Research Project

Cutting the Wires: Mobile IT and the transformation of local services and governance

We could be forgiven for thinking that eGovernment does not transform councils. Despite huge investment, impact has been limited. mGovernment can be different.

Services are developing in ways that reflect people’s lifestyles, liberate the workforce, and extend the council’s frontline. Cutting the Wires draws on a wide evidence-base to discuss possibilities and challenges for local government.

As lifestyles change, nearly all of us are carrying mobile devices, and these allow us to interact in different ways. Why shouldn’t this apply to local public services as much as it does to commercial ones? Following the lead taken by early public adopters, we are seeing the mobilisation of the workforce. This opens the door to new ways of working, where staff are freed to be judged on outcomes, not input.

After a decade of being told that “it’s not about the technology,” Cutting the Wires suggests that, now, it just might be. Mobile IT is changing how we live and local government can either embrace and lead this change, or stick its head in the sand and accept the consequences. By then, it might be too late.

Cutting the Wires – foreword, intro and Ch1 (PDF)