If you’re heading a digital transformation project for a public sector organisation, then you’re probably wondering how the latest technologies will help make your life easier. Because that's what technology does in our everyday life; it makes things easier.
Although many of the technologies said to be big players in 2017 are not entirely new, we’re beginning to see innovative ways the public sector is utilising them to improve citizen services.
Take a look at the technologies that will transform digital government in 2017.
1. Cloud computing
The US Government is moving to the cloud, and according to Wired Magazine, agencies across America are finding innovative means of ensuring compliance.
Contrary to popular belief, cloud computing is the practice of using remote servers hosted on the Internet, rather than there being actual servers in the 'clouds'. Information is stored, managed and processed remotely, rather than data being stored on a personal device or local hard drive.
US Government agencies are finding that migration to the cloud is allowing for a more flexible form of government, and in many cases, public sector organisations are able to deliver improved citizen services.
Although cloud computing is popular in the private sector, it hasn’t been as widely taken up in the public sector due to security concerns. Regardless of this, cloud computing still offers government agencies the ability to consolidate IT and move towards shared services.
2. Big Data & Analytics
Data and analytics is a relatively new trend in government, but you’ve most likely already heard of it as a force to be reckoned with in general. Big data and analytics is the process with which large data sets are analysed in order to uncover patterns or predict future events.
When big data is applied in the public sector, states and local authorities are able to collect information on the day-to-day happenings of a city or a service and improve the way it functions.
Big data, across industry, has become so popular that Datamation predicts that the $112 billion spent on big data in 2015 will nearly double in 2017. The public sector can expect to save time and resources by improved decision making through the implementation of big data strategies.
3. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform government and the world as we know it. IoT is the interconnection of physical objects with the internet in order to make life better. Say you have sensors in a garbage bin that can detect when it’s full. The sensor can automically transmit that information to a central location to have it changed.
The cost of sensors and communication technologies is constantly going down, so many government agencies should soon be able to benefit from the fruits of gathering important data from devices.
4. Digital Identity
In 2016, the UN and the World Bank set a goal of providing everyone on the planet with a legal digital ID by 2030. This announcement was a result of a range of digital identity schemes that were introduced in 2016 such as the Gov.UK Verify initiative, and Australia announced that the first phase of its digital identity program will be launched by August 2017.
New technologies are also being introduced to foster compatibility and interoperability between nations, most notably Estonia is currently looking at blockchain technology to introduce a transnational e-residency program.
Mobile technology, particularly the advent of smartphone technology, has brought about many changes in cellular communication. Most of us know that mobile phones have changed the consumer and the way people communicate and interact, but many public sector organisations may not yet realise the importance of mobile first strategies.
One particular public sector organisation that’s embraced mobile is AusPost. Australia Post delivers more than 90 million items each week and has an incredibly strong social media presence with more than 300,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
When AusPost migrated to the cloud, they were able to track how people were interacting with their brand and it enabled them to connect followers to a client contact in their database. You can read more about how AusPost did this here.
In 2017, we should see more mobile friendly services being developed as more and more millenials prefer communication to go through their phone. Even something as simple as a mobile friendly site with clear and easy to click buttons could transform how citizens interact with your agency.
Do you think there are any other technology trends for 2017 we missed? Let us know in the comments below.