Local governments and municipalities want to keep their residents safe, improve their quality of life, deliver seamless services, support economic growth and encourage innovation. To achieve this goal, they provide supporting infrastructure and actively maintain them using public funds. These include streets, traffic lights, water, electricity and much more. Management of public infrastructure is important as poor management of these can cost the city and the overall economy heavily. For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that deteriorating infrastructure in USA can cause the economy to lose around $4 trillion in GDP between 2016 and 2025.
However, increasing urbanization makes it difficult for local government departments and municipalities to efficiently and effectively manage public works. In 1999, 46% of the world population was living in urban areas. Today, this figure is about 56% and expected to grow in the future. At the same time, budgets allotted to municipalities did not increase in the same manner as the population in their urban centers. This means that local government departments and municipalities are under pressure to provide adequate infrastructure for a growing urban population within their limited budgets. To achieve this, it is important for them to make use of innovations in technology to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in use of resources.
Municipalities face the following challenges that prevent them from effectively managing infrastructure in cities:
- Inefficient monitoring capabilities due to outdated systems: The current government systems lack the ability to actively monitor infrastructure and report issues promptly. Manually checking infrastructure for faults is costly and often not carried out regularly. For example, trips being made to check infrastructure leads to increased transportation costs in the long run.
- Reactive maintenance leading to service interruptions: Very few government departments have set up mechanisms to actively monitor and fix issues before they cause disruption. Most departments rely on complaints from citizens and solve infrastructure problems as they occur. The latter is called a “reactive approach”, which leads to costlier repairs and more rapid deterioration of infrastructure in the long run.
- Inefficient resource allocation: As mentioned previously, governments are under the pump to manage an increasing amount of infrastructure within limited budgets. Governments struggle to do so as they do not allocate resources where they are needed the most in a timely manner.
Use of innovations in technology can enable government departments to tackle these challenges. This article talks about how digital technologies can be leveraged using VIDIZMO Video streaming and content management system. The article discusses how VIDIZMO helps in engaging and connecting with citizens, modernizing the government workplace, enhancing government services, building trust and mitigating risk. The bottom line of these benefits is that they help government departments and municipalities to effectively and efficiently manage public works.
Engage and Connect with Citizens
Video allows government departments and municipalities to become more accessible to the public. Using VIDIZMO, government departments can address the public through live streaming and take feedback from people regarding infrastructure issues that they are facing. They can also record and distribute meetings regarding important decisions for the community. Interactive learning elements like quizzes and surveys can be added to videos to collect feedback from the public. The use of video will help municipalities engage with the public and connect with them in a more cost-effective way than they usually do.
Government departments can also increase inclusiveness of the public in the efforts to manage infrastructure. People can upload pictures or videos of public infrastructure faults and issues on to a centralized digital portal provided by VIDIZMO. The respective departments can moderate these media and then assign relevant personnel to carry out repairs. Through such a portal, these departments would be able to monitor issues across the city using fewer resources.
Storage capacity can be scaled as demand increases because VIDIZMO utilizes cloud for storage: Microsoft Azure Cloud, AWS Cloud or any other cloud of choice. VIDIZMO also offers multitenancy to create multiple portals for different departments. For example, one portal for road or street faults, one portal for water overflows and so on. VIDIZMO also offers artificial intelligence (AI) through Azure Cognitive Services, which can be used to filter out spam or repetitive images that may be uploaded by people. These additional features by VIDIZMO can further enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the municipality’s monitoring capabilities.
Modernize the Government Workplace
Video technology can be used for improved collaboration within government departments. VIDIZMO allows for integration with videoconferencing applications like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, WebEx, Go-to-Meeting, etc., to conduct online meetings. This will reduce transportation expenses for government departments. These meetings can be recorded and securely shared using VIDIZMO, which eliminates the need for similar meetings to be carried out multiple times.
VIDIZMO allows government departments to conduct trainings online through video and then distribute these to employees. This allows a single trainer to train a large number of employees, saving time and costs. These videos will be saved on a portal that can be accessed by employees as and when they require training. All videos can be automatically transcribed using artificially intelligent speech recognition technology by Azure Cognitive Services. This helps government departments to cater to audiences with hearing difficulties. Transcription in multiple foreign languages is also supported to cater to diversity in the government workplace.
Enhance Government Services
VIDIZMO Enterprise video platform offers AI capabilities through Azure Cognitive Services. These can be used by government departments to enhance their management of public infrastructure. AI can be used to move towards predictive rather than reactive maintenance. Faults or issues in infrastructure can be identified swiftly and corrective actions can be taken before they disrupt citizens.
An example of how government departments can leverage AI is by collecting videos from surveillance cameras, which can be automatically uploaded on to VIDIZMO. These can be analyzed to detect faulty infrastructure and swiftly take corrective action. Surveillance videos can also be used to count vehicle and pedestrian traffic in different areas. Resources can then be allocated to each area according to their load and usage. In a similar way, government departments can assess the amount of trash or usage of plastic in different areas and carry out targeted campaigns to manage this.
Build Public Trust and Mitigate Risk
Government departments are involved in collecting information on the public, which makes security and compliance a priority for such departments. VIDIZMO adheres to the industry’s highest standards for platform security to keep videos and other forms of media safe. Here are the different security features that VIDIZMO offers to keep public data safe:
- Single sign-on (SSO) through services such as Azure AD, ADFS, etc. This ensures highly secure authentication for users.
- Role-based access control (RBAC), where a variety of user roles can be provided to control permissions. For instance, the public can only view media authorized to them. In a similar manner, content for different levels in the organization's hierarchy can be segregated.
- Channel and user segregation where multiple portals can be created to segregate data for different departments.
- Password protection on confidential videos.
- Audit trails allow authorities to track both user and system level activity on the portal.
- Content encryption for both data at rest and in transit.
- Industry’s best cloud security in VIDIZMO’s native Microsoft Azure Cloud as well as any other major cloud provider. VIDIZMO also offers the flexibility for storage on premise or the customer’s existing cloud.
Apart from these security features, VIDIZMO also offers a comprehensive set of compliance certifications within Microsoft Azure, VIDIZMO’s native cloud service provider. Security and compliance help government departments in delivering the highest levels of trust and transparency.
In conclusion, government departments and municipalities need to utilize digital technologies to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the management of public infrastructure. VIDIZMO offers enterprise video platform solutions that enable them to do so.
To learn more about how VIDIZMO can help you improve management for municipal infrastructure,