J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Information technologies (IT) can now be considered one of the key components of government administrative reform. The potential is even greater when working across organizational boundaries. Unfortunately, inter-agency collaboration appears to face an even greater number of challenges than similar IT initiatives within a single organization. The challenges include data and technological incompatibility, the lack of institutional incentives to collaborate, and the politics and power struggles around a pervasive silo structure in most governments, among many others. This paper argues that there are clear trends towards greater inter-organizational collaboration, information sharing, and integration, which could lead, in the near future, to what might be called a smart State. The paper starts discussing the promises and challenges that have already been identified for government information sharing and integration initiatives. Then it describes two trends in terms of inter-organizational collaboration and information technologies in government settings. The paper ends by providing reflections about the technical and political feasibility, as well as the social desirability, of an integrated virtual State in which the executive, legislative, and judicial branches
For this paper, the description of government is based on a federal system with three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and multiple levels of government (national, regional, and local). The reader is invited to apply these ideas to different government settings. are actively collaborating and sharing information through the use of advanced information technologies, sophisticated coordination mechanisms, shared physical infrastructure, and, potentially, new organizational and institutional arrangements.