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In an Amazon world, most city halls still 'run on' spreadsheets — ex-cloud CEO wants to change that

Key Points
  • State and local governments are "way behind the private sector" in delivering online services to their constituents, says Joseph Tucci.
  • The former CEO of cloud giant EMC is part of a group that's rolling up six digital companies that aim to make dealing with city hall easier.
Here's how one tech venture is trying to digitize city hall

State and local governments are "way behind the private sector" in delivering online-based services to their constituents, Joseph Tucci, former CEO of cloud giant EMC, told CNBC on Monday.

"Nobody loves dealing with their local municipality to do anything, whether it's getting a fishing license or pay taxes," Tucci said on "Squawk Box." "Most of the government runs on an Excel spreadsheet. It's that kind of arcane."

Tucci is trying to change that as co-chair of GTY Technology Holdings, a publicly traded company designed to make acquisitions. Earlier this month, GTY agreed to buy and roll up six digital companies that make dealing with city hall easier.

"Only 5 percent of all the applications in state and local government run on the cloud," said Tucci.

Alongside Tucci, Bill Green, also co-chair of GTY, told CNBC: "Things that used to take weeks take minutes. Things that you used to go and have to stand in line and sign up you just do digitally."

In an Amazon world of everything at your fingertips, people expect the same from their governments, said Green, formerly CEO of consulting powerhouse Accenture.

"It's sort of the last vertical, if you will, to get with the program. It's how the rest of the people run their life. So we expect more from our municipality," he said. "The men and women who work in these don't have the tools to serve you well."

Chris Liddell, director of strategic initiatives for President Donald Trump's administration, echoed the same sentiments in a CNBC interview last year.

"Virtually none" of the government is on the cloud, Liddell said at the time. "We're 10 to 20 years behind" the private sector.

Liddell helped steer Microsoft through a difficult transition during the 2008 financial crisis as the tech giant's chief financial officer.

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