2 Enabling Smarter Government with Analytics to Streamline Social Services
For an example of being smarter in action, a near-real-time view of cases gives
workers deeper insight, enabling service flexibility, avoiding regulatory sanctions,
and saving money by reducing fraud and waste (such as payment to individuals
who are no longer eligible for assistance).
Having already met with significant success, they are continuing to enhance their
solution to make their department even more efficient and effective.
How are they doing it? The answer to that is the basis for this book. In this book
we discuss the ongoing implementation of Smarter Social Services. We start by
describing the Alameda County Social Services environment prior to describing
the journey, the issues encountered, and the solutions developed during initial
implementations. Knowing that this is an ongoing and evolutionary direction, we
describe the plans for continuing to enhance the smarter government initiative at
the Alameda County Department of Social Services.
1.1 Achieving smarter government
Building a smarter planet is the IBM point of view on how interconnected
technologies are changing the way that the world literally works. That is, the
systems and processes that enable physical goods to be developed,
manufactured, bought and sold; services to be delivered; everything from people
and money to oil and water and billions of people to work, govern, themselves
and live. It is the convergence of four kinds of infrastructure:
򐂰 The physical
򐂰 The digital
򐂰 The natural
򐂰 The human
Real stimulus will combine these elements in the most productive ways to leave
a lasting impression for good.
Chapter 1. Introduction 3
Citizens around the world are calling for change, and many government leaders
are the ones who are being handed a mandate for change. As government
organizations begin to respond to their constituents, government leaders must
lead through the unknown (Figure 1-1). A 2008 IBM CEO study spoke to
changing expectations and the gap between envisioned change and past
successes in managing through the change, resulting in a change gap of 23%. In
a Smarter world, organizations will need balance the potential of new technology
to meet demands within tight financial constraints.
Figure 1-1 Changing the way the world works
As government leaders look to develop strategies for change, those strategies
must align with global challenges brought on by key drivers identified in a recent
IBM white paper “Government 2020 and the perpetual collaboration mandate”:
򐂰 Changing demographics: Median ages are rising in the developed countries
of Italy, Germany, and Japan, but dropping in developing ones such as India.
򐂰 Rising environmental concerns: Societies and governments are becoming
more attuned to what the earth can provide and what it can tolerate.
򐂰 Growing threats to social stability and order: From terrorism to armed conflict
to pandemics to natural disasters, the character of threats is changing.
CHANGE
NEE DE D
PAST CHANGE
SUCCESS
CHANGE
NEEDED
P AST CH ANGE
SUCCESS
21%
23%
CHANGE
GAP
CHANGE
GAP
8%
15%
77%
17%
27%
56%
27%
16%
55%
9%
12%
78%
2006
2008
No/Limited Change
Moderate Change
Substantial Change
No/Limited Success
Moderate Success
Successful
CHANGE NEEDED
PAST CHANGE Success
The way the world works is changing . . . .
. . . . and leaders must lead through the unknown
Gap between envisioned
change and past success
at managing it.
Public sector leaders
anticipate substantial
change ahead.
8 in 10
23%
Source: 2008 IBM CEO Study
© 2009 IBM C orporation
Building a smarter planet: Government

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