Improving Government Services Through Innovation

As the pace of innovation accelerates, so will the distance between the technological promise of the private sector and the practice of the public sector. It's time to modernize government.
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President Obama deserves credit for his consistent efforts to ensure that innovation becomes integral to how our country operates. If the President is successful, our government will become more effective and efficient, and most importantly, will improve the lives of Americans.

As CEO's representing the broader business community, we commend the president for convening today's forum on modernizing government. Through our participation in today's activities, we stand ready to work with the administration and with Congress, today and in the future, to create a government that is transparent and responsive to America's needs.

The president's forum is a timely opportunity to build on the excitement of last week's consumer electronic show. We believe the many innovations showcased at the event strongly demonstrates the role of technology has in transforming every aspect of our lives from how we work to how we play. The positive changes in the last decade alone brought on by the information communications technology (ICT) sector have been dramatic. It is no longer the stuff of science fiction to carry a device in the palm of our hands that allows us to communicate, in real time, with a colleague, family or friend on the other side of the globe.

The drive to innovate in the ICT sector is constant. That drive to consistently re-invent has transformed how the private sector and business operates. These technologies have revolutionized the convenience and effectiveness by which businesses can serve their customers, and have dramatically improved accessibility and the range of customers being served.

Unfortunately, there is a gap between the government's adoption of these technologies and the private sector's. As the pace of innovation accelerates, so will the distance between the technological promise of the private sector and the practice of the public sector. Along the way, we risk losing billions of tax payer dollars, opportunities to serve those at risk and in need, and transparent insight into the operations of our democracy. It's time to modernize government -- streamline what works, and eliminate what doesn't.

Technology is available to significantly improve our government. We must find a way to apply that innovation and ensure there's an environment that supports continued investment in this area, including developing policies that preserve America's continued preeminence in this vital sector. Indeed, the time is ripe for a real public-private partnership initiative aimed at driving innovation and sustainable job growth.

We look forward to working with the President and Congress to accomplish these goals for the benefit of the American people.

Steve A. Ballmer
is the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation. Jeff M. Fettig is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Whirlpool Corporation. Salvatore Iannuzzi is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monster Worldwide, Inc. And Shantanu Narayen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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