Catherine Geanuracos
July 20, 2021

CityGrows is the most efficient way to provide local government digital services

New funding for local governments can be used to improve digital services

The funds allocated to municipal, county, and state governments in the stimulus bill approved by Congress on March 10, 2021 will be transformative. Governments that were facing significant deficits can now tackle problems they've been putting off for years.

A recent editorial by Stephen Goldsmith of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government stressed that "The best approach would be to invest...in a manner that modernizes the way government performs its work."

Technology will be part of the infrastructure that will be revitalized by these funds - but there's no reason to repeat the sins of the (recent) past by outsourcing and overspending on technology that doesn't work. (Check out this article on the $44M spent on Deloitte by the CDC that was mostly wasted.)

Most of your staff, residents and businesses have embraced digital services. While change is always challenging, governments have been resilient and creative in these unprecedented times. There will no doubt be MANY vendors and proposals for how your community can spend these new resources. This funding is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace your frustrating legacy systems and avoid the stereotypes about government overspending on technology that doesn't work. It's easy to be overwhelmed when thinking about new tech - which is often why the public sector outsources its tech decisions. The gain in short-term anxiety reduction usually isn't worth it.

Mr. Goldsmith highlighted "Accelerating Digital Solutions" as one of the most impactful ways to spend these new stimulus funds. While your organization may have made it through 2020 with a few fillable PDFs and more use of email, these aren't truly modern or forward-looking solutions. We're not knocking what everyone did to make it through last year, but now you have some room to really build sustainable systems for the future.

What to look for in new software for local government

CityGrows offers the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective way to support remote work and provide digital permitting, licensing, and internal workflow tools.

Whether or not you end up using CityGrows for one of your new stimulus-funded technology products we'd strongly encourage you to evaluate any technology initiative with how we evaluate software for our own purposes:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is it fast and intuitive to set up?
  • How fast does customer service respond to requests? 
  • Can I purchase it without a lengthy RFP and/or contracting process?
  • Is there a free trial so I can evaluate it myself?
  • Is the pricing transparent and fair?
  • Do we need consultants to help us or can we do it ourselves?

One CityGrows subscription covers your entire enterprise (any/ all departments and staff) and any/ all permits, licenses, and processes. That means you can test and iterate inexpensively - and avoid the mistakes that come with leaving your technology planning to outsiders.

Meet with our team: learn how you can improve your digital services capability and efficiently spend your stimulus Act funding

Even before COVID, CityGrows has always priced our software to be easy to purchase. We know governments can't always effectively anticipate their future needs - which departments will need to add new workflows and processes. And we know that you've got a lot more you'll want to do than improve your technology!

Make the most out of your forthcoming stimulus funding and invest in the resilience and security of your organization with CityGrows.

Schedule time with our team to learn how you can start using CityGrows.


Catherine Geanuracos

Catherine is the CEO and a Co-Founder of CityGrows. She's dedicated to supporting local governments and helping them improve outcomes for their residents and staff members. She is a former VP of the City of Los Angeles Innovation and Performance Commission and co-founder of LA's Code for America Brigade Hack for LA. She's based in Los Angeles.

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