Currently, the role of the Chief Digital Officer is limited, features a small staff, and has few resources to implement programs. Despite this, the Chief Digital Officer has effectively supported and promoted activities around NYC tech and social media. With the redesign of NYC.gov, NYC Digital has taken the first step in having resources and programming to actualize its potential.
The next administration should reconsider how the Chief Digital Officer and NYC Digital are integrated into city-wide operations. The previous NYC Digital Roadmap proposed CodeLab, a small web and mobile development team that is able to quickly prototype and launch new projects, introduce pioneering technology enhancements to the City’s platforms, and offer support to agency technology initiatives.
In addition to running Code Corps and fostering digital partnerships, this re-imagined NYC Digital should completely embrace the ideals of the open source community and design and develop in the public.
Ideally, NYC Digital should have greater resources for the development and programming of innovative research and design technology projects. Boston and Philadelphia’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is a cross-agency group focused on delivering transformative city services to residents, developing community integration programs that focus on innovation, empowerment, and inclusion. The next Administration should consider molding NYC Digital into an incubator for new technology-led approaches for delivery of resident and business services.
On top of being the City’s digital ambassador, NYC Digital should help convene innovative policy discussions inside and outside government. NYC Digital should be seen as the go-to digital insights team.