A Year in the Making

This issue represents the first anniversary of civic.com, which we launched in November 1996 to cover the relationship between technology solutions and program management problems in the state, county and city government community. In much less than that time, more than 50,000 of you have asked to receive the publication -- a clear sign to us that there was a huge demand for new information and analysis about the issues that confront you and also that we were doing many things right.

During the course of the year, in covering you and your industry partners -- and in surveys we conducted -- it became clear that you demand the best specific information possible on how your peers in other jurisdictions are solving technology and organizational problems; what technology innovations to expect down the road; and whether products and services just hitting the market live up to the claims made by their providers.

In short, you want a noise filter from us to help you and the people who oversee your programs make the best possible technology choices and funding commitments.

We put into place a formula to meet those concerns in our launch year and commit here to refining the mix of technology analysis and program coverage in the coming year. For example, this year our test center provided benchmarked performance testing and comparisons of a range of new hardware and software products available on state and local government contracts, from the newest Pentium PCs and notebooks to the latest Internet browsers.

In the coming year, our product testing center will take a closer look at new hardware and software that is particular to state and local government missions. Look for original test drives and analysis of law enforcement technology, financial services software, transportation planning solutions, Global Positioning System hardware and environmental information systems in addition to our reviews of important desktop hardware developments. If you are interested in having us look at specific products and services in your program area, please let us know by e-mail.

In response to your requests, we also will deepen our coverage of geographic information systems and Internet solutions, the two technology areas in which you expressed the most interest. And through our tech briefings, solutions and topic-specific sections, we will continue to give you the kind of technology reporting and analysis you demand.

The people in the state and local government IT sector are in many ways the engineers who have been asked to come up with service-delivery solutions to the restructuring now occurring in government. In our next year, we hope to better connect you with the ideas and people that will help make your work a success.

Paul McCloskey




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