On IT and Government

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A couple of weeks back, the Dutch people went to the voting booth. They have voted for a new government which is now forming. A lot of planmaking for the upcoming years will follow, with a lot of promises to solve the current issues in society. During this celebration of democray in my view, one […]

A couple of weeks back, the Dutch people went to the voting booth. They have voted for a new government which is now forming. A lot of planmaking for the upcoming years will follow, with a lot of promises to solve the current issues in society. During this celebration of democray in my view, one of the main points of discussion is cutting back costs. Our government needs, as nearly every European country to cut costs, and one of the main topics, is to say it in ITìsh terms, reducing the government total cost of ownership. Then something funny hit me. Government issues are a lot like IT issues.
Just look at the similarities in issues between government (well, Dutch anyway) and IT:

  • Promise a lot, and deliver less
  • Lack of users (for politics, read citizens) involvement
  • Solutions in practice doesn`t work the way the users asked for
  • Constantly changing requirements of the users
  • A lot of stakeholders with opposing interests
  • Costs more every year
  • Is often hype based in stead of the execution of a long term vision and strategy
  • Doesn`t always learn from mistakes
  • Users get tired of waiting for a solution and create one themselves
  • (End) users are often resisting change

And the list goes on and on. Those similarities in issues raised two questions for me. What can governments learn from the way IT organizations solve these issues, and the other way around.
I believe the keywords for government in the upcoming years, looking at this from a ‘learning from IT perspective’ should be agility, innovation, social media, rules management and standards.
I believe the sole keyword for IT in the upcoming years, looking at this from a ‘learning from government perspective’ should be democracy.
My question to you guys (and girls) basically is, do you see this too? What do you think governments can learn from IT and vice versa? And how would a roadmap for this look like?

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