Steve Towns is the former editor of Government Technology, and former executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government TechnologyPublic CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market. Steve now serves as the Deputy Chief Content Officer for e.Republic.

Steve Towns
September 25, 2015

The Cloud Gets More Popular and Complex

With agency customers asking both for more and more complex cloud services, the Georgia Technology Authority is developing an enterprise approach to cloud.
September 17, 2015

Data Center Sharing Grows in Ohio

Ohio’s largest county is latest to move servers to state data center.
July 28, 2015

How Analytics Helps Minneapolis Make Smarter Daily Decisions

Data sharing and analysis platform gives employees access to data from across the city, along with new tools to crunch it.
July 6, 2015

CIOs Rethink the IT Department

IT chiefs react to looming retirements and tech changes.
April 1, 2014

Most Schools Don’t Teach Computer Science

Failure to teach students even basic theory behind how computer technology works has several implications -- none of them positive. That’s the motivation behind a new push to boost computer learning in public schools.
March 1, 2014

A Little Neighborly Competition Can Help Reduce Water Usage

Allowing drought-plagued Californians to see how much water their neighbors use inspired customers to consume 5 percent less.
February 1, 2014

Government Needs to Rethink How They Attract IT Talent

Most agencies can’t match private-sector pay, and governments can no longer depend on superior benefits packages as a recruiting tool.
January 1, 2014

Government Technology Trends to Watch in 2014

The top 3 tech policy trends that will demand attention from state and local leaders this year.
November 1, 2013

The Real Root of Obamacare’s IT Problems

All of the legal and legislative challenges to Obamacare leading up to the opening of the health insurance marketplaces would have wreaked havoc on any IT project.
October 1, 2013

Boston's New App Rewards Citizens for Reporting Problems

For cities searching for ways to use mobile technology effectively, Boston's latest app offers a case study on how to do it right. It’s transforming the citizen/government relationship.
September 1, 2013

What CIOs Need to Achieve Their Top 3 Priorities

CIOs won’t get anywhere without close cooperation with political leaders and agency managers.
August 1, 2013

When IT Projects Fail, Technology Often Isn’t to Blame

From the moment an IT project is launched, there’s political pressure from agencies to back off business changes that would deliver results.
June 28, 2013

Speeding Up IT Procurement

One of the surest ways to crush innovation is to run it through the typical government procurement process. Government purchasers have to act faster.
May 31, 2013

‘Textgate’ Scandal Shows Need for Texting Policies

Mobile technology is creating new ways for officials to violate public records laws. Orange County, Fla., learned that the hard way.
April 30, 2013

How New Jersey Weathered Superstorm Sandy

Thanks to a little bit of luck and a lot of preparation, the state’s important computer systems and network withstood the storm.
March 29, 2013

The Age of the Tech-Savvy Legislator

An influx of young lawmakers could lead to better technology investments.
February 28, 2013

Online Registration Helped Increase California’s Youth Vote

If there was any doubt about citizen desire to register online, California’s one-month experience with it running up to the November general election erased it.
January 31, 2013

Government Technology Ideas Worth Importing

These best e-government practices aren't from this side of the pond.
December 28, 2012

How Acting Like a Tech Entrepreneur Can Improve Government Services

Letting the public test unfinished products saves agencies money and time.
November 30, 2012

Innovation In-Demand as Economy Makes a Comeback

After years of belt-tightening, CIOs are being petitioned to innovate.
October 31, 2012

Smarter Traffic Signals Could Make Commuting Easier

Washington, D.C., one of the most congested cities in the country, is testing technology that could ease traffic gridlock.
September 28, 2012

What Makes the Best Government Website?

