Baltimore's "tremendous potential as a smarter city"
I just finished browsing the IBM Smarter Cities report on Baltimore (update: which was made possible online by the industriousness of Nick Judd, writing about it for the site techPresident. Nick got a copy of the report and put it online.)
IBM used Baltimore as a guinea pig for an initiative it's undertaking to analyze how well 100 cities are performing when it comes to using and sharing information and data. Then the brains at IBM unleashed a slew of suggestions for how Baltimore can better manage information and data, with a focus on public safety, youth services and general information technology infrastructure.
If anything, the report is a sober analysis of the tough challenges that our city government faces in striving to make complicated information systems better (and simpler?), while at the same time dealing with stark budget constraints.
At 163 pages, the report is a little dense, but it makes for some interesting reading if you're a public policy or government management wonk. Among the findings, the IBM'ers agreed with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake transition report that recommended doing a better job of centralizing the city's information technology functions.
The challenge for political leaders is picking the battlefronts that should be fought to implement these changes, and ranking their priority based on budget realities, I'd say.
It ranked the city at the bottom of a pyramid it used to show how far along it was in terms of development of a strategic I.T. approach. Below is the pyramid:
Here's the full report, via Scribd, if you choose to hack your way through it. It's actually a good way to get a little knowledge of how some parts of our city government works, what it's already doing well, and what it can do better:
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech