POSTED: November 23rd 2016
NewsUpdate

Los Angeles wins as USA top digital city by the Digital Cities Survey

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The city of Los Angeles ranked at the top of the chart for the Center for Digital Government as the most strategic, efficient and innovative guardians of public-sector tech in the nation. 

Los Angeles is currently bidding to host the summer Olympics of 2024 against Paris and Budapest.

This gives a boost to the LA 2024 Olympic bid as the city opens the door to better connectivity and facilitates citizen and community engagement.

For a city with 4 million residents and 48,000 employees across 42 different departments, LA needs technology to carry this out.

Ted Ross, general manager and CIO of the city's Information Technology Agency, said, "For most residents, city government is not foremost on their mind.

"However, city services are often very important to them. For us, digital is the means to engage and serve our community -- and we try to do this in a variety of different ways. We believe in promoting openness through open data; we believe in mobile and providing access to citizen services anytime, anywhere; and we want to be focused and energetic in applying technology to make life better for the average Angelino."

Recently an extensive open data portal was built for the city making variety of APIs available to developers or businesses, as well as a plethora of GIS data.

 "I think open data is a very important facet for how we engage our community," noted Ross. "We are proud of our openness and transparency -- our ability to show and disclose who we are, what we are doing and how we're doing it."

The new open data portal will facilitate collaborations between businesses, education and nonprofits and will create new relationships, partnerships and projects.

Interestingly one partnership comprises 11 universities that are analyzing data to determine ways to make L.A. a "smarter" city.

Ross also added that he intends to focus on technology especially in view of the city's workforce since about 50% of the IT staff of 450 could retire in the next two years.

"That poses quite a challenge when it comes to delivery of services," he commented. "We are therefore doing a lot of work around using technology to find efficiencies. We are also looking at the shift as an opportunity to promote gender diversity and equity in our workforce. We're working hard to promote parity and to employ an IT workforce that represents the diversity of our community."

Ross says that even though LA is a big city that it is not easy to reach its technology goals.

 "My department has 40 percent less people than it did in 2008," he said. "It's not about having a lot of people; it's about identifying technology opportunities and then making investments in the right areas. Sometimes small investments can yield amazing results."

The IOC will select the 2024 host city in September 2017 at the session in Lima, Peru. 

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.


Keywords · Olympics · Los Angeles


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