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Report on the use of electronic networks in cities

Is your city an eTropolis?

This report was prepared by The Center for Strategic Technology Research

About this report This report is based on a series of case studies performed in the Spring and Summer of 1999. The research primarily consisted of on-site interviews covering 18 technology initiatives in nine localities. These interviews were complemented by extensive secondary research into initiatives in many other localities. This research was conducted by The Center for Strategic Technology Research. Primary researchers were Mark A. Jones and Tony J. Costa.

Copyright 1999. Andersen Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents
5 Is your city an eTropolis? This section discusses the types of initiatives taking place worldwide. It will help civic and organizational leaders understand how activities that are currently taking place in their city stack up against world standards. 6 8 10 12 The Initiative Classification Framework Standalone Applications Integrated Applications Meta-Applications

15 Key areas for concern Pulling off a successful initiative is difficult. In this section, eight key areas for concern are discussed in light of the case studies. Recommendations for overcoming these challenges are also presented. 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 Overview Fit Comprehensive Approaches Buy-in & Commitment Maintaining Cross-Organizational Applications Actionable Visions Systemic Relationships Technological Change Personality & Culture

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Rarely, there are cities that attempt to rethink how services are delivered to an entire portion of the population.

Is your city an eTropolis?

Cities everywhere are rushing to embrace the potential that computing and communications technologies offer to transform cities into more economically and socially prosperous places to live. Current initiatives vary widely in terms of their ambition and how much they impact city life. For the most part, cities focus on relatively straightforward applications that make it easier to access existing information or automate routine services. In rare instances, however, there are cities that attempt to rethink how services are delivered to an entire portion of the population, or they reengineer interorganizational processes across entire industry sectors to gain new levels of efficiency. These cities are on the road to becoming an "eTropolis", a city that uses technology to fundamentally change how it works.

Initiatives Mapping initiatives into the Initiative Classification Framework will help civic and organizational leaders understand the kinds of activities that are currently taking place in their city. This report will discuss benefits and challenges for each of the three types of initiatives. This report will also help city leaders determine if their city is on the road to true transformational change. Initiatives fall into one of three classifications: 1. Most initiatives are Standalone Applications that can be successfully developed by a single organization. These applications range from simple online information repositories to sophisticated eCommerce applications.

2. Some initiatives bring together multiple organizations to jointly create Integrated Applications based on a shared vision for how technology can help all of the organizations function. By combining the resources of complementary organizations, these initiatives can leverage scale and broader expertise to deliver greater benefit for their locations. 3. And, only rarely, there are cities that attempt to create Meta-Applications. These initiatives rethink how services are delivered to an entire portion of the population or reengineer interorganizational processes across entire industry sectors.

Copyright 1999. Andersen Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Three levels of development In general, there are three levels of initiative development within cities. These levels describe the ambitiousness of initiatives and their intended impact. In a Wired City, most activity centers on Standalone Applications such as online forms and information repositories developed by a city agency. In a Networked City, organizations also form partnerships with other local organizations to jointly create Integrated Applications, such as real-time data sharing applications. In an eTropolis, the most complex level, organizations attempt to develop standards and protocols that govern data sharing, business processes, and electronic transactions across many levels. These MetaApplications can be expansive in their scale and may touch hundreds of organizations within a city or, in some instances, an entire geographic region.

The Initiative Classification Framework

Copyright 1999. Andersen Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Efficient standalone applications will make life more convenient.

Connected organizations will create new channels and efficiencies.

Meta-Applications create new structures that dramatically improve how cities function.

Standalone Applications
Description Standalone Applications are the simplest initiatives and are almost always the product of a single organization. They are best when targeted at defined user populations such as small businesses or senior citizens that have common sets of needs. Standalone Applications usually extend existing products or services or aggregate information from publicly available sources such as government agencies, community organizations or users. - Online access to content - Routine transactions anyplace, anytime

Integrated Applications
Integrated Applications are the result of a joint effort by multiple organizations to implement a shared vision or pursue a common interest in a given market. Often, these initiatives involve data or information sharing among participating organizations. In some instances, new channels are developed to support or deliver products and services.

Meta-Applications
Meta-Applications are the most complex and ambitious initiatives organizations and cities can undertake. Meta-Applications dramatically restructure the ways in which an entire industry, sector or city interacts and delivers products and services. As such, Meta-Applications require the involvement of many organizations throughout the city.

User Benefits

- Integration of products and services from multiple organizations - New channels for gaining access to products and services - Intelligent bundling of products and services - Achieves greater efficiencies of scale, lowering overall costs - Generates new data and information assets through aggregation - Makes better use of information, services, and resources from multiple organizations

- Products and services are organized around user needs and intentions - Comprehensive access to multiple services through one source - Ensures continuity of service across many organizations and locations - Streamlines business-to-business interactions - Enables organizations to focus on their core competencies - Creates competitive advantages for an entire industry, sector or city

Organization Benefits

- Easy to implement and quick to generate a return on investment - Leverages and extends existing products and services - Provides increased exposure to existing and new user populations - Lowers transaction costs through automation

Copyright 1999. Andersen Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Standalone Applications
Standalone Applications are the first step in getting local organizations prepared to participate in more complex initiatives in the future.
At the most basic level are freestanding applications that create or extend service capabilities of a single organization. Sometimes, these applications are managed by one organization, but use data or information from other sources, such as government agencies or the resident population. Their operation and direction however are controlled by the core organization. Every city will have hundreds or thousands of initiatives in this category, and they are the first step in getting local organizations prepared to participate in more complex initiatives in the future. Common characteristics of Standalone Applications include: - Primarily freestanding with a high level of independence from other organizations - When successful, they focus on a well defined user population - Use existing data from government agencies, community organizations or users Benefits The benefits of initiatives in this area are many. User benefits - Added convenience for users. By providing essential services in new ways or adding value to common interactions, these initiatives add a new level of convenience to routine activities. Organizational Benefits - Easy to implement. Because these initiatives are the product of a single organization, they tend to be easy to implement. Often, they can be go from concept to operation relatively quickly and with low cost. Quick wins. While many of the benefits of computing and communications technologies are focused on long-term gains spread over a large audience, initiatives in this area present a panacea of quick wins that can begin to capture benefits in the short-term and grow over time into larger, more ambitious initiatives.

Copyright 1999. Andersen Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

In Helsinki, a sophisticated 3D model of the city has been developed to function as the primary means of accessing geographically based services throughout the city.

Build on existing services. Rather than require an entirely new infrastructure or organizational framework, these initiatives build on and extend existing product and service offerings. This has the benefit of capitalizing on existing investments. Increased exposure. By leveraging the ubiquity of electronic networks, organizations can tap into a larger audience for their services. Lower transaction costs. By leveraging the capabilities of computing and communications technologies, many organizations, businesses and city governments can dramatically lower their transaction costs by launching initiatives in this area. Many eGovernment initiatives focus on cost reduction.

