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The Digital Hand, Vol 3How Computers Changed the Work of American Public Sector Industries$
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James W. Cortada

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195165869

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165869.001.0001

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Digital Applications in State, County, and Local Governments

Digital Applications in State, County, and Local Governments

(p.211) 7 Digital Applications in State, County, and Local Governments
The Digital Hand, Vol 3

James W. Cortada

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the deployment and use of information technology in state, county, and local governments. Public sector managers and users enjoyed the same benefits and similar challenges in using the digital hand as those in many industries. They also avoided many of the difficulties faced by very large users of IT in the federal government, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. Unlike their federal colleagues, local government officials had either newer systems that were not in need of replacement too soon or they were small enough for them to find the necessary wherewithal and technical staff to keep systems up to date. In the case of small state, county, and municipal governments, the reason lay elsewhere — they just had not yet integrated computers into the core work of their departments. When these smaller agencies computerized their work systems, they did it on more modern systems, often using software designed by vendors for specific applications in public administration, or shared services put together by local governments more experienced in these matters, such as by state agencies or very large counties and cities.

Keywords:   IT, federal government, state governments, county governments, local governments

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