The role of governments in shaping global economic policy will expand in coming years. Technology will be an important factor in this evolution by facilitating the creation of new types of public goods while helping to manage them more effectively.
Take the challenges of rising urbanization. About half of the world’s people now live in urban areas, and that share is projected to rise to seventy percent by 2050. Creative public policies that incorporate new technologies could help ease the economic and social strains of population density. “Wired” cities might be one approach. London, Singapore, and Stockholm have used smart assets to manage traffic congestion in their urban cores, and many cities throughout the world are deploying these technologies to improve the reliability and predictability of mass-transit systems. Sensors in buses and trains provide transportation planners with real-time status reports to optimize routing and give riders tools to adjust their commuting plans.
Technology can also improve the delivery and effectiveness of many public services. Law-enforcement agencies are using smart assets—video cameras and data analytics—to create maps that define high-crime zones and direct additional police resources to them. Cloud computing and collaboration technologies can improve educational services, giving young and adult students alike access to low-cost content, online instructors, and communities of fellow learners. Through the Web, governments are improving access to many other services, such as tax filing, vehicle registration, benefits administration, and employment services. Public policy also stands to become more transparent and effective thanks to a number of new open-data initiatives. At the UK Web site FixMyStreet.com, for example, citizens report, view, and discuss local problems, such as graffiti and the illegal dumping, and interact with local officials who provide updates on actions to solve them.
Exploiting technology’s full potential in the public sphere means reimagining the way public goods are created, delivered, and managed. Setting out a bold vision for what a wired, smart community could accomplish is a starting point for setting strategy. Putting that vision in place requires forward-thinking yet prudent leadership that sets milestones, adopts flexible test-and-learn methods, and measures success. Inertia hobbles many public organizations, so leaders must craft incentives tailored to public projects and embrace novel, unfamiliar collaborations among governments, technology providers, other businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and citizens.
Designing Operational Improvement Programs
We help clients understand how advances in clean technologies affect industry structure and competitive dynamics.To support our work with clients, we invest in advancing the state of thinking in clean technologies and developing special-purpose diagnostic tools. We also run a series of benchmarks for technologies such as solar photovoltaic and LED, and develop insights into clean technology learning curves.
Managing strategy and stakeholders includes ensuring continuous alignment of the project with the business strategy and value objectives, detailed analysis of stakeholder positions, vendor management, and proactive risk identification and mitigation.
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We help organizations build competitive advantage through the development of sustainable, world-class project management capabilities.