Technology trends for the future of government

Rick Howard, vice president analyst at Gartner discusses strategic technology trends that public-sector CIOs can incorporate into their organisations’ strategic plans

Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends highlight what should be or soon will be critical areas of focus for government CIOs as they transform public services, says Rick Howard, vice president analyst at Gartner.
Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends highlight what should be or soon will be critical areas of focus for government CIOs as they transform public services, says Rick Howard, vice president analyst at Gartner.

Gartner’s list of strategic government technology trends is designed to help CIOs establish the rationale, timing and priority of technology investments.

Adaptive security

An adaptive security approach treats risk, trust and security as a continuous and adaptive process that anticipates and mitigates constantly evolving cyberthreats. It acknowledges there is no perfect protection and security needs to be adaptive, everywhere, all the time.

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Citizen digital identity

Digital identity — the ability to prove an individual’s identity via any government digital channel — is critical for inclusion and access to government services, yet many governments have been slow to adopt them. Government CIOs must provision digital identities that uphold both security imperatives and citizen expectations.

Multichannel citizen engagement

Governments that meet citizens via their preferred channels, for example, in person, by phone, via mobile device (over 50% of government website traffic now comes from mobile devices), smart speakers, chatbots or augmented reality, will meet citizen expectations and achieve program outcomes.

Agile by design

CIOs must create a nimble and responsive environment by adopting an agile-by-design approach, a set of principles and practices used to develop more agile systems and solutions that impact both the current and target states of the business, information and technical architecture.

Digital product management

In the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey, over two-thirds of government CIOs said they already have, or are planning to implement, digital product management (DPM). Often replacing a “waterfall” project management approach, which has a poor track record of success, DPM involves developing, delivering, monitoring, refining and retiring “products” or offerings for business users or citizens. It causes organisations to think differently and delivers tangible results more quickly and sustainably.

Anything as a service (XaaS)
The 2019 Gartner CIO Survey also found that 39% of government organisations plan to spend the greatest amount of new or additional funding on cloud services. The XaaS model offers an alternative to legacy infrastructure modernisation, provides scalability and reduces time to deliver digital government at scale.

Shared services 2.0

Many government organisations have tried to drive IT efficiencies through centralisation or sharing of services, often with poor results. Shared services 2.0 shifts the focus from cost savings to delivering high-value business capabilities such as such as enterprisewide security, identity management, platforms or business analytics.

Digitally empowered workforce

A digitally enabled work environment is linked to employee satisfaction, retention and engagement — but government currently lags other industries in this area. A workforce of self-managing teams needs the training, technology and autonomy to work on digital transformation initiatives.

Analytics everywhere

Gartner refers to the pervasive use of analytics at all stages of business activity and service delivery as analytics everywhere. It shifts government agencies from the dashboard reporting of lagging indicators to autonomous processes that help people make better decisions in real time.

Augmented intelligence

Gartner recommends that government CIOs reframe artificial intelligence as “augmented intelligence,” a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence working together to enhance cognitive performance.

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