3. Take advantage of available resources to stay up to speed. There are several organizations devoted to providing information about digital services on their websites. It's one way to stay on top of new developments, projects and opportunities as well as technologies and other important topics. Check out DigitalGov, a platform provided by the Technology Transformation Service of the U.S. General Services Administration. There are many others.
4. Focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Digital services are about improving and expanding services to a growing population. But they're also about providing those services in a way that can reduce related costs. The city council in Harrow, a London suburb, faced a financial crisis in 2015 so extreme it would have needed to eliminate some of its essential services. Working with Council Lead Partner Cisco, the council was able to migrate many of those services online. By allowing citizens to serve themselves at the time and location they chose, the city managed to trim operating costs and avert the financial crisis. A Cisco case study provides details on the city's move to digital services.
Download the Council's Smart Cities Open Data Guide for lessons learned and best practices from cities that have already taken the steps toward transparency and open data. The guide is introductory, not technical, and offers a variety of tools and resources cities can use when planning their own initiatives.
Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.