2019 technology trends driving IT modernization in the Public Sector

In 2018, technology played a critical role in government as the public sector experienced rapid disruption in its IT systems and processes. As we shift our focus to 2019, let’s take a look at four trends that will help shape government in the next 12 months.

Shift from ‘Cloud First’ to ‘Cloud Smart’

Along with improving service delivery and achieving cost savings, one major driver of cloud adoption in government is security. According to a Gartner report, analysts foresee double-digit growth in government use of public cloud services, with spending forecast to grow on average 17.1 percent per year through 2021.

As governments continue to migrate to the cloud, organizations must ensure their shift to the cloud is both cost-effective and secure. This may mean reconsidering how to think about the cloud, improve security and leverage implementation options.

In 2019, shifting from a Cloud First to a Cloud Smart focus will help public sector organizations make sound decisions that will drive modernization. While ‘Cloud Smart’ is a U.S. government initiative, it focuses on the integration of cloud security, procurement, and workforce strategies — it’s a logical next step for governments around the globe. Thinking through the details will help agencies create better and more flexible strategies for implementation, security and acquisition.

Internet of Things increasing data ingestion and management requirements

According to IoT Analytics, smart city projects rank as the largest IoT segment, driven by the hundreds of recent smart city initiatives by governments around the world. Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) promises more flexible and creative solutions for national and regional governments. In 2019 that value will continue to be realized at all levels of public sector organizations, and so will the value of the data yielded from these devices.

IoT connected products are producing millions of data files at an accelerating rate. The advent of machine learning will only add to the data overload as devices ingest vast amounts of information at an incredible rate. In fact, according to research firm SINTEF, it is estimated that by 2020, IoT connected platforms and devices will produce over 40,000 exabytes of machine-generated data. Data management and storage systems must be able to handle the high capacity and keep scaling to keep up with growth.

The private sector sees IoT as an opportunity to fundamentally transform operations and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but most federal agencies see IoT as just another new technology. The sooner governments change that thinking, the sooner agencies can begin to reap the benefits.

Governments embracing IoT isn’t just about making life better for citizens, it also opens new opportunities for cities. For example, London was recently listed as the top smart city government in the world by the Eden Strategy Institute for their ability to gather, process and act upon data and information. Once cities start ingesting data in a “smart” way, they can continually improve processes and further extend tax revenues — giving citizens more for their money.

By the end of 2019, we could expect 40 percent of local and regional governments to use IoT to turn infrastructure like roads, streetlights and traffic signals into assets, IDC predicts. IDC also predicts that investment in smart city use cases will reach $158 billion by 2022, with the fastest growth in the Americas. Overall, market researchers predict that the rise of mature smart city developments will see a shift from proof-of-concept and pilots to the development of projects to improve communities.

Breaking down siloes with DevOps

Compared to the private sector, the public sector has been slower to adopt DevOps. Organizations that have already implemented a DevOps strategy have progressively enabled a more agile methodology for their development process while breaking down barriers and siloes between departments to improve collaboration. DevOps brings additional tangible benefits including departmental cost savings and increased productivity through automation.

In some agencies, teams and programs have already adopted these practices. Parts of the United States Defense Department have been practicing DevOps since the late 1990s. And while DevOps has been pushed to the forefront of some global government organizations, it still has challenges to full-scale implementation in some areas, including government’s “late-adopting” culture and a lack of understanding of new methodologies and technologies. In many ways, DevOps ask agencies to turn their risk profile upside-down and trust in an iterative process.

However, with the growing investment in government digital transformation, there is little doubt that DevOps will be prominent throughout public sector IT as a front runner for collaborative culture, creating clear objectives for IT operations and automation.

Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for data analysis

While the private sector is further along in their use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the public sector has many segments which will benefit from AI. There are several citizen-facing roles, like health and social services, border services, social security and more where AI can boost government efficiencies and reduce costs. However, the use of data and analytics is another area where the Public Sector can benefit from AI.

In Taiwan, legislators used an AI-powered platform to aggregate data on ride-sharing applications in the country from over 4,000 different stakeholders. Riders, taxi and Uber drivers deliberated over the regulations Uber and other ride-sharing apps should follow in Taiwan, while the platform kept track of and grouped people with similar viewpoints. After over a year of deliberations, Taiwan ratified seven new regulations agreed upon by all parties.

AI is built on data, and every government organization is data rich. Government leaders are already actively working to capture, assess, and protect data. In 2019, government organizations will harness the power of AI to explore new ways to analyze, integrate and share data to fuel program innovations and citizen service redesign.

Why OpenText?

Public Sector organizations are some of the largest producers, collectors, consumers and disseminators of information, and that is only going to increase in 2019. Only OpenText™ can enable the end-to-end connected enterprise required to ensure the governance and transparency of that data, while transforming operations and business processes required to maintain their relationship with engaged, digital constituents.

Visit our website to learn more about how OpenText is partnering with Public Sector organizations around the world to create agile, secure and integrated digital environments.

Brian Chidester

Brian Chidester is the Senior Industry Lead for Public Sector at OpenText. He is responsible for growing OpenText’s Public Sector practice while also ensuring the success of our public sector customers. Formerly, Brian served as the Industry Marketing Lead for Public Sector at Appian. He also has held product marketing roles with Monster Worldwide, Arrow ECS and IHS Markit, where he was awarded Best in Show - Lead Generation at the 2014 MarketingSherpa Email Awards. Mr. Chidester holds a B.S. in Communications Studies from Liberty University.

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