After nearly a decade of "doing more with less," government CIOs remain under pressure to further optimise IT and business costs while leading digital innovation in the public sector.
According to research analyst firm Gartner, government CIOs face organisational and cultural challenges that are barriers to harnessing the synergistic potential of social, mobile, data analytics, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive transformational change.
“Legacy silos of systems, data and processes reinforce “business as usual” practices and behaviours that limit government participation in broader partner ecosystems capable of supporting fully digital end-to-end citizen services,” Gartner Research Vice President, Rick Howard, said.
“In the digital service economy, government must make strategic investments in IT or risk perpetuating suboptimal business and service models that are financially unsustainable in the long term.
“Government CIOs who are too slow to adopt the technology innovations that are transforming private sector service industries will increase business risk and cost, while compromising the mission of their organisations.”
Howard said spending by national, federal and local governments worldwide on technology products and services is forecast to grow slightly by 0.3 percent to $430.1 billion in 2016, growing to $476.1 billion by 2020 - representing a turnaround after a 5.2 percent decrease in 2015.
To enable government transformation initiatives, Gartner has identified the top 10 strategic technologies in 2016 and provides recommendations to CIOs and IT leaders regarding adoption and benefits.
“It is not a list of what government CIOs spend the most time or money on, rather it is a list of strategic technologies that Gartner recommends they should have a plan for in 2016,” Howard explained.
1) Digital Workplace
Howard said the government workforce is increasingly populated with digitally literate employees, from frontline workers to top-level executives.
“The digital workplace is a business strategy to boost employee engagement and agility through a more consumerised work environment,” Howard said.
“The digital workplace promotes collaborative work styles; supports decentralised, mobile work environments; and embraces employees' personal choice of technologies.”
2) Multichannel Citizen Engagement
Delivering an effective citizen experience requires a holistic approach to the citizen: (1) using data to capture and understand the needs and desires of the citizen; (2) leveraging effective social media and communications to actively engage citizens; (3) allowing the citizen to engage on his or her own terms; (4) understanding the citizen's preferred engagement channels; (5) affording seamless transitions among channels; and (6) ultimately delivering a more satisfying set of citizen interactions. Adopting a citizen-centric information management strategy with multichannel citizen engagement opportunities will deliver quantifiable benefits.
3) Open Any Data
Open any data in government results from "open by default" or "open by preference" governance policies and information management practices.
“These make license-free data available in machine-readable formats to anyone who has the right to access it without any requirement for identification or registration,” Howard added.
“Open data is published as collected at the source ("raw") at the lowest granularity, as determined by privacy, security or data quality considerations. Open data is accessible with open APIs and is not subject to any trademark or copyright.”
4) Citizen e-ID
As government becomes more digitalised, Howard said digital identity will need to become more reliable in order to serve as the core for all digital transactions.
“Citizen electronic identification (e-ID) refers to the orchestrated set of processes and technologies managed by governments to provide a secure domain to enable citizens to access these core resources or services,” Howard said.
Going forward, Howard said governments should require online authentication and identity proofing, because in-person verification methods are becoming outdated for offering citizens integrated and seamless access to resources and services.
“This "no wrong door" business model must be able to associate each citizen with one unique and persistent identifier within the bounds of what is culturally acceptable and legally permissible,” he added.
5) Analytics Everywhere
Analytics is the collection and analysis of data to provide the insight that can guide actions to increase organisational efficiency or program effectiveness.