San Rafael Senior Management Analyst Rebecca Woodbury shared her thoughts on the importance of startups for the January/February issue of Government Technology, including a mention of ProudCity and the work we’ve done with San Rafael.
Despite the critical work that public servants do for their communities, many lack the tech tools they need to do their jobs. I should know; I’ve worked in local government for almost a decade.
Fortunately governments are starting to get the attention they deserve from technology companies, and startups are emerging that promise to replace our outdated, archaic systems. Despite this, some of my peers either worry about partnering with startups or don’t give them the time of day because they aren’t “tried and true.”
Our experience, however, is that the benefits outweigh the risks. At the city of San Rafael, we didn’t set out to work with startups. We set out to find new tools to help our agency provide timely and important information, be more responsive to community needs, and work in a more data-driven fashion.
By taking a more merit-based, forward-thinking and flexible approach to procurement, we ended up working with several startups. They rose to the top because they have simple and intuitive interfaces, don’t require costly implementation fees or long-term contracts, embody the spirit of continuous improvement, and have their eyes keenly on the future.
Our partnership with ProudCity has proven to be so much more than just a website. We’ve now worked with them to streamline processes using online forms and payments; create tools for localized resident information like trash pickups and real-time traffic conditions; and help City Hall visitors find what they’re looking for.
Full story: Shaping the Future of Digital Services