IT executives talk shop at NASIRE
- By Jill Rosen
- May 04, 2000
State government minds came together with industry representatives to talk
technology and swap ideas in Asheville, N.C. — this week for the midyear
meeting of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives.
Digital government was the main topic of conversation, fueling panel discussions
on linking state, local and federal criminal justice networks, the digital
divide and the push to showcase government services through online portals.
And there was plenty of talk about how now more than ever, governments seemed
at the precipice of major change orchestrated through technology. And how
citizens are pushing their governments to match the private-sector's level
of electronic services.
"We're building government the way we used to build cars 50 years ago,"
said Steve Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis and the keynote speaker.
"People want mass customization. They expect more."
Goldsmith said public officials are very interested in spending money on
technology. With bureaucracy out of the way, the next two years could bring
plenty of changes for "customer satisfaction," he said.
Jeffery Eisenach, president of The Progress and Freedom Foundation, said
now is also the time to make sure that people are getting the fast, efficient
service implied through the launch of government World Wide Web sites.
"We need to be truly integrating the back office, not just slapping a fancy
facade on top of a messy back office," he said, adding that government sites
must be easy to use, guarantee privacy and be well thought out.
Mainly chief information officers and their staffs representing 36 state
governments attended the conference. Hundreds of others from technology
companies also filled out the roster for the two-day event.