Smart Cities that found its way into the conversations.  After all, what is a city without its employees delivering services and its citizens being part of a workforce to stimulate the economy?  Smart cities (or any city for that matter) are seeing a new generation come in with different skill sets while an older generation makes plans for retirement.  Workforce development plans proactively look for ways to bridge this gap and transfer knowledge to move forward with succession efforts. Technology can play a role in this by way of educational/training tools, workforce management solutions, and talent acquisition.

So, this brings us back to question, ‘Is having a smart city important?’.  Some will argue that it is subjective so therefore the title is up for grabs for any city who deems themselves worthy.  I say, the smart city title is important, but only if the ultimate goal is bringing government and it’s citizens together.  So far, I like what I see.

 

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2014 Top Trends in Managing the Public Sector Workforce

At its recent annual board of advisors meeting, board members of The Workforce Institute™ discussed their predictions about the top trends of workforce management in 2014.
To take this a step further, let’s look at this through the lens of government and how (or if) it will impact the public sector specifically.

Making Data Small – The real value lies not in big data, but in the ability to make data small and actionable. Tools and technologies that enable organizations to do this are essential to carry this forward.

State and localities have powerful data at their fingertips to aid in efficiency, reduced costs, and better services to citizens. The ability to analyze trends such as overtime and absences are just two examples of how information can turn to knowledge.

To Cloud or Not to Cloud? – As more organizations look to move their HR systems to the cloud, practical advice on how to do so successfully will be needed. In addition, more will be written about why some organizations are choosing not to move to the cloud and the value of vendors that offer both options.

Both NASCIO (National Association of State CIO’s) and PTI (Public Technology Institute) continue to rank Cloud Services high on their priority lists.1,2 While IT staff and resource numbers fluctuate, and are sometimes outsourced, having an option to host or not lends the organization some flexibility to purchase and deploy HR systems unlike just 5 or 10 years ago.

The Workplace Goes Social – Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate in their personal lives but its impact has yet to be truly leveraged in the workplace. Social tools can drive manager and employee collaboration and knowledge acceleration.

Social media is making waves in government particularly in an effort to engage citizens. But is it working internally to connect departments and project teams?

Mobile Workforce Management – As employees continue to bring their own devices to work, employers will need to determine how to best use the technology to gain access to the information they need, to make frequent tasks simpler and less time consuming, and to keep employees happier and more engaged.

As the mass exodus of retirees comes upon government organizations, it’s going to be important to meet the demands of and attract a younger generation. A generation that does not remember life before mobile devices.

The Affordable Care Act – A year ago, most affected organizations probably thought that they would have a strategy in place by now, but with changes and delays to the process, most are still in a holding pattern.

There’s no stopping it, no matter how hard you wish! Public sector employers share the same responsibility as the private sector when it comes to complying with upcoming ACA regulations. A strategy has to include a way to have constant vigile over part-time hours to watch employees who teeter on the 30-hour threshold.

To read the full press release, go to: The Workforce Institute at Kronos Predicts Top Five Trends in Workforce Management for 2014

1 State CIO Priorities for 2014

2 City and County Technology Ins and Outs for 2014