The secure path to truly digital cities and communities is a mammoth task, because they have to plan their IT infrastructure in a predictable, reliable and sustainable way.
As citizens, we assume that the administration of our community or city is working smoothly. However, even those directly involved are often unaware of the challenge of constantly modernising their IT infrastructure and making it more secure.
In April 2013, the German Federal Government voted the e-government law and in January 2012, the French Government voted the application of the PESV2, forcing the mandatory digitisation of administrations. In the future, there will be no printed documents, but only digital documents, and citizens‘ portals on the web will mean it will be no longer necessary to go to the relevant offices. For very many municipalities, this entails outsourcing their IT infrastructure and services to specially created companies.
Municipalities and cities have to digitise and renew themselves, often catching up with a huge backlog. At the same time, however, they must pay attention to the confidentiality of sensitive data, prevent loss and theft, and act sustainably with a flexible IT architecture.
No system may fail. A day without a workplace computer, central servers, e-mails and web services not only produces stalling in the town hall but also affects schools, the fire brigade, traffic or rubbish collection and very quickly leads to unmanageable follow-up costs. In a city with hundreds of thousands or millions of inhabitants, a minor accident quickly acquires a threatening dimension.
In 2015, for example, a hacker attack on the vehicle registration offices in Hessen and Rhineland-Palatinate paralysed most of the authorities. This cyber incident showed once again how sensitive data needed to be strongly protected.
Of course, digital pioneer cities have significantly more resources, but smaller communities can benefit from the positive experiences of the big cities. Often they cooperate with each other to develop information technology and invest in a common infrastructure. As a rule, they also focus on the help of specialised service providers such as TA Triumph-Adler.