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The main objective of our projects like the Drummond Report and Cloud analysis, is to focus on the relationship between the technology and the desired outcomes in terms of business transformation.

The Drummond Report is another political exercise focused on the growing public sector deficits, Ontario in this case, and the author makes a number of recommendations for cost-saving measures to bring this situation under control.

Our white paper will set out to explain what role Cloud Computing technologies could play in helping achieving these recommendations, and also how a vibrant Cloud industry in Ontario would contribute to the desired economic benefits too.

Cloud 2.0

One of the headline focus areas for the report is ‘Cloud 2.0‘, the mix of technologies that includes social media, open data and legacy data integrations.

This offers multiple outcomes, an effect of ‘checking multiple tick-boxes at once’, in that it can deliver benefits across multiple program areas simultaneously:

  • Red Tape Reduction
  • Citizen 2.0 engagement
  • Cloud outsourcing

Red Tape Reduction

In terms of real-world examples of where and how this might be applied, consider the City of Hamilton.

The city offers a plethora of many forms for workflows relevant to helping the city grow more innovation, like ‘BizPal‘ as part of a One Stop Shop.

These are aimed to eliminating the Red Tape that stands in the way of new entrepreneurs and their innovation.

Cloud Data Hubs

This highlights the core role of kloudtrack, the originator of the Cloud 2.0 concept.

kloudtrack offer a Cloud-based business process system, a ‘kloudexchange‘, that provides a central hub for connecting different legacy applications via the Cloud as the ‘data hub’.

This platform can automate the types of processes described on the Hamilton site, achieving this red tape reduction.

Key to this approach is their “Start Small and Scale™” solutions approach, which means rolling out projects in small, affordable increments that deliver business value quickly.

For example their case study of Brevard County started with 25 users and 5,000 court records, with initial monthly Cloud fees to the County of less than $1k, and within nine months had been scaled to more than 10 million court records with accessibility to more than 18 million Florida residents, delivering the following ROI benefits:

  • ROI 1 — more than 55% total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) reduction compared to existing/legacy database, storage and workflow platforms
  • ROI 2 — better transparency and audit-trails for workflow
  • ROI 3 — frees-up internal IT resources for more strategic needs

Citizen engagement 2.0

As well as automating the workflow process, moving ‘into the Cloud’ also means better use of social media and as a result better citizen engagement. Online channels like Twitter are now the preferred modes of communication for many people, and they also expect their customer service to be online as well as their forms and e-services.

So legacy processes could be improved, to make them more interactive with citizens too, through through Cloud 2.0 being applied. The forms could be automated and by integrating it into a social community context, better results could be achieved in terms of Open Innovation – Enabling collaborative team efforts via the Internet.

For example the City Owned Property listing could be opened up to ‘crowdsourcing’ to better match available properties to entrepreneurial projects.

Cloud outsourcing

Moving processes online via a Cloud 2.0 system is fundamentally a process of modernization.

This is both in terms of making them accessible via new tools like social media but also in terms of the underlying legacy IT infrastructure, as well as entirely legacy process achieved via paper-based forms.

From data-centres to filing cabinets each of these legacy processes will operate a cost base that could be optimized or entirely cut through this transformation exercise, as these new processes can all run on one single, shared service infrastructure.

Deploying a Cloud Hub once will provide a common, general purpose workflow platform that other agencies can use, indeed even different levels of government. Larger entities like Ontario could act as ‘Government SaaS’ providers to Municipalities for example.

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