US politics is rapidly adapting cloud based technology, modernizing the Congress. Capitol Hill, the seat of the US government, will soon update its IT systems by turning to cloud based email, common infrastructure and innovative contracting.
State governments take advantage of a variety of applications, such as interactive bill document management, remote voting and remote testimony for legislative witnesses, according to a recent report. The US government campuses have embedded systems such as online public commenting on legislation, real-time bill tracking, and robust public Wi-Fi and wireless networks.
The state IT modernization efforts could present ideas for improving Capitol Hill’s IT systems, replacing the old ones with new and modern ones. The systems at the historic building are old and outdated. Reports suggest that wireless coverage remains spotty on Capitol Hill.
“Members coming here from state legislatures are shocked at the lack of support” for IT capabilities, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said.
Committee Chairman Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) invoked a common complaint. “Congress is an 18th-century institution using 20th-century technology to solve 21st-century problems,” he said. Majority of the members support IT innovation through contracting. The commonwealth has a central systems integrator and seven best-of-breed suppliers for cloud email, mainframe operations, servers, storage, networks and printing for 63 state agencies.
Mike Rohrbach, CIO and IT director for Washington state’s legislature, said cloud computing is the future. The technology frees up back-office systems, simplifies the devices lawmakers use and streamlines citizens’ access to publicly available data.