Case Studies: Standalone Applications


Infopime Blacksburg Electronic Village

By aggregating publicly available databases from several government agencies, Infopime provides small businesses within Barcelona with a valuable marketing and research tool that helps them plan and build their business. In addition to statistical data, which can be viewed for all of Barcelona or just a single neighborhood, Infopime provides a business directory of all 170,000 business in Barcelona, discussion forums, import and export opportunities, monographs by industry specialists on current business issues, and more. Although much of this data is available from different government agencies, most small businesses and entrepreneurs lack the resources and technical ability to integrate the different databases and develop the sophisticated data mining tools that Infopime has. By providing this value added service, small businesses have a unique and powerful tool that helps them more intelligently plan and launch new ventures.

The oldest Internet-based community network in the United States, Blacksburg Electronic Village's (BEV) goal is build a virtual complement to the physical community, investigate the factors that comprise a successful community network and create a model that can help other towns and communities to build electronic community networks. To date, BEV has provided residents with an electronic town square where local organizations can post information, establish electronic mailing lists and advertise their services. With 85% of its 36,000 residents using the Internet daily, local organizations such as churches and volunteer groups are fundamentally changing the ways in which they interact with residents.

New York City Access

Helsinki Arena 2000

A consortium partnership between Helsinki Telephone Company (HPY) and the City of Helsinki, Helsinki Arena 2000 is an endeavor to build a three-dimensional VRML model of the entire city. When completed, this virtual city will become a city portal through which residents and visitors will be able to access every cultural, commercial and public service offered in Helsinki. One of the most successful components of the project is a 3D interactive model of the Lasipalatsi, a cultural arts center in the heart of Helsinki.

City Access is an ambitious project in New York City that is giving residents access to essential city services through kiosks located throughout the city. Services offered at kiosks include: job and housing assistance and opportunities; food and public assistance programs; adult and child services; parking rules and regulations; and senior citizen benefits and entitlements. The kiosks also allow residents to find out about and check the status of parking summonses, real estate taxes and building violations. Parking tickets and real estate taxes can also be paid at kiosks using a credit card or debit card.

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Integrated Applications
Integrated applications can leverage scale and broader expertise to deliver greater benefit for their locations than possible by any one organization.
The next level of initiatives involves the development and creation of Integrated Applications. These applications are the result of a combination of compatible capabilities from multiple organizations that have a shared vision or common interest in a given market or domain. By their very nature, Integrated Applications often require participating organizations to alter their internal processes and systems. Successful initiatives overcome tensions caused by inter-organizational efforts through trust-building and structured collaborative processes, which are discussed later in this report. Common characteristics of these initiatives include: - Formal data sharing agreements with other organizations - A strong dependence on and integration of other organizations into products or services - Products or services are based on mutually exclusive organizational capabilities Examples of initiatives in this area are presented below. These initiatives represent some of the types of efforts that focus on developing Integrated Applications that connect multiple organizations. Benefits Benefits in this area build on and extend those that are generated for Standalone Applications. User Benefits - Integration of products and services from multiple organizations. Overall quality of services is increased due to organizations combining complementary expertise to offer richer service offerings. Organizational Benefits - Efficiencies of scale. Organizations participating in shared services such as procurement reap benefits through efficiencies of scale that reduce costs for al partners. A secondary benefit is spreading the overall risk associated with an application through the sharing of resources and access to greater user pull. New data manipulation through aggregation. Businesses will have access to customer data previously unavailable. When data is combined from multiple sources, it becomes more valuable due to new abilities to compare data, cover a larger area, or coordinate organizational activities.

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Barcelona has launched a series of small business development initiatives that aggregate information from many sources into vital resources that individual small businesses couldnt afford on their own.

Case Studies: Integrated Applications


BarcelonaNetActiva Health Forum/Aiken Toronto/Netville

Building off of resources and knowledge gained from BarcelonaActiva, a traditional business incubator that provides space, expertise, and consulting to start-up businesses, BarcelonaNetActiva is the first virtual business incubator in Europe. BarcelonaNetActiva provides start-up businesses many of the essential services online that they would get traditionally. And their approach goes a step towards seamless integration of information from multiple service providers. This enables BarcelonaActiva to serve many more businesses than its physical infrastructure supports. Services offered include: news and statistics; access to online industry experts and consultants; a virtual "Business School" that used CBT to teach best practices, technology fundamentals and management skills; as well as several online business forums, idea exchanges and billboards for posting ads.

The Outcomes Tool Kit, developed by Health Forum, provides community health organizations a systemic way to plan, organize, coordinate, and measure the delivery of health related services within a community. The Tool Kit functions as an Internet-based, shared database that documents the areas of involvement and activities of all community health organizations. By incorporating benchmarking and key quality of life indicators, communities can measure the progress of each organization and assess how well organizations are working to solve a given problem. The Tool Kit also enables the organizations to collaborate with each other and share data with their peers, resulting in even better delivery of health-related services.

Netville is a pseudonym for a wired residential development of about 100 homes located in suburban Toronto. The initiative was sponsored by a consortium of companies that were brought together to provide complementary technology and content expertise. The consortium had a vision of a world where of variety of advanced high-bandwidth services could be delivered to consumers in wired communities. The housing development served as an experimental prototype of a futuristic community hosting advanced services such as fast Internet connectivity, online educational CD-ROMs, a musicon-demand jukebox, point-to-point video within the neighborhood (really a form of video conferencing) and a community healthcare application. The consortium had an interest in understanding the impact of new broadband online services on community residents, with an eye towards identifying lucrative markets for the future.

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Meta-Applications
Meta-Applications dramatically restructure how an entire industry or service sector within a city functions.
Meta-Applications are the most complex and ambitious initiatives organizations and cities can launch. These initiatives seek to dramatically restructure the ways in which an entire industry, sector, or city functions. As such, MetaApplications require the involvement of many businesses and organizations throughout the city. The end result of these initiatives has a profound impact on the way in which processes take place, products and services get delivered and organizations interact with one another. Common characteristics of MetaApplications include: - Involvement by an entire industry or business sector - High levels of integration between participating organizations - Defined standards and processes that govern organization behavior Benefits As with the Integrated Applications, Meta-Applications incorporate all the benefits of the other initiatives as well as add several unique benefits. These benefits are as follows. User Benefits - Products and services are organized around user needs and intentions. Services are organized around entire lifestyle activity sets, so that users are aware of available services as they require them without having to independently identify appropriate resources. Comprehensive access to multiple services at one time. By aggregating several related services, it is possible to create a valuable bundle of offerings. Often, the applications being combined will come from different organizations, but it will appear as one single application. This intelligent bundling of products and services only gives the user the information and services they need from each organization in the services offering. Streamlines interaction. As organizations coordinate how they handle data and user information, residents will be able to use the system as if it

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The san Francisco Bay Area has been at the forefront of rethinking how electronic networks can be used to restructure the ways in which government, businesses and individuals interact with one another.

were operated by a single organization. This simplifies the manner in which users acquire services from organizations. Organizational Benefits - Streamlines business-to-business interactions. By providing standards, architectures and defined processes for interactions, these initiatives enable businesses and organizations to streamline interactions the have with one another. This results in greater speed, lower costs and more integrated products and services. Enables organizations to focus on their core competencies. Having numerous organizations address the needs of a user segment allows organizations to focus on the areas in which they excel. Creates competitive advantages for an entire industry, sector or city. Systemic inefficiencies, particularly that are imposed by government agencies with broad exposure, create a drag on all organizations that interact with them. Re-engineered processes allow all organizations to operate more efficiently, so that they can improve service levels and reduce costs.

