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Collaboration in Public Service Agencies

Anant Hadke Apr 24, 2013

Gov 2.0 Collaboration tools SharePoint Technology Public Service Agencies Enterprise Collaboration

In today's global economic climate, organizations are seeking to become more efficient operationally, and more effective in achieving their objectives through increased productivity, higher quality, and more knowledge-driven work processes and practices. Citizens are demanding the highest possible value for public money and all organizations, especially public-sector organizations, are looking to significantly reduce costs, improve decision making, and find innovative ways to develop and grow.

Public sector organizations are often at the forefront who need to adopt new approaches to electronic information management. Enterprise Collaboration is no longer a new phenomenon in the public sector. As we shall see, many public service organizations are already using or planning to use the new technologies in their organizations for substantive work and service to citizens. The collaboration techniques can most effectively help public service organizations achieve their mission objectives and, ultimately, high performance. The need to enhance and accelerate the exchange of information between government and citizens is unprecedented and increases daily. Emergence and adoption of Web 2.0 technologies are guiding public service organizations towards the concept of Gov 2.0 making them more efficient, transparent, and responsive to citizens.

Collaboration tools have increasingly been recognized by most governments in the world as strategic resources within the public sector. Some of the common challenges that affect the public sectors worldwide includes:

  • Governments and Public sector agencies have massive amounts of data to process, prioritize, share, and act upon. Information resides not just in conventional files, but in email, voicemail, instant messages, podcasts, blogs, wikis, video portals, and more
  • Legislative, executive, and judicial bodies continue to evolve into an electronic work environment pushed by paperwork and cost reduction mandates, requirements to handle increased workloads with fewer personnel, and the rapid addition of electronic communication channels
  • Public sector organizations are striving for enhancing efficiencies across all agencies, improving accountability, making informed decisions, enhancing collaboration and strategic partnerships with stakeholders, capturing knowledge of an aging workforce as well as improving operational excellence.
  • Dispersed teams working in multiple time zones. Working together across different geographies and organizational firewalls has now become critical.

The collaboration tools have become popular because they encourage interaction among passionate participants and offer substantial benefits such as:

  • The collaboration tools like wikis, blogs, tweets, portals implies an easy and fast method of participation, cooperation, and interaction among people regardless of where they are located
    • Social networks encourage people to form ad hoc networks around shared interests
    • Wikis allow answers to difficult issues to arise organically from the collaboration of enthusiastic participants
    • Blogs communicate to a broad audience and elicit rapid feedback
    • Portals speed communications and aggregate useful content from across networks
  • An Enterprise approach supports interoperability with existing and future investments, helps to enhance security, and helps you interpret citizen input.
  • Collaborative approach allows effective Knowledge management and provide effective ways to share information and knowledge from different sources.
  • Better collaboration helps public employees and citizens become more efficient, encourages innovation, and speeds decision making by enabling people to connect and communicate like never before
  • With Collaboration, public services agencies can develop and strengthen communities to share their plans for upcoming programs and initiatives, compare strategies and connect to learn more broadly and deeply from each other.

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