Some Facts and Figures From Digital Government Strategy Plan of the US

The Speed of Digital Information

When a 5.9 earthquake hit near Richmond, Virginia on August 23rd, 2011, residents in New York City read about the quake on Twitter feeds 30 seconds before they experienced the quake themselves.

The Rapidly Changing Mobile Landscape

  • Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to grow from nearly 1 billion in 2011 to over 5 billion globally in 2016.
  • By 2015, more Americans will access the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs.
  • As of March 2012, 46% of American adults were smartphone owners – up from 35% in May 2011.
  • In 2011, global smartphone shipments exceeded personal computer shipments for the first time in history.

Decoupling Data and Presentation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is liberating web content by decoupling data and presentation. Using a “create once, publish everywhere mindset” and an API-driven syndication service, CDC’s content flows easily into multiple channels and is available for public and private reuse. Within its own channels, content is updated once, and then easily displayed on the main web site, the mobile site at, and in the various modules of the CDC mobile app.
In 2011, CDC’s liberated content was syndicated to 700 registered partners in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and 15 countries and accounted for an additional 1.2 million page views.

Opportunities to Share

In the State of the Federal Web Report, agencies reported 150 separate implementations of 42 different systems used to create and publish content and 250 web hosting providers.

The Need for Open Content Management Solutions

According to the State of the Federal Web Report, over 43% of federal agencies currently do not use CMS solutions for publishing content online. In many cases, the lack of CMS means maintaining and updating websites is an inefficient, manual process.
A prominent theme from the National Dialogue on Improving Federal Websites was the need to phase out the use of custom-built technology. Participants in the dialogue recommended that the Federal Government use open source technology to enable more sharing of data and make content more accessible. “Encourage use of popular Open Source platforms” was one of the many ideas submitted in this vein and generated robust discussion.

Creating an Environment for Mobility

A popular idea submitted during the National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy got straight to the point: “Apps are easy… enterprise strategy, not so much.” As one commenter put it, we need to look at “how mobility (not just mobile technology) fits into an organization, regardless of the device, platform, application, etc.”
“Mobility” is not just about embracing the newest technology, but rather reflects a fundamental change in how, when, and where our citizens and employees work and interact. Mobile technology – the devices, infrastructure, and applications required to support a mobile citizenry and workforce – is a critical enabler of mobility, but is only part of the profound environmental shift that mobility represents.


Three separate federal agencies located in Atlanta pay three different monthly service plan rates for unlimited data on the same type of device – $39, $94, and $120 – a significant price variance of $81.

…and Centralized

In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) centralized its wireless procurement by collapsing over 700 separate contracts into three blanket purchase agreements (BPA), resulting in acquisition cost savings of 18%.

Absorbing the Complexity of the Government

A common theme from the National Dialogue for Improving Federal Websites was that the Federal Government needs to change to a culture of customer service. A key part of that shift is the need to start absorbing the complexity of the Government on behalf of the citizen. As one participant wrote, “Customers don't know — and don't care to know — how government is organized. So why make them go from agency [website] to agency [website] to get the full picture of what gov't has to offer on any subject?"

Measuring Performance

According to the State of the Federal Web Report, only 10% of the 24 major federal agencies use the same performance metrics to consistently evaluate websites agency-wide. But there’s a solution for that: “Open web analytics for all .gov websites”, a popular idea submitted during the National Dialogue on Improving Federal Websites.


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