Case Studies: Meta-Applications


Smart Valley Smart Permits Next Generation Cities

Smart Permits, a new way to deliver construction permits and manage construction projects, is the result of a four-year collaboration among public and private partners in Silicon Valley. The Smart Valley coalition enlisted the involvement of all of the organizations that could potentially have been affected by changes in the permitting process. There were representatives from architecture, government, engineering and construction, as well as the delivery of public services. Eventually, the group committed to the development of a custom software package that would allow the management of permits across the various parties involved in the construction industry. The result is a process that changes the way the entire industry does business. Early results from the initial test cities (Los Gatos and Sunnyvale, California) have shown significant economic benefit from the application. The time required to issue construction licensing has been cut in half, from 10 to 5 days in Los Gatos. Meanwhile, 95% of permits now get processed in one day in Sunnyvale. Businesses benefit because their work process is simpler and more streamlined, saving time and money. Residents and businesses benefit because their houses and facilities will be completed faster.

Next Generation Cities is a San Franciscobased public-private partnership seeking to develop an Internet-based infrastructure for enabling community-based electronic networks to function. The goal of the initiative is the creation of a Digital Community Network, which consists of a series of electronic services that include a Trusted Public Databank, Intelligent Business Registries and privacy filters for consumers. Together, these services function as a Municipal Operating System that both streamlines and stimulates interaction between governmental agencies, businesses and citizens. If it is successful, this initiative will create a set of data protocols, standards and processes for combining currently incompatible information. Initial applications are planned for the commercial real estate industry as well as services for small business in the South of Market area of San Francisco.

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Initiatives with the talent, resources and determination to succeed often fail due to inattention to a key issue.

Key areas for concern

Creating a successful initiative is very difficult. It requires not only the talent, resources and determination to make it succeed, but also an awareness of and the ability to overcome issues that can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of the initiative. And depending on the level of sophistication of the initiative, these issues, or key areas for concern, will vary. For example, in relatively simple initiatives like electronic bulletin boards or many eCommerce applications, issues like how well the application fits into the user's existing activities or whether or not training is provided will have a big influence on the application's success.

As an initiative's application becomes more complex, perhaps involving the participation of other organizations, new areas of concern arise. In such a case, achieving and maintaining buy-in or ensuring that other organizations stay on board will be important to consider. At yet a higher level of complexity, where initiatives seek to address citywide audiences, new areas of concern arise. These will have to do with understanding the systemic relationships that exist between hundreds of organizations and being able to co-develop visions with them that empower them and direct their efforts in productive ways.

At the same time, all initiatives should also be aware of overarching areas of concern, or influencing factors, such as technological change and differences in personality and culture among users. These underlying forces can undermine even the most promising initiatives unless leaders plan accordingly. In this section, these key areas for concern are addressed. Recommendations for dealing with and overcoming these areas for concern are also presented.

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The Initiative Classification Framework: Key Areas for Concern

Standalone Applications
Key Areas for Concern Fit Current thinking: Access to technology is the biggest barrier to technology adoption. If you give people access to equipment, train them and provide them with applications, they will use them. Finding: Access to technology does not make people want to do things that they were not interested in before. Recommendation: Augmenting and extending existing activities provides an easy entry point for bringing in new users. Comprehensive Approaches Current thinking: Getting an application up and running is the biggest task initiatives face. Finding: Getting an application up and running is only half the battle. Recommendation: Add in to application plan: training, best practices, tieinto other organizations, packaged solutions, ongoing support, etc.

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Integrated Applications
Buy-in & Commitment Current thinking: People think that centralized control is the best way to manage projects that involve the participation of many organizations. Finding: Many participating organizations drop out of initiatives when they are required to commit their resources because they have not fully bought into the initiative's vision. Recommendation: Use leadership to guide, take the time up front to involve key organizations in decision making and use coalitions and neutral third parties to build trust. Maintaining Cross-organizational Applications Current thinking: When aggregating content from multiple organizations, guidelines and protocols need to be established to ensure the desired level of quality and consistency. Finding: The results of many cross-organizational initiatives are diminished by lack of follow through by individual organizations. Recommendation: Establish mechanisms to ensure accountability by participating organizations.

Meta-Applications
Actionable Visions Current thinking: Organizations have good intentions and given the proper funding they will do things that benefit the city. This is especially so when it comes to current efforts to promote technology use in cities. Finding: Without guidance or direction, these organizations will have limited impact on the city. Recommendation: In order to achieve the desired impact, cities need to co-develop a tailored, actionable vision for how technology can improve their city with the participation of the organizations and people that will be responsible for implementing it. Systemic Relationships Current thinking: People look at lots of activity as evidence of progress. Finding: People don't realize that if they applied the same money and people differently, they would achieve even greater progress. Recommendation: Conduct a systemic analysis of your city to identify systemic relationships that can be taken advantage of when planning, developing and running initiatives.

Influencing Factors
Technological Change Current thinking: Using cutting-edge technology in applications is the best way to ensure that they will be useful for the long term. Finding: Technology will continually change. Recommendation: Plan for change, go for quick wins and don't get tied to one technology. Personality & Culture Current thinking: All we need to do is wait for society to catch up with technology in order to create mass applications; it's only a matter of time. Finding: Cultural and personal attitudes run extremely deep, and late adopters are unlikely to ever turn into technology enthusiasts. Recommendation: Assume that late adopters will remain skeptical of technology, and employ communication and training strategies to compensate for engrained attitudes.

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Fit
Without compelling applications that fit with users lifestyles and existing activities, users will not adopt technology.

Summary Current thinking: Access to technology is the biggest barrier to technology adoption. If you give people access to equipment, train them and provide them with applications, they will use them. Finding: Access to technology does not make people want to do things that they were not interested in before the introduction of technology. Recommendation: Augmenting and extending existing activities provides an easy entry point for bringing in new users. Findings Access to technology does not make people want to do things that they were not interested in before. 1. Involvement is not an access issue. A three year pilot in Montgomery County, Virginia, equipped the families of every child in a fifth grade class with a computer, Internet connectivity and training to use computers as well as online educational content. One goal was to make it easier for parents to be involved with their children's education, and to communicate more often with teachers. Results to date indicate that parents who were already involved with their children's education used the technology, while the technology did not make the other parents participate more actively. 2. Free access doesnt benefit non-users. Blacksburg, Virginia also placed public access computers in the local library, hoping to target people who didnt own computers. Surveys of people using the computers indicated that the vast majority of people using the library computers already had a computer at home and were using the computers as a supplement when they went to the library. It turned out that the target audience, people without computers at home, were not regular library users and were not going to start going to the library now that they provided computer access. A similar initiative in Aiken, South Carolina tried to place computers in a laundry center, figuring that the

under-served already go there, but residents did not seem interested in learning about computers while they did laundry. 3. Developers treat the population as homogeneous. This is due to two reasons: First, many developers are rightly concerned about equal access to technology. Secondly, applications are often driven by available content, not by what individual users may want or need. In Sweden, visions of the Information Society reinforce the notion that everyone will be equal participants in an information rich age. In a section of Stockholm, one initiative offered applications for the community with a diverse set of content drawn from local sources, none of which would appeal to very many people. After a spike of initial interest based on curiosity, usage dropped off to almost nothing. Recommendations Often new technology succeeds because it meshes closely with activities that people already care about or must do. Ground applications in the existing use context. Rather than propose entirely new ways of working, successful applications often enhance established processes and activities by making them function more efficiently or effectively. In Manchester, England a technology training and enablement organization found it difficult to communicate the benefits of computerization to many small businesses involved in light manufacturing. It was not until they showed the small businesses a sales catalog and order entry application that they got interested. Seeing the technology used in a way that helped them augment an activity they cared about made the value apparent. This success extends to many applications. By grounding applications in the existing use context, successful applications become tightly integrated into the services and activities that are commonly accessed by users. This enables applications to be easily integrated into a user's lifestyle,

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The Hague, Netherlands, has leveraged nearly universal access to teletext to offer popular services such as electronic registration and tracking of applications for public apartments.

activities or processes with minimal cost and effort. It also ensures that applications are developed in such a way that they are adding value to user activities. Streamline existing processes and activities. This provides an entry point for adoption. Online banking has succeeded because it streamlines a process that people already do. In Sweden, over 35% of Internet users bank online. And many successful online applications make existing tasks more efficient or pleasant. In The Hague, over 50,000 people used an online apartment registration service because it saved them significant time going to government offices. Since most users are not technologically driven, they usually find it unacceptable to change their processes or activities to conform to a new technology. They expect technology to support their activity rather than direct it. Target applications narrowly. When developers target narrower user population segments, it becomes easier to customize content that closely matches users needs, which in turn leads to more use. In Blacksburg, Virginia, a discussion group about education was unsuccessful. The topic was vague, and people did not know how to focus the discussion. But in the same location, a discussion group among social science teachers in the region was very successful, since these people had a clearly identifiable focus, issues that needed to be discussed and a shared context for setting the discussion. The social-science listserv succeeds because it is targeted at a specific audience, and based on the right level of population granularity. An analysis of most user segments usually shows that they are actually composed of several specific user segments, with each having its own set of characteristics that can be supported better by tailored efforts.

Establish feedback loops. Feedback loops should be established to gain the desired level of input from developers and users throughout the development process. This ensures that the applications developed are relevant to user needs. Feedback needs to vary during different phases of the development process: it should be extensive during conceptualization (want as many ideas as possible); limited during implementation (don't want too many chefs); and increased somewhat during operations (to find errors, bugs, usability problems).

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Comprehensive Approaches
Deciding whether or not to use an application is based on more than the virtues of the application alone; users also consider the availability of training and support, they need to understand how it fits into their existing activities and how well it integrates with their existing applications.

Summary Current thinking: Getting an application up and running is the biggest task initiatives face. Finding: Getting an application up and running is only half the battle. Recommendation: Add in to application plan: training, best practices, tie-into other organizations, packaged solutions, ongoing support, etc. Findings Getting an application up and running is often only the beginning of efforts. Application developers are often caught by surprise when they place an application out for public use. While application developers are reticent to take responsibility for things outside the scope of the application, in reality, success may depend upon it. 1. Users need education to understand what the application can do for them. Even the best conceived applications need additional support to make then fly. Barcelona's Infopime is a potentially valuable application for small businesses. However, when the developers held promotional sessions throughout the city to explain the application, they encountered a user population that was mostly uneducated about the Internet and online applications. They found that their target audience needed a basic computer and Internet education before they could understand the value of Infopime. 2. Training needs are often greater than developers expect. The Health Forum Outcomes Toolkit is an application for health agencies to jointly create community health goals and establish common reporting metrics. The developers planned for and held training sessions for all users, but were surprised to find that many users were new to computers. They found it difficult to complete effective training in the allotted time and budget. 3. Ongoing support is key for novice users. Many of the residents of a wired residential community near Toronto were novice computer users when they moved onto the experi-

mental neighborhood. The project coordinators were prepared to assist new users purchase a computer, set up their equipment and provide several training sessions on computer basics and how to use the pilot applications. But the team was unprepared for the high levels of ongoing technical support that the residents required to keep their equipment running properly. And as residents began to use more applications, they continually encountered new problems. The team had to set up a full-time help desk on the fly and was continually burdened by unexpected support costs. Recommendations Incorporate marketing, training and support into initial project budgets and plans. Because the majority of users are not innate believers in technology, developers need to help them understand how applications relate to and improve their daily activities. By focusing on providing applications, infrastructure and training in a single area at one time, many of the barriers to success, such as the lack of support, can be eliminated. Taking a comprehensive approach enables leaders and developers to pull in a critical mass of organizations and residents needed for most applications to succeed. Marketing - Document and promote best practices. Best practices help users see how others are using technology and how it is adding value. It gives them something concrete that they can relate to their situation. In addition, with references of others who have had success with an application, later adopters gain the necessary confidence they need to start using the technology. Promote a few select features. Rather than promote all of an application's features, choose a select few that apply most directly to the users being targeted. This enables them to discern what real benefit is coming from the application. Senior citizens, for example, react favorably to being trained explicitly to send and receive email, rather

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than general computer training, since they can immediately use this skill to communicate with family and friends. Offer packaged solutions. Rather than create an isolated application, developers should offer users a packaged solution that is ready to be integrated into existing activities. To do this fully, however, developers need to take into consideration the full breadth of the solution: what types of applications would be useful for users; what infrastructure needs to be in place for the application to work; what training and support needs do users have; and what type of technologies the users are already using. This places the application into the context of the user's activities and helps them understand how it relates to their situation.

Tie rollout to organizations and people that have existing relationships with users. People are often more comfortable being approached by people that they know and trust. One location used a local network of churches to offer computer based job training. Church members were already in the habit of frequenting the churches, and the churches knew how to present the opportunity to their members.

Training - Provide targeted training. General technology enablement training has little long-term impact on users. To make it more effective, enablement training needs to be done within the context of training for specific applications. This is because it embeds general technology skills into a meaningful activity that has relevance to users. Basic computer literacy training is also most effective when people have a real reason to use computers right away. A compelling application tailored to their needs is just such a motivating force to turn them into technology adopters. Since application and general enablement training are often developed by different organizations, it is essential for these organizations to work together. One organization found that many of their users required basic computer literacy training before they could be trained on their application. This meant not only bundling services but also codeveloping training programs that supported one another. This increases the value of the training organization's service while reducing the cost to the application developer.

Support - Budget support from the beginning. While most school systems treat support in an ad hoc fashion, the Helsinki school system set up a sophisticated support infrastructure that centralized technical support for the entire city school system. Their approach was similar to a corporation. A key strategy was to require that all schools standardize applications and operating systems. Non-compliant schools had to provide their own support. This streamlined how they could handle most routine situations, and the result is improved service and reduced costs.

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Buy-in & Commitment


Maintaining buy-in and commitment from many organizations is best addressed by involving the organizations at every stage of the planning and development process.

Summary Current thinking: People think that centralized control is the best way to manage projects that involve the participation of many organizations. Finding: Many participating organizations drop out of initiatives when they are required to commit their resources because they have not fully bought into the initiative's vision. Recommendation: Use leadership to guide, take the time up front to involve key organizations in decision making and use coalitions and neutral third parties to build trust. Findings Bringing together multiple organizations to develop common solutions is not easy. This process tends to bring out latent mistrust and tension between organizations that is often not apparent at first. 1. Collaboration raises issues. The collaboration required to implement visions often raises issues of trust, turf, control and overlapping boundaries. Shared applications and processes may require organizations to change their internal operations to accommodate new structures. Sometimes the very process of negotiating a new service structure will lead organizations that did not view each other as competitors to begin doing so. Complex healthcare coalitions routinely encounter this problem. And the difficulties don't stop once a project has been set up; many applications require that ongoing data management and ownership be distributed across several organizations. 2. Existing circumstances can make things even harder. Long histories of mistrust or bad feelings exist in many locations, especially between organizations that have overlapping service areas. Many localities have a few power players that do not want to work with each other, or believe that they do not need to work with other organizations to succeed. In one location, the cable franchise felt that they had an edge over the telephone company in delivering advanced access services, and would not discuss any form of cooperative agreement for area-wide coverage. Such

people and organizations have their own agendas and do not want to commit to a process that may reduce their powerful position, even when collaboration will benefit them in the long run. 3. People fear committing to a process they don't understand. This is particularly true when unfamiliar technologies are involved or when data is being entered into a "black box." Healthcare applications have been particularly difficult to get off the ground because of client concerns over privacy and security. Organizations are understandably afraid to release patient data out into the world. To compensate, cities like Vienna that have created a closed system with a limited number of partners have gained participation. When all of the organizations and people having access to the data, and reasons and methods of control are clearly defined, organizations are more willing to participate. On the other hand, open systems are very hard to pull off. 4. Organizations lose enthusiasm for a project without a clear value proposition. A consortium in Toronto with dozens of members slowly fell apart over time as more and more members realized that the project would not reap them the benefits they had hoped for. Early participation in an initiative does not equal commitment. Often an organization will appear to be agreeing to the progress of an initiative, waiting to see if things develop in desirable ways. At some point they determine that there is not enough value in the initiative to warrant the commitment of resources to continue participation, and they drop out. 5. Organizations are unwilling to buy-in to a process or agreement that they were not a part of during its creation. The leaders of the wired community project near Toronto wanted to get the local government and businesses interested in developing content for the new community. But they waited until the project was nearly up and running before they enlisted their participation. By that

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Stockholm has developed one of the most comprehensive fiber optic networks in the world, and competition among Internet providers has kept access costs among the lowest in Europe.

time there was little time and the local leaders felt that the scale of the project was too small for them to participate. Earlier contact would have given the local leaders a chance to provide input that could have made made a better fit possible. Recommendations To ensure that organizations remain committed to initiatives, leaders need to establish processes and entities that are inclusive of organizations throughout the planning and development stages. Further, it requires leadership to play a facilitative role rather than a driving role. Establish neutral third parties or form coalitions to bring organizations together and achieve compromise solutions that all organizations can accept. Initiatives do not implement themselves; they are put in place by people and organizations. Getting buy-in is fundamentally a bottomup process that requires the active participation of all organizations, and coalitions can give structure to that process. Coalitions can provide a neutral forum that helps overcome turf and boundary issues, enable shared ownership, establish a common ground for making decisions and define roles and structures to manage projects without control and power issues. The Smart Valley initiative in California received input from over 1000 people by using a coalition. Every city can have many coalitions, each focused on improving services for a particular user segment or rethinking business-to-business workflows. Smart cities will use coalitions at each stage of the development process: creating visions, planning, building new structures and managing projects. Accordingly, the composition of coalitions should change over time depending on the projects stage. A coalition might be quite large during the initial visioning stage, and then contract to the core leaders during an operational phase. Use leadership to guide, not dictate. Leadership is clearly

critical to the success of cross-organizational initiatives. Strong leadership does make a difference. The successful health coalition in Aiken, South Carolina is due in part to the thoughtful leadership by a small, but forward-thinking, non-profit organization that helped others understand the advantages of systems thinking. Leaders serve as champions to help get other people enthused, and their power can help drive initiatives to completion or overcome obstacles. But leaders cannot and shouldnt try to control how an initiative develops. They should simply help direct its course and keep the right people engaged. Leaders that take on this role of being a facilitator of change need be especially sensitive to people issues. Leaders can be a critical part of the trust-building process and should employ a wide variety of techniques to keep developers and users at the table. They can use incentives to get people involved, bring in or create a neutral third party as needed, use tools that get diverse people working together around common interests, and allow others to take ownership, among other things.

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Maintaining Cross-organizational Applications


Initiatives that involve the participation of many organizations can generate great benefits, but organizations often do not commit the resources needed to support the process.

Summary Current thinking: When aggregating content from multiple organizations, getting organizations to contribute data and setting up a database are the most critical tasks. Finding: The results of many cross-organizational initiatives are diminished by lack of follow through by individual organizations. Recommendation: Establish mechanisms to ensure accountability and consistency by participating organizations. Findings Despite the many benefits of aggregating and sharing data across multiple organizations, many organizations are not willing to commit the resources and make the changes required for the initiative to fulfill expectations. 1. Initiatives require sustained, long-term commitments from participants. In Singapore, the National Computer Board established the Singapore ONE web site as part of its IT2000 Master Plan. With the goal of transforming Singapore into an information island, the National Computer Board enlisted the help of many organizations to provide content and services. To help maintain cohesion between these various services, common graphic standards were provided to these organizations. Over time, however, these organizations drifted away from the common lookand-feel and began to submit content based on individual preferences. For the organizations involved, the standards did not provide them with a long-term solution that they could live with. 2. Initiatives affect the internal operations of participants. In Aiken, South Carolina, an informal group was formed by local health organizations to address the issue of teen pregnancy. Realizing that they were all involved in one way or another with the issue, the organizations agreed that sharing data would be a good first step. But the metrics they used to collect their data were incompatible with

one another. In order to get the organizations to collect a compatible set of metrics, several organizations needed to alter how they tracked progress. 3. Protocols for maintaining and managing the data are unclear or ad hoc. Most community web sites set up a database but do not account for how the data will be updated. Participating organizations often update their content irregularly, if at all. Unfortunately, a little poor content brings down the overall impression of the site, and end users often have little tolerance for poor quality. Recommendations Many of the problems of initiatives that aggregate or share data across many organizations is the informal approach they take with participating organizations. Initiatives and organizations need to approach these situations with the same vigor and thoroughness that they give business-to-business relationships. Clarify the value proposition for all members. When it comes to the final analysis, sometimes a potential partner may not have enough of a reason to participate in a system that requires ongoing maintenance and attention. But if there is real value for all partners, then they will commit resources. An emergency response system in Winston Salem, North Carolina gained support from all emergency service providers in the region because centralizing data allowed everyone to deliver superior, faster services. Identify the impact on participating organizations. Organizations that are not prepared for participation in a shared data environment will often fall short in execution. One community web site in Chicago found that clearly outlining organizational responsibilities made things easier. All participating organizations were required to attend training, assign a specific person responsibility for submis-

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sion and updates, and agree to a schedule of updates. This helped alert the organizations to their expected commitment up front, minimizing the fallout later on. Get resource commitments early in the process. Consistent progress is more likely when particular individuals, rather than organizations as a whole, are responsible for following through with a commitment. People will not make time for tasks unless they have final responsibility. Plan ahead. Give organizations enough time to ensure that participating organizations are prepared to deliver quality content. One city government knew that that all of its city agencies would in the near future need to contribute data to a regional Geographic Information System. They also knew that this would entail process changes in most agencies to comply with new standards. To prepare, all agencies were asked to begin updating their processes to comply with future standards two years before any technological system was in place. This enabled them to make a smooth transition to the new system when it came online.

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Actionable Visions
Cities that develop local visions that are embraced and championed by local organizations will be able to direct organizational effort in more effective ways.

Summary Current thinking: Organizations have good intentions and given the proper funding they will do things that benefit the city. This is especially so when it comes to current efforts to promote technology use in cities. Finding: Without guidance or direction, these organizations will have limited impact on the city. Recommendation: In order to achieve the desired impact, cities need to co-develop a tailored, actionable vision for how technology can improve their city with the participation of the organizations and people that will be responsible for implementing it. Details City leaders fundamentally believe that local organizations have good intentions and given the proper funding they will do things that benefit the city. This is especially so when it comes to current movements towards technology adoption in cities. In Europe, Asia and the Americas, governments at all levels are active in advocating and funding initiatives focused on introducing computing and communications technology into all aspects of society. These projects have ranged from wiring schools in the United States to installing extensive high-bandwidth networks in Singapore to launching dozens of smaller initiatives focusing on culture, small business and government throughout Europe. Unfortunately, most of these projects have met with mixed success. This is primarily due to three reasons: 1. Initiatives use funding to support work they are already doing. At one small business assistance initiative that is entirely dependent on local government funding, the initiative leader indicated that if a new political party were to be elected in the upcoming election, they would only remessage their project's activities to fit the agenda of the new party. Despite the change in agenda, the initiative would make few, if any, substantive changes to tie into the new local agenda.

2. Initiatives are opportunistic. At a United Kingdom location, a non-profit organization partnered with a university to apply for a several million-dollar grant. Two years after receiving the grant, little benefit had been realized from the partnership. As it turned out, the partnership was formed solely for the purposes of securing the grant (partnering was a requirement) and the services offered by the non-profit went largely unused by organizations. 3. Initiative visions are unactionable. A multi-million dollar trial that wired an entire residential community of one hundred homes near Toronto established a grand vision for on-demand services and high-speed links to healthcare and educational resources. This vision was created by a core group of initiative leaders, and it garnered great excitement by residents and potential partners who were needed to implement the vision. When it came time for these partners to do actual development work, they dropped out of the consortium. As it turned out, most partners, as well as local educational and healthcare organizations, were unwilling to dedicate their limited resources to a risky initiative that they had little input in shaping and were not fully committed to. Recommendations Without guidance or direction at the local level, organizations and initiatives are having limited impact on their city. In order to achieve the expected level of impact, cities need to codevelop clear and actionable visions that direct the efforts of people, organizations and initiatives towards activities that are aligned with local interests. This is best done through inclusive processes that elicit the input and participation of all the essential people and organizations involved in carrying out the vision. Create compelling, actionable visions for the city. A compelling vision of how technology can be used in your city has the power to generate excitement and galvanize government, businesses, organizations and residents. People

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Antwerps Telepolis, a public/private partnership corporation, developed a highspeed network throughout the region that is helping to foster new business growth as well as provide residents better access to government services and free email.

want to be a part of a compelling future, and a vision that specifically addresses how technology will benefit your city provides the focus and direction to make that future a reality. These visions however also need to be actionable. It is not enough to say that you are going to transform secondary education with computers and Internet connectivity. Visions need to go further, identifying tangible initiatives such as creating an educational resource network that allows secondary education to access underused University science equipment or creating an online education program with content from museums, zoos and cultural institutions. Moreover, don't assume that there is only one monolithic vision for your city. Cities can and should have many complimentary visions that address every aspect of daily life. Reach broadly to develop visions and implement initiatives. Creating a citywide vision is fundamentally a bottom-up process that requires the participation of government, businesses, organizations and residents and the formation of coalitions to structure to the process. Coalitions of this type have been successfully used in locations such as Aiken, South Carolina and at the Next Generation Cities initiative. Smart cities will use these inclusive coalitions at every stage of the visioning process from developing the vision to the launching individual initiatives, changing the composition of the coalition depending on the stage. A coalition might be very large during the initial visioning stage, including input from hundreds of people, and then sub-divide into several smaller coalitions to tackle finergrained issues within a specific service sector. Modify visions over time so they adapt and respond to change. In order for visions to retain their relevance and applicability to your city, they need to be continually revised to reflect changes that are taking place. Visions

that don't change over time run the risk of becoming irrelevant to organizations. This will erode support for the vision and cause organizations to direct their efforts elsewhere.

