Boston CIO Declares Citizens Connect a Success
With 20 percent of city service requests coming from residents' smart phones, the mobile app is changing the way residents communicate with local government.
From graffiti to potholes to broken street lights, with more than 20 percent of city service requests now being reported through Boston's Citizens Connect, Boston's Chief Information Officer Bill Oates deemed the mobile app a success.
"Citizens Connect opened the door to the city that showed us what we can do with technology, and in very innovative ways," he said in an interview with Techtarget.com.
The concept of allowing residents to communicate with local government via their smart phones is now being integrated in many different departments.
"So what we did with Citizens Connect, in connecting [residents] with their basic services, we now do in lots of places: in the education space, in the administration and finance space, in public works, public safety [spaces]. It has been really fun to watch this new culture of innovation take hold in the city."
In a TED talk with Jennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, she upholds Boston as a cutting edge city leading the way in how government can effectively harness the power of new technology when she demonstrates how residents can help each other get a possum out of a trash can (5.38).
And Oates has plans to keep making it better.
We had an overwhelmingly positive response to this around the city," he said. "We first did it in 2009. We are now on our third iteration of the project, and it has become an essential piece to how people connect to the city."