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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Trends in Digital Government

People, Data Top List of Trends Set to Transform Public Sector Technology Use

Roger Hughlett's avatar

By: Roger Hughlett

October 5, 2015

There’s a lot riding on government agencies – from cities and counties to those on the state and federal levels. There’s more demand for better service and more pressure being placed on organizations to make smart technology investments that provide a sizable bang for the taxpayer’s buck.

With those goals placed in front of them, government IT leaders need to recognize the facts and trends facing their organizations if they are going to succeed in improving services by making smart technology investments.

Rick Howard, Research Director with Gartner Research, identified the major issues facing public sector IT leaders in his presentation titled “The Top 10 Business Trends and Strategic Technologies in (Digital) Government” at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando.

All Digital, All The Time

Rick Howard, Research Director with Gartner

Rick Howard, Research Director with Gartner

“Today's connected citizen expects 100 percent digital service,” Howard told the audience, which had gathered for Industry Day at Symposium. The trouble is, “among more than 40 industries covered by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, only Internet Service Providers have a lower score” than government.

Those ratings are surely improving with each passing month for local, state and federal governments. Certainly the amount of people from government agencies who packed into hear Howard’s presentation are clear evidence that government IT professionals want to guide the public sector into a bright future.

Government Business Trends

In his sessions, Howard detailed the key business trends that are impacting government.

  • Evolving Civil Service: Redefining how work gets done and who does it.
  • Citizen Experience Management: Focusing on customer satisfaction and business outcomes.
  • Data-Driven Workforce: Bringing decision-making to frontline employees.
  • Frictionless Transaction: Implementing automated and autonomous business processes.
  • Multijurisdictional Consortia: Sharing business services to increase buying power and lower costs.
  • Institutional Agility: Repositioning people, process, data and technology to adapt quickly.
  • Partner Ecosystems: Extending business processes to a network of private and nonprofits.
  • Community Resilience: Supporting quick recovery from natural or human-caused disruptions.
  • Digital Leadership: Enhancing governance with engaged technology-literate executives.
  • Sustainable Cybersecurity: Establishing stable funding sources to secure government data assets.

The people at the center of delivering services on behalf of government agencies are key. This supports the concept of Digital Humanism that was so prevalent at this year’s Business Process Management Summit. (I blogged on this from BPM Summit.)

The other key takeaway from Howard’s list centers on the important role strategic use of technologies will play in improving how government works. Leveraging partnerships, implementing agile processes and being ever vigilant about security are vital to government organizations of all sizes.

Government Technology Trends

The following trends touch on what sort of technology will need to be used as government moves into a new realm of citizen-government interaction. Howard, rightfully points out, that value is what citizens want. Technology can help deliver that value.

  • Digital Workplace: Boosting employee productivity in a "consumerized" work environment.
  • Multichannel Citizen Engagement: Redesigning services with marketing tools and new outreach practices.
  • Open Any Data: Open by default policies for internal and external publication of data.
  • Citizen eID: Citizens securely access and interact with government via any channel.
  • Analytics Everywhere: Embedded in applications for responsive organizational performance.
  • Smart Machines: Incorporating cognitive computing, machine learning, smart advisors, autonomics and virtual robotics/assistants into workflows.
  • Internet of Things: The network of physical objects that interact with multiple environments
  • Digital Government Platforms: Applies SOA design patterns to the provision and use of enterprise services across multiple domains, systems and processes.
  • Software-Defined Architecture: Open APIs make applications and infrastructure fully configurable, dynamic.
  • Risk-Based Security: Continuous security evaluation as threats change and technologies evolve.

Take Action, Improve Service

So how can an agency improve how government works and how it delivers better services to citizens as well as other stakeholders? Howard provided some very solid applicable advice.

  • Build a knowledge-based government workforce.
  • Weave user experience and cybersecurity together for world-class service delivery.
  • Enable cross-boundary data exchange and services coordination.
  • Make government more agile and responsive.

Keeping these ideas front and center within all levels of government – from program managers to elected officials – will lead to better government.

At MicroPact, we understand the role technology plays in empowering both government workers and citizens. Our work with 97 percent of federal agencies with more than 500 employees and 98 percent of states, shows time and time again that well-designed technology solutions deliver results to the public sector.

About the Author

Roger Hughlett was a member of the Marketing Team with MicroPact from 2013 - 2015.