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Systemic Relationships
By viewing their city as one large system of inter-related parts and accounting for it in their plans, cities can more effectively make use of their limited local resources.

Summary Current thinking: People look at lots of activity as evidence of progress. Finding: People don't realize that if they applied the same money and people differently, they would achieve even greater progress. Recommendation: Conduct a systemic analysis of your city to identify systemic relationships that can be taken advantage of when planning, developing and running initiatives Details Maximizing the potential of initiatives in a city requires a holistic approach. Currently, there is a great deal of activity in many cities, but the natural synergies that exist between initiatives are not being exploited. This is resulting in initiatives that duplicate efforts, solve only part of a problem or operate in isolation of each other. 1. Initiatives duplicate efforts. Since funding often comes from many agencies and organizations, it is common for initiatives in the same location to duplicate efforts. At one site, an organization was given a grant to conduct a technology assessment survey of residents. Soon after the grant was awarded, another organization in the city announced the findings of a similar survey they conducted. Despite the fact that the two surveys were nearly identical, the second survey was conducted to comply with the funding guidelines that called for slightly different metrics than the other survey used. The results of the two surveys were predictably similar. 2. Initiatives solve only a part of the problem. Too often, user enablement is happening without meaningful applications, and applications are being built without enablement. Many initiatives provide training and equipment without considering exactly what end users are going to do with it. In rare instances, this is being inadvertently imposed on initiatives by the funding organizations. In Manchester, England, limitations placed on funding prevented officials from offering training in certain areas that were in high

need of their services. In most instances however, partial solutions are the result of an "if you build it, they will come" mentality. 3. Initiatives are isolated. Many related initiatives in a single locality are operating in isolation of one another. In several locations visited, most government agencies have initiatives underway to organize statistical data, building and road information, as well as resident data based on geography. Unfortunately, in most instances, each agency was defining its own standards and was unaware of similar initiatives underway in other agencies. This is primarily because of a lack of understanding of the complex interrelationships that exist between the organizations operating within a city. Recommendations Without a clear picture of how initiatives relate to one another, initiatives are not able to leverage the capabilities and benefits being generated by other initiatives. This results in inefficient and non-reinforcing efforts that, in most instances, limit the impact of each initiative. Only by understanding who and what is in your city can initiatives take full advantage of local resources. Tool up. Cities are highly complex and inter-related entities. Fortunately, tools exist that can help cut through the complexity and develop a clearer understanding of how all the pieces fit together. For example, system maps and process diagrams can illustrate what organizations exist in a given area, which should be involved in an initiative and what types of interactions they will have. At a healthcare initiative in the United States, a comprehensive systems diagram was developed to help initiative leaders understand how different organizations in their community were addressing the issue of teen pregnancy. This diagram helped them identify the complex interrelationships between different initiatives, the gaps that were being filled by unconventional (and unexpected) health organizations,

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overlapping areas of interest and potential areas for collaboration. Look past traditional sector boundaries. Include all parties that could potentially be affected by an outcome in the planning. This means looking beyond traditional sector definitions. At the Smart Permits initiative in California, a wide variety of organizations were involved in what appeared to be a simple online permitting initiative. This initiative eventually included government agencies, architects, construction contractors, civil engineers, real estate developers and landowners. The result was a system that radically transformed the permitting process and benefited a much greater number of organizations than originally intended. Attack foundation areas first. Since many resident-facing applications depend on business and government computer systems, it is important that initiatives be targeted in these areas first. This not only ensures that the essential building blocks for other applications are in place, but it also gives businesses and government the time they need to understand the full capabilities and potential the technology has to offer. Focus on areas and user segments with the greatest pull. Areas and user segments that have the potential to pull in related areas and users should be considered a high priority. For example, focusing on the publishing industry in some locations can pull in related industries such as the creative arts or printing. These areas and user segments can be found by identifying existing networks in a locality and targeting key players in the networks. These networks typically revolve around social groups such as ethnic communities, key players in an industry such as a hospital and major governmental agencies or non-profit organizations that touch many other organizations.

Focus on high frequency of use areas. Applications that deal with areas that are accessed frequently by many users have a high potential for success. Targeting these areas will benefit a large number of users, and with a high frequency of use the benefit will be multiplied many times over with successive use. Targeting low-use areas might result in a successful application, but its benefit on the locality will be substantially lower. Focus on high-impact user segments. Within any locality, the majority of local products and services will be used and consumed by a relatively small percentage of residents. For example, senior citizens typically access many local products and services such as healthcare organizations, public transportation, cultural centers, recreation facilities and volunteer organizations. A college student, on the other hand, will usually access significantly fewer local products and services. Creating applications that address the needs of high-impact users will greatly benefit those who are most dependent on local products and services. Establish standardized metrics. A clearly defined set of standard metrics can help ensure that initiatives are measuring and tracking data in ways that allow cross-comparisons and information sharing happen. All organizations within a given sector should be encouraged to begin the process of standardization well before any technical integration occurs. In the City of Aiken, South Carolina, all city agencies agreed to a set of standards for geographic information before the computer systems were in place to integrate it. This has enabled them to make significant progress while their technology infrastructure is planned and developed. Even relatively simple efforts, such as standardizing the segmentation of the user population into age classifications, can lead to significant benefits for measuring and comparing progress.

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Technological Change
Cutting-edge technologies can be a powerful attractor for users, but application developers that take a more pragmatic view of technology will achieve better results over the long-term.

Summary Current thinking: Using cutting-edge technology in applications is the best way to ensure that they will be useful for the long term. Finding: Technology will continually change. Recommendation: Plan for change, go for quick wins and don't get tied to one technology. Findings Application developers often want to employ cutting-edge technology in situations where more mature technologies may be more appropriate. 1. Mixing cutting edge technology with unformed content is extremely difficult. An experiment to put museum content online was held back by the difference between the fast changing multimedia world and the methodical pace of museum content creation. As was their custom, the museum personnel were extremely diligent in deciding how to present their material. Meanwhile, the multimedia partner was repeatedly moving onto the most advanced interface technologies, resulting in a constant rework of very small amounts of content. 2. Technology often moves faster than initiatives can. The consortium that backed the broadband residential initiative Netville near Toronto wanted to install the most advanced high-speed network possible. But the technology was so unstable and the area was moving so quickly, that one developer commented that the network was outdated and unsustainably expensive the minute it went into the ground. The pilot ran into problems with its applications as well. One of the features they developed was a custom music on demand service. Soon after the pilot was released, streamed music and MPEG hit the Internet, making the pilot application obsolete.

