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Steve Towns  | 

Email : stowns@governing.com

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.

Let's put smart to work.™

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 25, 2015
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Let's put smart to work.™

Data Center Sharing Grows in Ohio

Ohio’s largest county is latest to move servers to state data center.

September 17, 2015
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Let's put smart to work.™

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 28, 2015
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Let's put smart to work.™

CIOs Rethink the IT Department

IT chiefs react to looming retirements and tech changes.

July 6, 2015
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Tech Talk

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.

April 1, 2014
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Tech Talk

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.

March 1, 2014
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Tech Talk

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.

February 1, 2014
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Tech Talk

Government Technology Trends to Watch in 2014

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

January 1, 2014
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Tech Talk

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.

November 1, 2013
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Tech Talk

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.

October 1, 2013
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Tech Talk

What CIOs Need to Achieve Their Top 3 Priorities

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

September 1, 2013
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Tech Talk

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.

August 1, 2013
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Tech Talk

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.

June 28, 2013
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Tech Talk

‘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.

May 31, 2013
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Tech Talk

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.

April 30, 2013
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Tech Talk

The Age of the Tech-Savvy Legislator

An influx of young lawmakers could lead to better technology investments.

March 29, 2013
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Tech Talk

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.

February 28, 2013
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Tech Talk

Government Technology Ideas Worth Importing

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

January 31, 2013
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Columns

How Acting Like a Tech Entrepreneur Can Improve Government Services

Letting the public test unfinished products saves agencies money and time.

December 28, 2012
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Columns

Innovation In-Demand as Economy Makes a Comeback

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

November 30, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

October 31, 2012
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Tech Talk

What Makes the Best Government Website?

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

September 28, 2012
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Tech Talk

Cyber Security Act’s Failure Leaves Infrastructure Vulnerable

Some worry terrorists could shut down the economy with the click of a mouse.

August 31, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

July 31, 2012
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Tech Talk

Lessons from Utah's Massive Data Breach

Utah's former CIO Steve Fletcher says cybersecurity is everyone's job.

June 5, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

May 31, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

April 30, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

March 30, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

February 29, 2012
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Tech Talk

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 31, 2012
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Tech Talk

Cities Extract Energy from Everyday Activities

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

January 1, 2012
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Tech Talk

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.

November 30, 2011
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Tech Talk

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.

October 31, 2011
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Tech Talk

Attacking the Connectivity Gap

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

September 30, 2011
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Tech Talk

Overcoming the Fear of Facebook

Governments must interact using both traditional websites and social media.

August 31, 2011
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Tech Talk

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.

July 29, 2011
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Tech Talk

Why Does Open Government Matter?

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

June 30, 2011
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Tech Talk

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.

May 31, 2011
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Tech Talk

Solving the IP Address Shortage

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

April 29, 2011
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Tech Talk

Trading Laptops for Smartphones

The handheld device is proving handy for cities.

March 31, 2011
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Tech Talk

Laptops at the Push of a Button

Can self-service laptop dispensers help libraries offer more public computers?

February 28, 2011
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Tech Talk

Micro-Grants Help Colorado Fund Tech Innovation

Small loans help cities and counties make initial investments in money-saving technology.

February 1, 2011
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Tech Talk

Understanding Green Technology's Real-World Implications

The Urban Living Lab will show real-world implications of energy-efficient technology.

January 1, 2011
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Tech Talk

A Better Brand of Information Security

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

December 1, 2010
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Tech Talk

Ways to Consolidate Government IT

It tends to come in two forms: a centralized model and a federated approach.

November 1, 2010
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Tech Talk

Michigan Broadens Its IT Consolidation

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

October 1, 2010
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Tech Talk

Cloud Computing's E-Mail Showdown

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

June 30, 2010
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Tech Talk

Funneling Tech Purchases

Texas focuses on cross-agency operations and innovation opportunities – and saves money.

June 1, 2010
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Tech Talk

Government "Apps" Move from Cool to Useful

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

May 1, 2010
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