Connected Society – Bridging the Gap

Around the world, people are increasingly relating to each other and to their jobs, classrooms, banks, shopping, and even parking meters using smartphones, tablets and other devices. We now have “smart” cars, kitchen appliances, furniture, and clothing.

The commercial world is expanding the realm of the possible using Information and Communications Technology. How does government fit into this increasingly connected society?

The 46th ICA conference explored the ways governments around the world are using technology to serve citizens while addressing government's unique responsibility to protect Citizen rights and ensure security.

46th ICA Conference Delegates, Jerusalem 2012 (photo by Rami Haham)

Panel discussions gave delegates insight into:

  • The governance issues faced by governments with the increasingly pervasive use of social media for social, political and business purposes and the challenges.
  • Opportunities presented to Governments by the evolution of a Connected Society powered by ICT.
  • How governments are managing the Big Data phenomenon created by the spike in the growth of both structured and unstructured data; and how they are unlocking new sources of economic value from the vast amount of data now available, through technologies such as analytics and initiatives such as Open Data.
  • Delegates discussed over lunch how to optimize government relationships with IT suppliers e.g. can governments come together to negotiate better prices with big IT companies.

Breakout sessions gave delegates an informal venue to discuss issues relating to Governance Security, Identity Privacy, eID, Cloud Computing, the future of portal/self-service delivery, technology innovations driving service delivery, and value and measurement of e-Government service delivery.

Debate - With mobility becoming so endemic that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is becoming the norm, “ICA debaters” argued the case for and against this “Consumerisation of IT” phenomenon in government work space.

Technology Vignettes featured a showcase of innovative and emerging technologies in national governments, that demonstrated exciting and innovative usage scenarios using leading edge technologies, and emerging solutions in research labs today.

Country Reports - The reports showcased strategic, business, innovative and technological activities within each country.  During the conference,  Round Table discussions fulfilled a major goal of ICA - to promote and facilitate the informal exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences on all aspects of Information Technology. The reports compiled by ICA National Representatives for 2012 are available to members and a round table report is produced annually (ie: 45thconference) and members are notified when it is available.

The ICA Governing Board extends its thanks and appreciation to Israel for succesfully hosting the 46th conference and is planning the 47th conference to be held in Lisbon, Portugal.