Most governments have already picked the low-hanging fruit of single-function ‘fix my pothole’ applications, and will need to stretch higher to deliver integrated, citizen-focused services, according to global analyst firm Ovum.
In its new 2016 Trends to Watch report on Government Technology study, the independent technology analyst firm identified a number of key trends that will impact the government technology market in 2016.
It claimed many agencies are moving past e-government, automating existing processes, and toward digital government, where new processes of government are developed. In addition, it found that citizen identity is critical to seamless digital government services and an agile government IT organisation requires an agile supporting business processes.
It also found cost-effective end-user analytics tools can make evidence-based policy achievable.
Ovum public sector principal analyst and author of the report, Al Blake, said first-generation e-government initiatives are focused on automating existing government processes.
“We are now seeing a shift to rethinking the business of government and linking processes to deliver a digital experience. In most cases, the technically easy options have been delivered, asking if the world needs any more ‘fix my pothole’ apps,” he said.
Blake also mentioned that while evidence-driven policy has often been an aspirational goal, a number of technical developments are bringing it closer to reality.
“The increasing availability of massive processing power, coupled with intuitive end-user interfaces and pay as you go delivery offerings, puts analytical capabilities at the fingertips of policy-makers and planners that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. This is a real game changer.”
However, the report also highlighted that responding to the demands of citizens and politicians for faster results requires organisation-wide change.
“There is not much point in having an agile IT unit if your procurement, recruitment, and budgeting processes still take months,” Blake said.
He mentioned critical to the delivery of next-generation seamless services is solving the digital identity challenge, an issue closely linked to culture.
“Many countries, with a history of paper ID systems, cannot understand what the fuss is about, while others have been politically burned trying to introduce such systems and have to manage citizen suspicion and pushback. Countries that resolve that challenge sooner will move ahead of the pack in digital government,” Blake added.