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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Impact of Changing Technology on Government

Creating Success Through Digital Government

Sandeep Khare's avatar

By: Sandeep Khare

October 6, 2015

Rick Howard and Andrea Di Maio Speak at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Rick Howard and Andrea Di Maio Speak at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

“Digital” is more than a buzz word here at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, it is an underlying theme in nearly every session. This “theme” was front and center in a packed session I attended given by Rick Howard, Research Director and Government Research Agenda Manager, and Andrea Di Maio, Managing VP, at Gartner.

It was an engaging talk with a focus on the impact of changing technology, especially the rise of smart machines and interconnected devices (Internet of Things, IoT) on the entire range of domains and how this technology is transforming the government into a “digital government”. Understanding how government operations may evolve and what areas may get impacted is important for vendors and government alike so they can improvise their services and tailor their products to better serve the needs of the public.

What is Digital Government?

“Digital government is a government designed and operated to take advantage of digital data in optimizing, transforming and creating all kinds of government services.”

Some of the digital government predictions that Rick and Andrea highlighted are worth evaluating as those provide an insight into what and where the vendors need to focus as they continue to evolve their offerings.

  • By 2020, more than 25% of police officers will be functionally equivalent to Robocop, leading to a 40% reduction in traditional crimes. It is very likely that these police officers will be deeply connected into the digital network and will have access to real-time data to not only investigate but also assess the hot spots and take proactive actions.
  • By 2025, an increase in demand of human services will be offset by the decrease in cost, driven by predictive analytics. For example, the use of predictive analytics will allow government agencies to allocate resources based on the level of demand, which will in turn enable them to cut down on, or eliminate redundant work force, while simultaneously maintaining a high level of service.
  • By 2025, more than 30% of online government services to citizens will be discontinued. One way this will be possible is by leveraging the data available through various channels to optimize the citizen services and remove those services, which do not provide the value customers seek.
  • Smart machines will be a key component of the digital services offered to the citizens.
    • Autonomous vehicles will lead to driverless shuttles, drones, traffic patrols
    • Robots will act as surgeon associates
    • Large sensor-based networks will lead to smart city infrastructure
    • Virtual private assistants and smart advisors will become key to case management type applications and may help with fraud detection, crime prediction and other investigative use cases.
  • Digital Civic moments, such as the following are already starting to become reality,
    • Turning taxes into services resulting in higher tax compliance, higher revenues, more tax breaks and even linking taxation to green behaviors

The long term success of the digital government will depend upon some of the factors listed below,

  • First, data is going to be a driving force as it not only helps in determining what customer behavior and preferences are, but it also impacts major policy decisions. This data will come from people, processes and things. People will co-create data through a variety of interactions and channels. Business processes will generate new types of data as smart machines such as robots, drones, etc. integrate with day to day operations. The Internet of Things (IoT) will connect each and every device and generate data at an unprecedented levels. Organizations will need to employ new skills and tools to master and leverage this data.
  • Second, new technologies have to follow human-centric design as people (such as knowledge workers) will have significantly important roles as part of the digital government. Human centric design has to cater not only to the role and needs of the customer but also adapt to the context in which a customer utilizes a particular service.
  • Third, to sustain this digital transformation a high performance leadership team will need to be in place with a Chief Data Officer (CDO), and with the CIO taking on the responsibilities of Chief Integration Officers and Chief Innovation Officers.

No Part of Government is Immune to Digital Transformation

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo: All Domains Will be Affected, but at Different

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo: All Domains Will be Affected, but at Different Speeds

All areas of government will be affected in this digital transformation journey, with the rate of change varying across domains, and the timeline adjusting in a continuous manner. For example, the IoT and smart machines may have a substantial impact on government domains such as administrative services in the next 5 to 10 years. That may get shortened due to possible policy changes or other unknown factors. 

It is important that government leadership and the companies developing products and services stay on top of this changing technology landscape. Companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are already investing heavily into smart machines and IoT related technologies. Companies building business applications driven by data, processes and people should assess their long term strategy in order to architect products that enable them to effectively interact with environments consisting of both virtual and physical components.

At MicroPact, we have been empowering government with digital solutions for four decades with products that are open and interoperable. Our work in the publics sector, in 98 percent of US states and 97 percent of federal agencies with more than 500 employees, is evidence of our commitment to continuously delivering well-designed technology solutions that serve government.

Roger Hughlett provides additional insights from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on digital government

About the Author

Sandeep Khare worked at MicroPact from 2003-2016, most recently in the Marketing department.