There’s no excuse for the government to whom you and I pay taxes to not be able to meet our needs.  That’s an almost universal view.  If you spent 1/3 or more every dime you made with one retailer, you’d expect a red carpet when you walked in the door, right?  That’s how we feel about our taxes and government services.  San Diego County has shown how one piece of technology can transform how business is done for the benefit of the taxpayer.

Did you know that San Diego County is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island?  Did you know that it has a larger population than 20 states, with the City of San Diego standing at 1,387,000 people?  San Diego County is one of the few areas of the United States that consists of ocean, snow and desert in one political subdivision.   It’s safe to say that San Diego County has a unique perspective on how to serve a large number of people in an urban setting and, simultaneously, contend with the toughest challenges that the rural chaparral back country has to offer. As a county, they represent the same difficulties faced by entire states around the country.

Many states, especially larger states and southern states face similar challenges.  Many states feature concentrated populations separated by vast rural regions and difficult terrain challenges. The challenge is keeping mobile workers connected, keeping productivity up, staying flexible and meeting the needs of citizens.  They have to stay connected, keep office systems authenticated and keep the necessary flow of information in and out at maximum capacity.  In business it means a loss of dollars.  In government it could mean a loss of life.

A simple, yet transformative addition of a mobility VPN solution has allowed San Diego County employees to stay connected and authenticated to security enhanced systems while moving in and out of difficult terrain and working in rural areas.  They’re not spending hours reconnecting to back office systems or getting frustrated with password and keys.  They’re no longer losing work in progress.  They stay secure with encrypted data transmission and authentication.  It’s all handled intelligently through a simple piece of software right on the device.

San Diego’s success bodes well for other states, counties and cities interested in teleworking solutions or to better support a mobilized workforce, support sustainable practices, reduce costs or just overcome the challenge of terrain and reception.  A simple always on mobility VPN connection even bodes well for moral and customer service as employees spend their doing the job they’re for and not fighting their own systems or becoming frustrated by wasted efforts.

eRepublic, the notable publishers of Governing and Government Technology magazines recently did a study on San Diego’s success, found here.  As notable early adopters of technology facing many of the challenges that entire states contend with, I thought it prudent to share San Diego’s success with not only the write up but also a video detailing their solution to keep field workers connected and productivity up.

What do you think?  Is San Diego County representative of the challenges faced by other parts of the country?  Is their approach something that other agencies are considering or have you seen it in action?  What other successes bode well for yours and my tax dollars?