Following is a guest post from Johan Ekesiöö, Country General Manager of IBM Sweden.
This week politicians, visionaries and representatives from different sectors come together in the city of Malmö in the south of Sweden for the 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference in the EU with the theme Teaming up for the eUnion. During this conference representatives from the 27 Member States of the EU will lay out a roadmap for the five years to come.
As IBM’s Swedish Country General Manager I was asked to participate in the conference, and I gladly accepted. I did so because this conference is the place where decisions are made that will shape the future of eGovernment for the 499,794,855 citizens of the European Union.
For me as a the leader of IBM in one of the member states of the EU eGovernment is important in many ways, It’s important because it’s one of the areas where I can see IBM really making a difference in creating smart solutions that benefit governments on all levels, as well as the citizens. But it’s also important since it affects me and my family practically every day.
I live in the city of Stockholm, and driving to work I have been able to witness the impact the difference that the congestion charges have made on the traffic situation. When we built the system behind the congestion charges we worked closely with representatives from different governmental organisations, and I believe that this is how we should act when we build the Government solutions of the future.
Smarter government is about using the resources of the citizens in a smarter way to make societies work better. But to build the systems and the framework to make this possible we need to work together on all levels. We need use open standards and decide on a common vision for the future.
I believe that building global eGovernment services is not a technology issue. We can fix that part of the equation – it is about political will. In cities, countries and communities across the planet. And for us in Europe these precious days in Malmö will hopefully be a starting point for the following 5 years.
Johan Ekesiöö has been the Country General Manager for IBM Sweden since 2003. Over the years he has held several different roles in IBM including international assignments. Johan lives in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden with his family.
For more Smarter Planet-related content specific to Sweden, visit the blog, En smartare planet.