Smart governments will be those that leverage the power of social, mobile, cloud and information to drive innovation in the public sector, according to Gartner.
During the Gartner Symposium/Itxpo – held in Dubai from 1-3 April – Gartner analysts highlighted the importance of the four key topics as part of its top ten technology trends that government IT organisations should factor into strategic planning processes.
"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.
These trends include:
Personal Mobile Workplace
While government IT organisations may provide staff with devices and applications, or issue well-articulated policies to manage employee-owned devices, employees will inevitably begin to use these devices on a personal basis. Some employees will want to use personal information and applications rather than corporate information and applications.
Mobile Citizen Engagement
There is increased interest in using mobile devices and social software functionalities to provide citizen-facing services. Governments need to consider who will use the services, how often they will be used, how relevant and compelling they are and whether they can be automated.
Big Data and Actionable Analytics
Big data continues to present governments with information management and processing challenges that cannot be resolved by existing infrastructures. Governments are searching for ways to use big data to gain business process efficiencies and reduce costs, but are having limited success. To date, the adoption of big data initiatives in the public sector has been limited to specific use cases such as fraud, waste and abuse detection; enhanced security capabilities; public health surveillance; and healthcare management.
Governments provide open data to each other and to the wider public, and also become consumers of open data generated by other parts of government, businesses, non-governmental organisations and citizen communities. This open data can be defined as machine-readable data, or as information accessible through an application programming interface. In smart city plans, governments will look to find new ways to combine this data from different sources, as well as the ability to build new services and processes based on open data.
Citizen data vaults provide data subjects with the ability to access their data outside the context of a particular government transaction. The vaults provide more transparent control of individual privacy rights on electronic data, making it easier to integrate different government services and control individuals’ access to data within relevant legal frameworks. However, governments must overcome various issues including interoperability, latency, data availability and reliability, credibility and security challenges.
Hybrid IT and cloud
Both public and private cloud platforms and services continue to be used by governments worldwide, but they are now focusing on purchasing commercial services that are restricted by the government, rather than developing internal cloud services. Several countries are focused on using more-open public clouds for non-critical applications, such as customer relationship management. The public cloud is also gaining momentum as governments aim to increase savings via consolidated procurement.
Internet of things (IoT)
Smart cities are looking at how they can process vast amounts of data from a range of internet-enabled devices – such as video cameras, parking sensors, air quality monitors and more – to help local governments increase public safety, improve the environment and the quality of life for citizens.
Smart government initiatives depend on interoperable information, data obtained from external and internal sources, and processing and delivery networks that effectively integrate planning, performance analysis and business operations. Plans to increase interoperability should be scalable and focus on a ‘just enough’ approach to standards and architecture to deliver immediate business value.
Cases can either be managed on a decision-centric basis where the goal is to arrive at a high-impact outcome, or as an investigative case, where the aim is to identify interaction patterns within the data. Workflow and data types have brought business process management and enterprise content management vendors into the emerging case management market.
Gamification for engagement
Governments can leverage gamification to enhance services, applications and processes, thereby increasing interactions with citizens and employees, and improving engagement levels. However, for this to be successful, governments must understand the needs and preferences of their target audience, identify which behaviors they want to change and determine how success will be measured.