There’s so much going on in government IT that it’s often difficult to keep track of it all, but a new website announced by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) on Tuesday will attempt to put the best ideas in one place.
The website is called the Digital Transformation Exchange, a new way for ITIF to achieve its mission of facilitating and sharing innovative ideas between states and local governments.
While there are collections of government IT case studies, projects and products scattered around the internet, the website is the first of its kind for several reasons, ITIF Research Analyst Alan McQuinn told StateScoop.
“There’s nothing quite like this in the sense that it’s not about the vendor, it’s completely free, anyone can submit something to it, and we’re trying to create a standardized template for case studies so they’re easy to understand and easy to read,” McQuinn said.
The website is also unique for its heavy government involvement. Eleven founding government members include:
- State of Illinois
- State of Oklahoma
- State of Arizona
- State of Wisconsin
- State of Maryland
- State of Massachusetts
- State of Michigan
- State of Mississippi
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Village of Wilmette, Illinois
- Village of Hinsdale, Illinois
Upon launch, the portal features seven case studies that come from Arizona, Illinois, Montgomery County, and Wisconsin, on topics like cybersecurity controls, data sharing, or how to stand up an electric prescription drug monitoring program.
It was Illinois that got the project started, McQuinn said — about a year ago, Illinois technology officials said they wanted a way to share projects but there was nothing out there that suited their needs, so the state and ITIF partnered with Government Technology and Governing magazines for technical advice on how to launch such a website. They ended up using technology from Oakland, California-based software company ProudCity to build a simple blog-style website.
ITIF says it will curate the content hosted on the website, which McQuinn said they hope to continue upgrading — right now they have plans to add more advanced search functionality and create a way for states to take more control of their content.
“We want to be able to open up our platform to everyone, so we’re trying to break down jargon, we’re trying to make them short and easy to understand, and then if a state or locality is interested in another project that another state or locality did, we’re trying to set up a mechanism by which they can directly talk to each other,” McQuinn said.
Submission is open to any state or local government. ITIF encourages those interested in sharing their work to first contact the nonprofit directly.