iLegislate: An iPad app for local governments
Granicus continues trend toward developing iPad apps for government use
- By Dan Rowinski
- Mar 16, 2011
The intersection of the cloud, government and tablet computing continues to evolve. New applications for the iPad designed specifically for public-sector efficiency and transparency are increasingly being targeted to federal, state and local officials to keep notes and track agendas from anywhere.
Cloud platform provider Granicus has released an iPad application for that purpose called iLegislate. In a blog post by the company, Granicus said that it “recognized a tremendous opportunity to use tablets as an efficiency and cost-saving tool in government — particularly to reduce the dependency on paper in the legislative process,” and iLegislate is aimed at decreasing that administrative cost with the ability to sync data between the app and an agency or municipality’s Granicus account.
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As software developers start designing apps specifically for government use, the trend is to offer the actual application for free tied to a back-end paid service.
For instance, the Accela Analytics application for city managers is free but the Accela Automation back end is not. That is the same with Granicus, which offers a host of products it calls the Government Transparency Suite that includes the ability to publish and parse agenda packets, create text transcripts and index live video, among other functions. iLegislate is free on iTunes but would tie into the Granicus suite of paid services.
As with Accela, Granicus looks to be focusing on state and local governments first for pilots of iLegislate. According to the company’s blog post, Williamsburg, Va., and DeKalb County, Ga., are testing iLegislate in day-to-day use. It makes sense for developers to test at the more granular levels of government before pitching tablet apps to federal agencies, which tend to be more conservative in software deployed and have larger IT departments that can create their own apps.
Local governments tend to be more open to new software that can make processes easier and more cost-efficient. The goal for software developers would be to create a service that has groundswell from the town and county level to the state up to federal agencies.
Dan Rowinski is a staff reporter covering communications technologies.