Technology and civic apps are like gardening – except when they’re not.
I like the analogy of gardening applied to investment in technology solutions. It underscores the need to continually invest in the maintenance and upkeep of the solutions that are used to consume government data. However, I think there is some danger in using this analogy in that it obscures the fundamental nature of change in the technology world.
I can tend my garden today in pretty much the same way as someone did 100 years ago – soil, water and sunshine. Boom. However, when building a technology solution (particularly web-based solutions) its not feasible to use the same approach or components that might have been acceptable as recently as 10 years ago. Budgeting for maintenance and enhancements for technology projects isn’t a nice to have – its absolutely essential to their success. The pace of change in the world of technology is just too fast for anything less.
We have to fix the budget process as it relates to investment in technology.