Joel Cherkis highlights four public sector IT trends for 2014

Microsoft's general manager for Worldwide Government expects focus on data, social, cloud and mobile

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 09 January 2014
Joel Cherkis highlights four public sector IT trends for 2014

Joel Cherkis, Microsoft’s general manager for Worldwide Government, has revealed the four public sector IT trends he thinks will be prominent in 2014.

Writing in a recent blog post, Cherkis focused on what government and city leaders who view ICT as an asset and not a financial hindrance can gain from technological innovations to enhance the lives of citizens and government employees.

“In 2013, we saw faster next-generation service delivery than most government leaders thought possible, and new tools and devices increased efficiency in city systems and workforces,” writes Cherkis. “2014 promises more of the same."

Cherkis highlighted the rapid modernisation of city systems, the broad availability of analytic tools, and the expanded role of mobile devices as the biggest trends to emerge in 2013, and the trends he identifies for 2014 cover a range of topic areas:

Data, data, data – “Governments have begun to understand the value of their data and to evaluate new systems that will help them get more out of it,” writes Cherkis. “As a natural extension, they’re also exposing their data to researchers, academics, and small businesses who can do the same.” Cherkis predicts that 2014 will see further proliferation of applications that allow users to take full advantage of their data stores. He also envisages more worker-facing applications, allowing governments to deliver new services at an affordable cost.

Increasing social engagement – While social media is a significant presence in citizen’s personal lives, governments in general are yet to follow suit. Cherkis predicts that 2014 will be the year government’s catch up. “I predict dramatic growth in the way people within governments collaborate socially, and also in the way they interact socially with people outside of government agencies, such as citizens and partners,” he writes.

Widespread cloud consolidation – Cherkis expects widespread consolidation of government infrastructure into cloud platforms in 2014: “We’ve been talking about the cloud for several years, but now there’s enough security accreditation that governments are ready to move.”

Rapid mobile expansion – The growth of tablet and phablets witnessed in 2013 is something Cherkis feels will continue in 2014, helping government agencies expand their use of mobility solutions. “Workers, weary of carrying redundant devices, have been waiting for ways to be productive when they’re out and about,” he writes. “In 2014, more of them will use just one device that connects to the cloud and runs all of their productivity and business applications. Phablets may be the answer.

Looking at these predictions, it seems 2014 is likely to be a year that will see government and city leaders incorporating existing technologies and products offerings in a more comprehensive way than ever before.

“These are all great trends for cities that need to ‘do new with less’,” concludes Cherkis. “The tools are here, and they’re already driving the transformation. To make the most of the year ahead, let’s make a New Year’s resolution together: let’s challenge ourselves to embrace change — to understand the new technologies and the roles they can play in transforming IT services. While you’re at it, you can challenge vendors, partners, and even your IT staff to join you in embracing ICT as an asset, recognising its importance in delivering innovative new services that will make your city great. Try that and 2014 will indeed be a transformative year.”

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