On that day each year, more than half of the city’s leases turn over and students return to campus, disgorging thousands of moving vans into the streets at once. It’s an annual nightmare for residents and local officials charged with keeping the city running smoothly. But this year, something remarkable happened that not only took out much of the pain — it also showcased how technology can be successfully harnessed to address deceptively complex government customer service problems.
The hero was Boston’s IT department, rising from its traditional roots to do what smart, connected corporations do all the time — employing cutting-edge tech to solve problems. Because of this, in the fall of 2015, something shocking happened: the system worked. In collaboration with other city departments in order to make life better for citizen, empowered Boston bureaucrats implemented a streamlined online moving van permit process. And demonstrated how enlightened tech can help cities improve the lives of its citizens.