The ‘Best of the Web’ winners showcase must-have features for effective public-sector sites.
August 31, 2012

Cyber Security Act’s Failure Leaves Infrastructure Vulnerable

Some worry terrorists could shut down the economy with the click of a mouse.
July 31, 2012

IT Lessons from Roseville’s “Footloose” Moment

A rapidly spreading rumor about the California city last year offers a cautionary tale for public officials who think social media has little to do with the business of governing.
June 5, 2012

Lessons from Utah's Massive Data Breach

Utah's former CIO Steve Fletcher says cybersecurity is everyone's job.
May 31, 2012

Michigan Shows What Can Be Achieved if CIOs and Budget Directors Get Along

In too many instances, they aren’t on the same page -- or even speaking the same language.
April 30, 2012

Cities Share Data, Software Applications

An informal group of seven city CIOs is launching its first project: a website that will house standardized data from each city.
March 30, 2012

Colorado Government Takes a Play from ‘Moneyball’

The hit movie details how the Oakland Athletics baseball team analyzed patterns and huge sets of data to improve their record. Colorado is doing the same to improve public policy.
February 29, 2012

Technology Is Not a Cure-All Solution to Education’s Problems

Giving every student a laptop won’t close the achievement gap. Careful policymaking to make sure the tools are used to improve learning might.
January 31, 2012

Cities Give Google Cloud-Based Email Mixed Reviews

Some cities have switched to the cloud with ease, but Los Angeles, for example, had to abandon it for law enforcement because of outdated security policies.
January 1, 2012

Cities Extract Energy from Everyday Activities

Roanoke, Va., and other cities are experimenting with new technologies that capture energy from footsteps, cars and more.
November 30, 2011

Farm of the Future: Aquaponics?

Milwaukee hopes to pioneer new tech advances in farming that would create jobs and eliminate food deserts in depressed neighborhoods.
October 31, 2011

Governments Testing Use of Personal Devices for Work

New technologies are making it safer for government employees to access sensitive data on their personal computers and smartphones.
September 30, 2011

Attacking the Connectivity Gap

A new initiative in the nation’s capital is looking to close a stark digital divide.
August 31, 2011

Overcoming the Fear of Facebook

Governments must interact using both traditional websites and social media.
July 29, 2011

State CIOs Fear the Future as Their Federal Counterpart Resigns

Vivek Kundra brought state IT leaders into policy discussions at an unprecedented level. They’re nervous about who might take his place.
June 30, 2011

Why Does Open Government Matter?

A new tool helps agencies measure the value of transparency, trust and accountability.
May 31, 2011

Preparing for Cloud Computing Failures

Moving to the cloud doesn't relieve agencies from ensuring public services and programs continue to operate in spite of technological hiccups.
April 29, 2011

Solving the IP Address Shortage

The time to upgrade to IPv6 -- and take advantage of its innovative technologies -- is now.
March 31, 2011

Trading Laptops for Smartphones

The handheld device is proving handy for cities.
February 28, 2011

Laptops at the Push of a Button

Can self-service laptop dispensers help libraries offer more public computers?
February 1, 2011

Micro-Grants Help Colorado Fund Tech Innovation

Small loans help cities and counties make initial investments in money-saving technology.
January 1, 2011

Understanding Green Technology's Real-World Implications

The Urban Living Lab will show real-world implications of energy-efficient technology.
December 1, 2010

A Better Brand of Information Security

A U.S. Defense official leads the charge for a less restrictive, more effective approach.
November 1, 2010

Ways to Consolidate Government IT

It tends to come in two forms: a centralized model and a federated approach.
October 1, 2010

Michigan Broadens Its IT Consolidation

Michigan broadens its IT consolidation initiative to facilities and administrative services.

The Costs and Liabilities of Using Old Computer Systems

States must create better ways of modernizing important computer systems before they become a liability.

Utilizing Web 2.0 Tools

State and local governments use social networks to save time and enhance collaboration.
June 30, 2010

Cloud Computing's E-Mail Showdown

Arizona pits the public sector against the private sector in a cloud e-mail face-off.
June 1, 2010

Funneling Tech Purchases

Texas focuses on cross-agency operations and innovation opportunities – and saves money.
May 1, 2010

Government "Apps" Move from Cool to Useful

Recently created government "apps" contests are popular, but are they worth doing?

The Innobucks Start Here

A small Texas town has turned civic participation into an online game, complete with virtual currency.

Michigan and the Feds Try Sharing Cyber-Security Tools

The experiment could help states cut the cost of protecting sensitive government information.

Los Angeles Embraces Google's Gmail

An innovative technology deal turns political for the Los Angeles City Council president.

Tweeting for the Public Good

Utah allows employees to use social media on the job, but lays down the rules.