Andrea di Maio has hit the nail on the head with a recent post following yet another ‘cloud’ discussion, this time in Brussels, at the Government Leaders Forum.
He states that “One great observation that was raised during one of the sessions was that e-government has achieved little more than automating or, at most, optimizing existing bureaucratic processes. Only very rarely have government organizations and vendors taken an opportunity to deeply change a service, even less challenge its need (eg by proposing a technology-intensive alternative). But now technology is the hands of people, the so-called crowd, which comprises many stakeholders, inside and outside government. They can be agents of change, they can reach out to other people, to unprecedented amounts of information, and re-invent the way they do their job.”
The critique of e-government and the forward trend of technology suppliers, doing what they’ve always done, is spot on and we have to look at new ways of doing things. However, our biggest challenge is the politicians. Doing things the way the citizen wants them is rather contrary to the way many career politic0s see their role, I imagine.
The ‘cloud’ is just a way of delivering ICT, it may be a shift in technology but hardly a paradigm one for citizen participation.