Top 10 strategic technology trends for smart government

1. Personal mobile workplace

Regardless of how well government IT organisations try to categorise the types of devices, applications and interaction styles by user role, they will inevitably miss the fact that on any device, personal use will creep into professional use. 

Government IT organisations may have an illusion of control by either providing and managing those devices or issuing well-articulated policies to allow and manage employee-owned devices. However, the reality is that employees, depending on demographics, personal preferences and pressure to improve performance, can decide how much they want to use corporate information and applications versus personal information and applications.

2. Mobile citizen engagement

Several inquiries with Gartner government clients reveal an interest in providing citizen-facing services using mobile devices, as well as leveraging social software functionalities. This interest is driven by a combination of pressure coming from the political leadership and from opportunities that new technologies present. 

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

Big data continues to present government with information management and processing issues that exceed the capability of traditional IT to support the use of information assets. Existing practices that selectively evaluate which data should be integrated are being challenged by the realization that all data can be integrated with technologies that are specifically developed to do so. 

The adoption of big data concepts and initiatives in the public sector varies widely among jurisdictions and, to date, is limited to 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 to enhance security monitoring or increase situational awareness. Governments are searching for ways to use big data to gain business process efficiencies and reduce costs, but are having limited success.

4. Cost effective open data

Many tend to equate open data with public data, However, data can be defined as open when it is machine-readable and is accessible through an API. This can apply to potentially any data that needs to be processed: whether it be public, discoverable through Freedom of Information Act requests, or restricted for use by a particulat government agency. 

This leads to new ways of mashing up data coming from different sources as well as the ability to build new services and processes based on open data. Governments become both providers of open data to each other and to the public at large (the latter just for public data) and consumers of open data coming from other parts of government as well as from businesses, NGOs and citizen communities.

5. Citizen managed data

Citizen data vaults are services that provide data subjects with the ability to access their data outside the context of a particular government transaction, allowing them much-finer-grained control over when and how data can be accessed, and by whom, within the relevant legal framework that they are subject to. 

Citizen data vaults offer significant potential benefits in meeting Internet users’ evolving expectations, providing more transparent control of individual privacy rights on electronic data, easing the task of integrating different government services, and creating conditions for the creation of value-added services from commercial, nonprofit and peer-to-peer organizations (such as social networks). 

On the other hand, there are significant challenges to overcome, such as interoperability, latency issues, data availability and reliability, credibility and security issues, and the size and complexity of healthcare and other target areas.

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