Efforts to streamline, simplify, and rationalize the picture of existing intergovernmental information systems in New York State are very desirable but, as the Prototype demonstrated, they present their own complexities and challenges. Any transition to a more integrated and coordinated way of working adds new demands for planning, management, design, operations, and resource allocation.
The technologies used in the Prototype are all commercially available and well-tested. They were brought together in novel ways in this project by a private sector development team that was itself a working partnership. The most demanding aspects of the entire Prototype effort was the engagement of over 80 state and local government individuals in designing and testing the Prototype. They handled numerous issues with data, management, and policy implications. For example, it was difficult and expensive to bring so many local representatives together often enough to assure both rapid and accurate application development. Some policy issues (such as standards selection) could be avoided in a prototype effort, but in a real development effort would demand up-front decisions and ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Data identification, integration, and cleansing were resource-intensive tasks even in this small environment. They will be much more important and demanding in an effort to build a real system, especially if that system requires data that is more sensitive than the public information used in the prototype applications.
Overall, the New York State-Local Internet Gateway Prototype demonstrated that the technologies for G2G business relationships exist and can be put to use to improve state-local interactions. It also showed the importance of deep and continuous involvement of all types of users representing the range of local conditions around the state. Finally, the prototype effort identified and explored the many kinds of technical, managerial, and policy issues that will be encountered as State and local governments move toward a more unified and interdependent enterprise.
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