Data, Economic Development, Government

Takeaways From Our Chat with Ahbi Nemani, Founder of

No matter what career or endeavour you may find yourself engaged in, or how much success you’ve had in the past, there’s always something you can learn from somebody else.

At Townfolio, sharing and discussing ideas within and outside of our company is an integral component of our continuous growth. We believe part of being an expert in your field is bringing in new perspectives to augment what you already know, and to reduce what you don’t. 

So that’s why we invited Abhi Nemani, founder of GovTech consultancy, to our office recently. Abhi’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Government Technology, Government Executive, and Forbes, and he has been featured as a speaker at SXSW, the World Bank, and various universities and conferences around the world. 

During Abhi’s stay in Saskatoon, we had the pleasure of discussing the government technology space, and the exciting opportunities surrounding #GovTech.

We’d like to share with you some of the takeaways of our conversation, and maybe we can help spur this discussion in your own circles. After all, that’s how all great ideas start!

Training and Education

This one is big. There’s still a large gap between the capabilities of GovTech and the knowledge and ability to implement it in all levels of government. The only way to change that is to continue to educate ourselves on new technologies, and how we can use those technologies to make our days easier, more effective, and more helpful to our constituents.

Exciting Developments

While there’s definitely room to improve GovTech adoption, there are some amazing internal projects underway in North America, like the fantastic open-source project in Chicago a particularly notable example.

Shift in Procurement Philosophy

Historically, the government has operated on a “project” procurement philosophy. It’s worked in the past, but project-based proposals don’t lend themselves well to the ongoing retainer/subscription model that has proven so viable in other technology sectors. By moving away from RFP and towards lean/just-in-time vendor acquisition, we can reduce barriers to GovTech adoption and therefore government innovation.

Do More With Less

Working in a government capacity can occasionally be a thankless position. In an age where people expect high-quality service on-demand, working in the heavily regulated government sector is only growing more challenging. GovTech can help with this, by reducing the amount of repetitive and mundane tasks and freeing up employees to focus on high-level, impactful initiatives.

Data-Driven Cities

The early returns on investments into a comprehensive data strategy, like those seen in Chicago and Baltimore, are both encouraging and informative. The need for data-centric communities is becoming more apparent – it’s no longer a matter of getting ahead, but of keeping up to new challenges faced by governments and communities every day.

Out-Sourced Expertise

It’s challenging for many cities and communities to hire their own dedicated data team, which isn’t the same as saying a sophisticated data strategy isn’t necessary! Acquiring a trusted external partner to assist with GovTech and GovData is a great way to alleviate that stress. Just make sure you’re partnering with somebody who understands the in’s and out’s of the government sector!


Those were the key takeaways from our conversation with Ahbi. It’s clear that there is a great amount of potential to effectively adopt and utilize GovTech and GovData across all levels of government. But we all have work to accomplish first!

If you’re interested in learning more about Townfolio and our data sciences as a service, you can reach out to me through this link for a one-on-one demonstration of our platform. We’re passionate about pushing government innovation forward, and we’re confident that we can help optimize your operations along the way. 

Thanks for reading!