3. Leading edge technologies are often ahead of the technological preparedness of the target population. This sometimes leaves the application underutilized. Potentially useful Internet applications in Barcelona are being underused due to the very low penetration of internet users in that city (9%). Recommendations Application developers need to acknowledge that communication and computing technologies are not yet mature enough to be stable for a long period. Therefore, they should consider how important it is to employ cutting edge technologies. In addition, they should anticipate the impact of new standards as they emerge. Plan for change. HPY, a Finnish telephone company, has a pilot that is designed to accommodate technological change. They have been experimenting with the creation of a three dimensional model of Helsinki as a navigation methods for local services and social spaces. They recognized that delivery platforms were not mature, and were likely to change significantly in the near future. To compensate for this, they created data models for the city that were platform and technology independent, so that whether VRML, or any other viewing platform wins out, they will not need to reconstruct the data models; they merely need to establish new access links. Don't roll out the technology prematurely. The city of Aiken is planning to create a multi-faceted Geographic Information System (GIS) incorporating data from numerous agencies. Recognizing that many of the agencies will need to adjust their internal processes to participate in such a system, they began process changes two years before they plan to actually invest in the technology, allowing the technology to mature. This allows them to

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Over 85% of the 36,000 residents of Blacksburg, V are able to access The A Blacksburg Electronic Village from home. Recent research findings highlight how local organizations such as churches and volunteer organizations are fundamentally changing the ways in which they interact with residents as a result of the long-term use of the community network.

make progress towards their goal without waiting for the technology to be in place. Go for quick wins. Barcelona's Infopime incorporates a GIS database with demographic and business data from many city agencies. When they began, they sought to use already existing data so that they could get the system up and running immediately. They will add and refine features over time as more users have access to the system and they understand better what is valuable. This is allowing their users to get value out of the system now while they improve it further. Sometimes low-tech is best. Sometimes the power of an application lies in the data and the capabilities provided by that data, not in the technology. The successful housing registration application in the Hague was delivered on teletext, a text-based TV protocol in Europe, not a highend web site. They wanted to ensure that all residents could access the application, and chose an older, but more universally accessible medium to deliver the application. Similarly, the Next Generation Cities project in San Francisco is limiting its applications to those that will perform well on least common denominator Internet access speeds, which is a dial up modem.

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Personality & Culture


Visions of widespread technology adoption are compelling but the reality is that some people may never become enthusiastic about trying new technologies.

PSummary Current thinking: All we need to do is wait for society to catch up with technology in order to create mass applications; it's only a matter of time. Finding: Cultural and personal attitudes run extremely deep, and late adopters are unlikely to turn into technology enthusiasts. Recommendation: Assume that late adopters will remain skeptical of technology, and employ communication and training strategies to compensate for engrained attitudes. Findings Leaders believe that everyone in a community will adopt new technologies that offer value to them. In addition, developers depend on having a critical mass of users adopt their applications. And developers are finding that some users do eagerly adopt new technologies, but others take months or years to adopt them, if they do so at all. Cultural and personal attitudes run extremely deep and late adopters are unlikely to turn into technology enthusiasts. 1. Many people are slow to see the value in new technology. In one location, University teachers did not want to allow students to use email on campus computers. They were afraid that the students would use their limited computing resources for non-school activities. They did not understand how students rely on email to communicate among themselves, and they were reticent to view these activities as proper use of University resources. 2. Hands-on personality types are not attracted to technology. In Aiken, South Carolina, a healthcare coalition was attempting to adopt software to collectively track health statistics. Many of the participants were hands-on practitioners and didnt relate to technology well. Many were not even email users, much less comfortable with groupware. Repeated prodding and even peer pressure tactics were required to finally get them online. Some members eventually dropped out to focus on more hands-on work.

Recommendations Since late adopters are likely to remain skeptical of technology, employ research, communication and training strategies to understand and compensate for engrained attitudes. Recognize each user type. Since each user type has different motivations, the development and promotion of applications need to account for these differences. Initiatives should develop profiles for each user type. In developing these profiles, it is important to identify: specific characteristics of each user type; who users look to for technology guidance; and what factors they consider before adopting technologies. Tools for gathering this information include attitudinal surveys, interviews of users and nonusers, and direct observation of users in their place of work. This helps initiatives understand how best to tailor applications to users. Use early adopters to inform your long-term strategies. ]Early adopters can be a powerful tool for understanding how later adopters will use a technology. Educators in several locations were aware of the value of letting early adopters lead the way. Because early adopters are the first to use the technology, they can be a source of insight into how it can be improved and tailored to the needs of the majority and provide success stories and best practices. By incorporating the information learned from early adopters into the approaches taken with the majority, developers can increase adoption rates significantly. Help users see and understand the value of new technologies. Document and promote best practices. Best practices help users see how others are using technology and how it is adding value. It gives them something concrete that they can relate to their situation. In addition, with references of others who have had success with an application, the majority gains the necessary confidence they need to adopt the technology.

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The Technology Adoption Life Cycle Framework


In addition, rather than promote all of an application's features, choose a select few that apply most directly to the users being targeted. This enables them to discern what real benefit is coming from the application. Employ trusted parties to get people involved. People engage in behavior with people and organizations they know and trust before they turn to unfamiliar organizations. At one location, local churches and cultural groups were brought in to host computer literacy training to great success.
A framework developed by Geoffrey Moore called the Technology Adoption Life Cycle Framework identifies five types of technology users. According to Moore, every population of technology users can be broken down into five types. These user types are not distributed evenly throughout the user population. The vast majority fall into the Early and Late Majorities and are static. This means that all people fit into one type and they do not change types over time. For more information on the Technology Adoption Lifecycle, refer to Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Morre..

Innovators are always the first to adopt new technology. Often, the technologies are just out of the lab or still under development. Innovators are easy to spot. They usually have electronic devices attached to their hip and talk in a techno-speak that only they understand. Early Adopters can see the benefits and potential of a technology before it is proven in the marketplace. Like Innovators, they understand the potential that technology holds and are willing to put up with the bugs and glitches that often accompany new technologies. The Early Majority user is willing to adopt technologies, but wants proof that it works before he or she commits. These users are fundamentally pragmatic. Proof typically comes to them through examples of how the technology is benefiting others. The Late Majority is cautious of new technologies and waits for a dominant standard to emerge. This group wants to be assured that solutions work as promised, that adequate technical support exists and that they are adopting the industry standard. Laggards do not see the need for technology and are often forced into adopting it. They are always the last group to adopt any technology even if waiting causes great inconvenience for them. Some Laggards are vocal critics of technology and actively work against attempts to introduce new technologies.

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