In a recent symposium on smart government, Gartner Research analysts suggested that social, mobile, cloud and information are converging and driving innovation that will help establish and develop smart governments. Gartner offers 10 related IT trends that will play a key role in the coming years (see Gartner Newsroom).
What is smart government? It might be summarized as a seamless integration between agencies and programs that facilities the delivery of services to citizens in an effective manner. For people used to the disconnectedness between agencies this may sound like a pipe dream. For Gartner and some countries, the goal of smart government is a serious endeavor. Emerging technologies may help us move closer to the goal.
“Smart government integrates information, communication and operational technologies to planning, management and operations across multiple domains, process areas and jurisdictions to generate sustainable public value,” said Andrea Di Maio, managing vice president at Gartner. Here are the 10 key IT trends that may play a vital role in this transition.
1. Personal Mobile Workplace
The idea that mobile devices remain completely segregated from personal use is an illusion. Government IT must realize employees will have some level of personal engagement with tools and develop the effective steps for management.
2. Mobile Citizen Engagement
Now that smartphones have reached such high saturation among the general population in most countries, many people look for more and more ways they can leverage their smartphone in every transaction from shopping to business to medical and more. Many citizens are looking for more access to a range of government services via their mobile devices. Gartner suggests that “the suitability of government services to be delivered over a mobile channel depends on a combination of demographics, frequency and recurrence of use, immediacy and urgency of use, potential level of automation, relevance of location information for service delivery, and how compelling the use of the service is.”
3. Big Data and Actionable Analytics
A key challenge for many governments is the effective implementation of big data tools to improve performance and reduce expenses. At this point, big data integration has been on a limited level for “specific use cases such as fraud, waste and abuse detection; enhanced security capabilities; public health surveillance; healthcare management; or combining data from IT and operational technology (OT) applications.”
4. Cost Effective Open Data
There is a range of open data sources that could be integrated to yield key insights across departments. This open date may come from businesses, NGOs, citizen communities, and other sources. Effective utilization could open the door for new services and processes.
5. Citizen Managed Data
People want access to their personal data. Citizen data vaults have been emerging in healthcare and other fields as a way for people to access their specific data beyond a specific transaction with the government, hospital or other agency. In these settings, citizens exert a great level of control over personal privacy and who can access information. This offers great possibilities for increased service even as it comes with great challenges.
6. Hybrid IT and Cloud
The trend among businesses is also being replicated in smart government. Instead of a purely private cloud solution, governments are looking to a hybrid model based on types of data, who needs to access data, costs, and more.
7. Internet of Things
Very few agencies and cities have begun to realize the potential applications for the ability of devices to communicate via the internet and make adjustments. This has potential for improving parking, traffic flow, air quality, security, and much more.
8. Cross Domain Interoperability
Infrastructure between agencies is a major challenge. Smart government will require the effective integration of delivery networks that can maintain interoperable information between internal and external sources of data.
9. BPM for Case Management
There is a the ongoing challenge of managing two types of cases: decision-centric and investigative cases. Both have a heavy dependence on semi-structured and unstructured information.
10. Gamification for Engagement
Many business have effectively utilized gaming via mobile devices or online to motivate customer action or even train the public or the staff. “Gamification for government services, applications and processes can increase user interactivity and change behavior, resulting in greater engagement. Citizens or employees who can have fun are more likely to change behavior, for example, NASA Moonbase Alpha simulates lunar exploration to stimulate teamwork by using a variety of tools, including a lunar rover.”
The challenge is to effectively reach target audiences.