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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Gartner’s 2021 Government Technology Trends Report Predicts Post-Pandemic Modernization Acceleration

Gartner predicts that in four years more than 50 percent of government agencies will have taken the steps to modernize their infrastructure and core systems.

The company recently published its Top Technology Trends in Government for 2021, which could help government CIOs in their post-pandemic operations. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the acceleration of digital innovation across the government sector around the world, presenting government leaders with new opportunities to use data and technologies to build trust, agility and resilience in public institutions,” said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “While pandemic-related challenges will continue for some time, technology trends have emerged that address critical challenges in areas such as security, cost containment and citizen experience.” 

Many of the trends deal with digitalizing resources, revamping old systems and connecting across platforms and processes. More than that, the trends interconnect among themselves promoting the major theme of 2021: hyperconnection.  

Accelerated Legacy Modernization 

Gartner suggests governments modernize legacies by encapsulating, rehosting, re-platforming, refactoring, rearchitecting, rebuilding and replacing. Many governments are looking toward these methods due to the pandemic highlighting their limitations to respond to disruptions.  

But the need to completely replace a former component is not always necessary. Governments need to first identify the risk and know how much impact their modernization technique could have.  

Adaptive Security 

The traditional style of prevent and detect security has now become a four-pronged strategy known as predict, prevent, detect and respond.  

Gartner first mentioned adaptive security architecture on its top 10 list of technology trends. While adaptive security is not a new concept, it is notable that by 2025, Gartner predicts 75 percent of government CIOs will be responsible for “operational and mission-critical technology environments.”   

Anything as a Service (XaaS) 

If governments don’t want to modernize legacy applications and infrastructure, XaaS provides an alternative. The cloud-only sourcing strategy allows subscription members to utilize a full range of business and IT services.  

XaaS means anything as a service, and it encompasses infrastructure, platform and software services found on the internet, better known as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS respectively.

Gartner predicts that 95 percent of new IT investments made by government agencies will be made as a service solution by 2025. 

Citizen Digital Identity 

Digital Identities are already being used in many countries. In France, the FranceConnect service allows citizens to access various public services, such as tax returns and status of healthcare, using a single login.  

“Gartner predicts that a true global, portable, decentralized identity standard will emerge in the market by 2024, to address business, personal, social and societal and identity-invisible use cases,” said the report. 

The success of these services relies on governance, technology and user experience, according to Gartner. Government CIOs must choose between managing the entire process in-house or using a service provider. It is worth considering that service providers could pose privacy concerns and security threats.  

Composable Government Enterprise 

This trend refers to any government organization that incorporates composable design principles. There are four principles included: modularity, autonomy, orchestration and discovery. 

“Gartner predicts that 50% of technology companies that provide products and services to the government will offer packaged business capabilities to support composable applications by 2023,” said the report. 

Within these principles, there are benefits that combine to make businesses more efficient and effective. Composable businesses have more speed through discovery, greater agility through modularity, better leadership through orchestration and resilience through autonomy.  

Case Management as a Service (CMaaS) 

The principles of composable business principles and practices can also be applied to the predominant work style of government: casework. CMaaS uses the principles to assemble, disassemble and recompose modular products.  

Gartner’s report notes that by 2024 government organizations with a composable case management application architecture will implement new features at least 80 percent faster than those without. 

This trend would seemingly be encompassed by XaaS, but it is not usually identified as a perk when looking at the other “as a service” programs. 

Data Sharing as a Program 

It is not just data sharing that will help improve businesses and governments, but analyzing what data to share and doing so correctly. In an article published by Gartner in May 2021, the firm predicted that through 2022 “less than 5% of data-sharing programs will correctly identify trusted data and locate trusted data sources.” 

This can be solved by establishing trust-based mechanisms, which will aid in changing public perception of data sharing. “Gartner predicts by 2023, 50% of government organizations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing, including standards for data structure, quality and timeliness,” according to the report. Perception changes and new research on positive benefit outcomes could explain the change of predictions from 2022 to 2023. 

Hyperconnected Public Services 

Hyperconnected public services will only be possible through hyperautomation initiatives. These initiatives would include promoting the use of smart machines compared to human workers. There will be repercussions when it comes to employment numbers, but all the initiatives, in theory, would allow government CIOs to develop “hyperconnected, highly automated end-to-end business processes and public services that require minimal human intervention.” 

The benefits will seemingly outweigh the cost of such hyperautomated services because Gartner predicts that by 2024 “75% of governments will have at least three enterprise-wide hyperautomation initiatives launched or underway.” 

Multichannel Citizen Engagement 

In 2020, many citizens faced myriad disasters and dissatisfaction, leading them to engage in ways they never had before. Natural disasters and a global pandemic pushed the boundaries of the traditional channels of engagement. There are four main strategies that technologies have focused on. Those include customer analytics and continuous experience, employee training, mobile customer service and artificial intelligence. 

Gartner predicts that over 30 percent of governments will use engagement metrics to track quantity and quality of citizen participation in policy and budget decisions by 2024. 

Operationalized Analytics 

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics are all types of operationalized analytics. These technologies can help governments make more informed decisions. 

According to Gartner’s report, 60 percent of government artificial intelligence and data analytics investments aim to directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes.

Lindsey Wilkinson
Lindsey Wilkinson is a News Media Major and Political Science & French Minor at the University of Alabama. She is Food & Health editor for Alice - where she also serves as editor-in-chief for the 2021-2022 school year, a contributing writer for The Crimson White, quarterly article chair for Moxie Alabama, resident advisor in Presidential Village 1, and a mentor for the Media Writing Center. Lindsey started her internship at Homeland Security Today in 2021.

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