Technology and Governance

The interconnected and globalized nature of the Internet has challenged traditional norms and presented new opportunities. The development of new information and communication technologies (ICT), have revolutionized the delivery of public services as well as the interaction between citizens and their government.

E-government “may be defined as the use by government of digital technologies internally and externally, to interact with citizens, firms, other governments, and organizations of all kind” (Dunleavy et al. 114).  Although the emergence of the World Wide Web two decades ago, has propelled the conveyance of government services and information through the Internet, E-Government, has actually existed since the 1950’s, when public entities began acquiring computers.  Beginning in the “1960’s the widespread use of computers for holding financial information for government, transitioned to a wider range of “front” offices or mainstream administrative settings, eventually culminating with their integration into the World Wide Web in the 1990’s.” (Dunleavy et al., 114). 

Incorporating many aspects from the private sector, including e-commerce functionality and social media engagement, many national and local agencies have invested in robust E-Government platforms capable of providing a plethora of online services. Through the Internet, government agencies have gained the ability to provide their constituents with digital access to tax payments, form submissions, public records, and the dissemination of information. The “development of the internet and the web presented a key opportunity for government to provide higher quality services directly to citizens in innovative ways at lower cost” (Dunleavy et al., 115).

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The emergence of e-government could have a transformative effect on government, since it provides citizens with a medium to directly engage their elected officials and state. The growing digitization of government “achieves some kind of “joined-up e-governance,” where the website facilitates one-stop services for citizens across a whole range of services across central government agencies and tiers of government” (Dunleavy et al., 118). Through empowering citizens with direct access to the their government, e-government could facilitate the rise of another phenomenon, e-democracy.  Such “a shift involves bringing citizens into the front office, so that they are “co-producing or even co-creating public services” (Dunleavy et al., 125).  As technology continues to evolve, so will the delivery of government services to its citizens.

Notes

Dunleavy, Patrick, et al. Digital Era Governance: IT Corporations, the State, and e-Government. Oxford University Press, 2008.

About the Author

Matthew Zuccaro is currently the CEO of Digital Strategy Associates LLC, where he developed a boutique web design firm into a multi-faceted provider of IT and digital marketing solutions. A highly driven entrepreneur, Matt founded his first business while in high school and used the proceeds to self-finance his college tuition. As a seasoned IT professional, Matt has extensive experience in supporting Apple, Cisco, and Windows. A graduate of Montclair State University, Matt holds a BA (Summa Cum Laude) in History and Political Science. Outside of the office, Matt is passionate about traveling as well as volunteering within his local community.

About Digital Strategy Associates LLC

At Digital Strategy Associates LLC, our mission is simple: to simplify IT so our clients can focus on what they do best. Digital Strategy Associates (DSA) is a multi-discipline information technology and digital marketing agency headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. DSA provides a comprehensive suite of creative and technical solutions including web design, web hosting, graphic design, managed IT services, consulting, and training. For more information, visit digitalstrategyllc.com.

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