Official Launch: An App Store Designed for Government IT

AppStore-LogoA few years ago, we started supporting and sponsoring civic hackathons for open government data. It was a fantastic experience: civic-minded citizen developers would get together and hold contests for the best apps that could be built with newly available government datasets. We watched as incredible apps were built within hours that solved real problems for real people. However, it became clear that while the solutions were great, maintaining and managing a multitude of apps could become a tedious nightmare, and few government agencies were equipped to bring these innovations into the real world.

Meanwhile, all over the country, the same civic hacker movement was giving birth to new companies. Startups whose sole purpose was to improve government efficiency and transparency with technology 10 years ahead of what was currently in use in most city and county governments were taking shape. At Granicus, we know all too well the tedious and painful road ahead for these companies. The slow procurement cycle, and bureaucratic purchasing process threatens their very existence as they struggle to grow fast enough to raise capital.

As a result of these two observations, we conceived of the AppStore, a platform that not only allows governments to manage the multitude of cloud-based applications that will become part of their daily lives, but also gives new, emerging technology companies the launch pad that they need to gain the traction that is all too important in this fast paced app economy.

Almost immediately, we’re going to start seeing government agencies adding new solutions for engaging the public, generating transparency, citizen board appointment management,  keeping citizens informed and up to date, and improving the community. While this was always possible, now government IT departments will have the tool set they need to manage this explosion in innovation. Managing 100 cloud applications from 100 different vendors used to be an IT nightmare. Now, it can be done simply and economically.

To date, the Granicus platform serves more than 63,000 government staff users and 8 million citizens per year, making our platform the perfect place to centralize cloud identity management for participating agencies. With all trends pointing to a digital strategy being a must-have plan for every government agency, we believe that our AppStore can and will serve as a key component in the digital government roadmaps of forward-thinking government agencies across the country.

The list of apps available through the store is constantly growing, being developed by some of the best civic solution developers on the planet:

  • OpenGov - Advanced financial transparency: Improve access, promote understanding, build trust

  • SpeakUp - Productive community engagement and crowdsourcing platform

  • Boards & Commissions – Simplifying citizen applications and appointments online

  • SeeClickFix - Report neighborhood issues and see them get fixed

  • CityAccess – Put government business and video on citizens’ mobile devices

  • Measured Voice – The only social media management tool designed for government

  • ReCollect - Easily inform residents on solid waste & recycling schedules and new programs

  • License 123 Enterprise – The largest and most up-to-date database of all business licenses and permits in the US

  • ArchiveSocial - The public sector’s leading social media archiving solution

  • Adopta - A site for “adopting” civic infrastructure

  • Captricity – Transform paper, fax and pdf forms into actionable data with 99% accuracy

  • Textizen – Collect rich, real-time data via text message surveys to engage citizens, wherever they are

This list will continue to grow, with more developers already signing up and building apps for the platform. We are excited to serve as the trusted delivery channel for these powerful apps that will continue to drive improvements in government and the communities they serve.

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As CTO Javier draws on his broad knowledge of networking and application development to provide direction on product strategy and design for Granicus’ product development team. Javier enjoys leveraging new technologies to solve pervasive business issues for Granicus and its customers. In his role, he’s able to act as a visionary and technical expert to ensure products meet the desired goal for the company and our valued customers.

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