By Bret Piatt
Oct 9, 2018
This past Saturday, October 6, episode 106 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Michael Guido of Kinetech Cloud to discuss discuss the importance of GovTech and public sector digitization.
Kinetech Cloud is a technology consulting firm that designs and builds custom software and system integration services for businesses. After studying systems engineering in college, Michael went into working in IT consulting and immediately got frustrated with the implementation time of technology in large organizations and had lots of ideas around how he could work to fix the issue. Fast forward a few years, Michael started Kinetech Cloud to help businesses solve this challenge. Through the local CivTechSA program, Kinetech Cloud is working to build custom solutions for San Antonio Department of Human Services, specifically with the Emergency Utility Assistance Program. This program helps people around the poverty line afford basic utilities. Kinetech Cloud is helping digitize the application process as it’s been a cumbersome process in the past with a lot of paperwork to work through. In fact, the city processed over 10,000 paper applications a year. By implementing a digital application, they will help clear confusion, reduce time to get approval, and also lessen the other barriers to entry. Are there any potential risks with switching the process to a digital platform? While Michael did acknowledge the potential threats, he is confident in the security of the software and lack of spam online applications that have come through so far.
Why should growing cities not just San Antonio invest in technology and digitizing processes? It is critical for cities to invest in both physical and virtual infrastructure for prepare for future growth. Michael believes that one of the big reasons the government still prefers manual processes is because it gives people jobs. Michael argues that digitization eliminates repetitive tasks and allows workers to focus on higher value tasks. In terms of other barriers to adoption, technology is becoming more affordable so there is not as much of a budget concern for businesses and public sector organizations. Michael believes that one of the best things a city can do is invest in technology.The as-a-Service economy is now changing the game with cloud computing providers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft selling cloud on a utility basis and also handling the maintenance and agile updates. The burden of maintaining your IT infrastructure no longer exists. Since the Internet is almost considered a necessity today in the U.S., Michael believes that technology can be used to make civic engagement a lot more accessible. A good example in San Antonio is the 311 mobile app allowing citizens to send in pictures of infrastructure issues like potholes that need to be fixed instead of having to call that issue in. This is just a simple example of how cities that utilize technology and mobile innovation can help optimize business processes, increase civic engagement and improve the city in a efficient way.
Listen to the episode replay to learn more about the importance of GovTech, here or watch below.**
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