Mobile apps have had profound impacts on the lives of users and consumers. Smartphone and tablet apps have become the social norm for accessing news, social network feeds, and essentially tethering individuals to their interests. Businesses today, driven by competition, pour enormous investments into the development of mobile apps to be operational on the frontier of the possible. It is expected that by 2014, more than 30 billion application downloads would occur and result to nearly $40 billion annual revenue.
While communication and the dissemination of information throughout our society has grown exponentially with the spread of mobile apps, there still exist major hindrances to collaboration between local governments. In 2010, Civic Commons was established to provide information sharing amongst governments and institutions creating an infrastructure for the open government. Civic Commons is a “lot like a community driven civic app-store”. The “Market Place”, provides a platform that “aligns cities around the technologies they buy and build by fostering an engaged community of government decision-makers, organizations, and vendors.” It’s a place for civic engagement tools (and the companies that build them) to connect with governments and municipal authorities.
This past spring, Fulcrum, a mobile data collection application joined the marketplace to provide municipalities and organizations with a dynamic tool to quickly design, build, and deploy micro-apps for all field data collection needs anywhere in the world to any number of users in a matter of minutes. The opportunities for collecting and sharing information to resolve complex municipal problems with Fulcrum is endless and more importantly providing a cost effective solution to community progress.