Folsom, Calif. – The top-10 most digitally advanced state governments in the nation have been identified in the 2004 Digital States Survey, a comprehensive study by the Center for Digital Government that examines best practices, policies and progress made by state governments in their use of digital technologies to better serve their citizens and streamline operations.
Michigan, long known as an industrial-era powerhouse built on auto and steel manufacturing, has emerged as the leader, capturing first-place in the survey, followed by Washington, Virginia, Indiana, Arizona, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina (tied for 10th).
Digital States is the nation’s original and only sustaining survey of state governments’ use of technology in serving the citizen. The all-new 2004 Digital States Survey provides a benchmark for the next generation of digital service delivery and reflects contemporary citizen expectations and the technologies used to meet them.
In March, the Center invited all state governors and their chief information officers to participate in the revised 2004 Digital States Survey. With over 60 measurements in four broad areas -- service delivery, architecture and infrastructure, collaboration, and leadership – this year’s survey is the first report on the transition of states to digital government since the 2002 elections.
"Information technology is one of the most powerful tools used by state governments to serve their citizens." said Cathilea Robinett, executive director of the Center. "In the hands of some incredibly talented and knowledgeable leaders, states have advanced to an entirely new level of digital government. It is fitting now to acknowledge these digital states and the professionals behind the scenes who are making it all happen."
Michigan captured first-place in the Digital States Survey after years of continuous progress, beginning with an 11th place finish in 2000, ninth in 2001 and second in 2002. "Michigan has changed the citizen and business experience through a broad suite of real-time transactional services, powered by an increasingly shared and robust infrastructure, designed around a coherent statewide architecture, and supported by a collaborative planning process," said Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., chief strategy officer at the Center.
"We’re using information technology to support and enhance the core functions of Michigan government and to position our state as a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. "Information technology is playing a critical role in every aspect of our work. Whether it’s helping us work with local governments and the private sector to improve efficiencies or helping us create jobs through economic development initiatives, information technology is at the heart of Michigan’s state government.
Washington state’s second-place finish reflects continuing leadership and innovation in digital government. It was first recognized in 1997 as the nation’s original digital state – a distinction it maintained for three consecutive years.
"Our participation and consistent high ranking in the Digital States Survey points to the leadership, dedication and hard work of our state agencies to deliver the best possible online service to the citizens of Washington," said Washington Gov. Gary Locke. "We are committed to a future that uses technology to make government more efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly."
Moving up from sixth place in 2002, Virginia earned its way to third place in 2004 through an ambitious effort to be more efficient and effective with scarce taxpayer resources. At the request of Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a huge IT reform effort is under way in the state moving its highly decentralized IT infrastructure, services and resources into a consolidated, centralized program.
"Our efforts have positioned the commonwealth [of Virginia] to not only achieve significant cost savings, but to improve the efficiency of vital services and give taxpayers a better return on their investment," said Gov. Warner.
Sponsored by Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, the 2004 Digital States Survey is one of a series of national studies conducted by the Center that examines best practices and IT innovations in government. City and county governments, along with state legislatures, are also surveyed throughout the year. The Digital States Survey will now be conducted biennially in even-numbered years, providing a longer time horizon in assessing state progress.
The Center will acknowledge and honor the top digital states at an awards ceremony held this month in conjunction with the National Governors Association meeting in Seattle, Wash.
For more information on the 2004 Digital States Survey, contact Rhonda Wilson at 916/932-1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENT
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center’s services, resources and special reports provide public- and private-sector leaders with decision support, research and knowledge to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.