Top 10 upcoming government technology trends

These trends are predicted to optimize public services in the next 12 to 18 months, according to Gartner.

How to prepare your workforce for the digital era At the 2019 MIT CIO Symposium, Amy DeCastro of Schneider Electric discussed how HR and IT teams can work together to upskill workers.

In the midst of a growing digital society, the current US economy faces social instability, a multigenerational workforce, privacy issues, rising populism, and more, according to Gartner. To help public service organizations best optimize their business goals, the research and advisory company identified the top government technology trends for 2019 and 2020. 

SEE: How to build a successful CIO career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Gartner's Technology Trends in Government 2019-2020 report is "in response to pressing public policy goals and business needs of government organizations in jurisdictions around the globe." This need-to-know list is aimed to help government CIOs best prioritize and budget for technology investments. 

"The government top 10 technology trends were developed by Gartner analysts covering the public sector," said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner. "Selection is based on client interactions, proprietary research, Gartner surveys, and in conjunction with the government top 10 business trends which, in turn, are policy responses to global macro trends that are impacting governments around the world. The technology trends address the factors that influence a government organization's ability to fulfill its mission and achieve business objectives."

Here are the top 10 government technology trends for CIOs: 

1. Adaptive security

An adaptive security strategy views risk, trust, and security as an ongoing process, which involves anticipating cyberthreats before it happens. The key word is "adaptive" meaning companies must recognize that no security plan is perfect, but it must be ready for evolving threats. 

2. Citizen digital identity 

Digital identity involves identifying a person through any government digital channel, available to all US citizens. While this is crucial for access to government services, governments are slow to adopt, the report noted. Government CIOs should provide digital identities that meet both security standards and citizen expectations.

3. Multichannel citizen engagement 

If governments meet citizens on their preferred channels, will be more satisfied with the interaction. Governments should consider using mobile devices, as most government website traffic comes from smartphones. 

4. Agile by design

The report recommended CIOs adopt an agile-by-design approach, using agile systems and solutions that create a more responsive environment. 

5. Digital product management

The 2019 Gartner CIO Survey found that more than two-thirds of government CIOs either already have, or are planning to implement digital product management (DPM). DPM involves developing, monitoring, and refining products for business users. 

6. Anything as a Service (XaaS)

"XaaS is used to encapsulate several categories of information technology, including those delivered in the cloud as a subscription-based service—such as SaaS, platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and application platform as a service (aPaaS)," Howard noted. "From a business point of view, XaaS reinforces a 'service-first' mindset that is customer-centered and performance oriented."

XaaS offers an alternative to modernizing legacy infrastructure, providing scalability and more efficient delivery of digital government services.

7. Shared services 2.0

This second wave of shared services focuses on delivering high-value business capabilities including enterprise-wide security, identity management, and business analytics. Before shared services focused on cost savings, often resulting in poor outcomes. 

8. Digitally empowered workforce

Digitally-enabled workforces have higher employee satisfaction, retention, and engagement, according to the report. Government organizations currently lag in this area and should better prioritize digital initiatives. 

9. Analytics everywhere

Analytics are becoming more critical for organizations, and government agencies can benefit from these automated processes since they help people make more informed decisions in real time. 

10. Augmented intelligence

"Augmented intelligence is a way to emphasize that the value of artificial intelligence (AI) is in its ability to supplement the knowledge and skills of the government workforce —relieving people from repetitive tasks or helping inform human decision making," said Howard. "AI when used strategically, selectively, and ethically can increase business efficiency while helping government workers be more effective in the work they do."

While these technologies are geared toward government CIOs, executives across industries would still benefit from reviewing these trends, as they may apply to their business contexts, Howard said. 

"The relative importance or general applicability of these technology trends depends entirely on the context of a government CIO's unique business environment and specific agency mission." Howard said. "They also vary from region to region and among tiers of government—local, regional or national. Given that, we encourage government CIOs to use this list of technology trends as a starting point to develop their own list of the strategic technologies that are most pertinent to their own organization."

For more, check out Digital transformation and the CIO: Everything you need to know today on TechRepublic. 

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