10 strategic technology trends governments need to be paying attention to


Earlier this week, we reported on a partnership between the city of Accra and Microsoft and about how this partnership will ease the backlog of Accra’s everyday operations. Gartner has in its latest research identified the top 10 most important technology trends for governments in 2015.

Other governments can like the city of Accra benefit from integrating technology more into their day to day operations. Technology research house Gartner says that these trends are important in order to help CIOs and IT leaders assess critical strategic technologies and plan their enterprises’ or agencies’ IT roadmaps better.

There is no doubt that when implemented correctly technology can aid governments in disseminating the necessary information to citizens, interacting with citizens and service delivery complaints and governments attending to them. The old way of government citizen interacting is not effective as it takes a long time.

Gartner forecasts that spending by national, federal and local governments worldwide on technology products and services will decline by 1.8 % from US$439-billion to US$431-billion in 2015.

According to Gartner, there are a number of factors behind the decline, including organisational culture, legacy IT systems and business processes, stretched IT budgets, and the lack of critical IT skills.

Read more: 5 big questions about the Internet of Things’ impact on business answered

It is not all gloom though: the report states that spending will grow to US$475.5-billion by 2019.

The only way to succeed as governments is having the critical IT skills to realise the potential of technology and the budgets to implement technology processes.

“These strategic technology trends have substantial disruptive potential that is just beginning to materialise and will reach an inflection point within the next three to five years,” Rick Howard, research director at Gartner, said, “Public sector CIOs can capitalise on the value of these trends by first determining how they will impact government programme operations or service delivery models, and then by building the organisational capabilities and capacity needed to support them.”

Top 10 strategic technology trends for government:

1. Digital workplace

The government workforce of the future will be populated with digitally literate employees, from frontline workers to top-level executives. The digital workplace is open, flat and democratic. It is the organisational manifestation of open government. CIOs and IT leaders must take a leadership role in building a more social, mobile, accessible and information-driven work environment.

2. Multichannel citizen engagement

Government jurisdictions with municipal offices, physical mail correspondence, contact centres, e-government websites and mobile apps are struggling to provide their citizens with one coherent view of the organisation. A multichannel strategy, in the context of digital government, means more than delivering a seamless experience to stakeholders. It also is about delivering interactions that are connected, consistent, convenient, collaborative, customised, clear and transparent. To produce those outcomes, policymakers and CIOs must radically redesign service models by combining traditional marketing tools (such as focus groups, user experience labs, surveys and stakeholder analysis) with new approaches (such as citizen co-creation initiatives, agile development and design thinking).

3. Open any data

The number and variety of public-facing open datasets and web APIs published by all tiers of governments worldwide continue to increase. Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 30 per cent of digital government projects will treat any data as open data.

Read more: Africa’s the new China — here’s why investors should care

4. Citizen e-ID

To be successful, citizen e-ID programmes require a trusted relationship between government and commercial vendors, with a focus on business value, interoperability and user experience. CIOs must also ensure that personal privacy and data confidentiality requirements are met.

5. Edge analytics

Analytics is rapidly evolving from a separate and distinct business function into a fluid aspect of system operations and user experiences. The capabilities of edge analytics are particularly relevant as government CIOs and agency programme leaders design new mobile services that are augmented by situational context and real-time interactions.

6. Scalable interoperability

Government agencies are starting to increasingly rely on data exchange with external partners in order to optimise their service delivery networks and business functions, such as cross-boundary collaboration and service coordination, monitoring and outcome reporting. Scalable interoperability offers government CIOs, enterprise architects and business process analysts an incremental, “just enough” approach to architecture and standards to deliver “soon enough” value

7. Digital Government Platforms

In digital business, citizens should no longer have to navigate among various agencies and programmes through vertical, first generation e-government web portals in order to locate the services they seek. A digital government platform incorporates service-oriented architecture design patterns for the provision and use of enterprise services across multiple domains, systems and processes.

Read more: Tax assistant TaxTim starts expansion plans with PwC Namibia partnership

8. Internet of Things

The IoT is the network of physical objects (fixed or mobile) that contains embedded technology to communicate, monitor, sense or interact with multiple environments. Government CIOs will need to approach the IoT strategically to evaluate how a growing base of intelligent objects and equipment can be combined with traditional internet and IT systems to support breakthrough innovations in operational performance or public service delivery.

9. Web-scale IT

Web-scale IT enables the rapid and scalable development and delivery of web-based IT services that leverage agile, lean and continuous delivery principles. For government, the shift to web-scale IT is a long-term trend with significant IT process, cultural and technology implications. Organisations adopting a web-scale IT philosophy will largely avoid the acquisition of expensive, scalable computing, storage and networking resources in favour of lower-cost, open-source-derived hardware that bypasses the traditional infrastructure “middlemen.”

10. Hybrid cloud (and IT)

Hybrid IT offers government CIOs a new operating model that supports their IT departments’ ability to combine and manage on-premises infrastructure or internal private cloud with external cloud-based environments (community, public or hybrid) simultaneously. Hybrid IT is how IT departments are organised to secure, deliver, manage and govern these environments.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.