San Diego Wins 2019 Digital Cities Survey

The Center for Digital Government’s winner of the 2019 Digital Cities Survey in the category of 500,000 or more in population is San Diego, California. The city’s Digital Strategy Division (DSD) was created this year and seeks to improve efficiencies by breaking down silos, improving the end user experience, and developing streamlined processes so employees can get the digital tools they need to improve city services. CIO Jonathan Behnke said DSD is helping his team with everything from cybersecurity to re-evaluating the application portfolios of each city department.

“As we modernize city systems, an improved user experience is a priority for us and really drives user adoption, provides ease in training and helps us make 11,500 employees more efficient in what they do,” Behnke said. “If you save 11,500 people a minute and a half a day, it adds up pretty quickly over time.”

The DSD also serves as a liaison between the various city departments and IT.

“They’re a great sounding board for us as we’re considering changes in delivering road maps to city departments,” Behnke said. “It’s a quick feedback loop for us to make adjustments or changes to improve the user experience.”

The city’s 311 app – Get it Done – enables residents to report a pothole, follow the status of the repair via the San Diego open data portal, and facilitate further work on the repair to result in a repaved and upgraded street. San Diego is also focused on its cybersecurity strategy – all 11,500 city employees complete annual cybersecurity training.

“San Diego has developed a culture of innovation and really taken a data-driven approach to its services,” Behnke said. “All of those things culminated in a lot of successful projects in innovation in the past year.”