The future of open government in the cloud

From  Only five years ago, a mandate to overhaul the infrastructure of an entire branch of the government would have sent shivers through the CIOs of government agencies. The cost of such a mandate would be significant with new technology investments, maintenance costs, licensing fees, consulting costs, and more. The same mandate would have had proprietary software vendors and sales teams smiling with the potential to make large revenues for their companies. Today, there is a very different technology landscape with the rise of cloud technology offering enterprise class functionality at a fraction of the cost.

In the public sector, no one questions that freedom of information increases accountability, informed public participation and greater collaboration. But what happens if one government agency uses a different format to access information than another, or if a citizen cannot access government information? The result can lead to uninformed decision making by government officials and a lack of participation by citizens. To have the desired effect, freedom of information is contingent on being able to access it in a format that allows everyone to read and collaborate around.


The goal of an open government is to create more transparent and greater collaborative environment between its agencies, departments, officials and citizens. In order to achieve this, the government needs to rethink how it communicates and the tools it uses to do so. By embracing cloud and social technologies, government information can be made more accessible and equip citizens with new methods of participation and interaction.