Technology already plays an integral role in our lives, and I believe in an increasingly digital future. Then why did I express reservations about the proposed modernization of the village communications and community engagement infrastructure using the Granicus technology platform?

Our communication needs have evolved from sharing information with residents to having a conversation with the residents (all residents). The proposed solution using Granicus seeks to address this shift through the

  • modernization of the village website,
  • implementation of a community engagement platform and
  • implementation of a customer service hub to deliver village services.

Overall it is a step in the right direction for the village because it consolidates our communications technology footprint, cost-effectively, with a single vendor, Granicus. However, my reservation stems from the following:

  • the community engagement aspect of the Granicus solution does not include a mobile app. The equity implications of not having the mobile channel available to households that do not possess additional digital devices is a significant failing. Also the flexibility and convenience of mobile engagement and experience is something modern society is accustomed to and takes for granted.
  • the analysis presented to the board did not include the Civic Information Systems Commission’s views on this recommendation. Technology enabling village communication and community engagement is an explicit part of the CISC’s work plan for 2022. While the analysis compared status quo with the recommended option, it does not sufficiently evaluate/consider alternate technology options.

I’m encouraged by the possibility of third-party mobile solution integration with Granicus as a potential future option. I’m optimistic that this recommendation in the end could very well be the right approach for the village. However, without due diligence to support this recommendation, I find it hard personally and professionally, as a digital transformation practitioner, to fully endorse this direction.

Ravi Parakkat
Oak Park village trustee

Join the discussion on social media!