Government and tech: The trends to watch in 2019 | Jan19 Newsletter
Technology and the digital economy are revolutionising all aspects of everyday life, including how governments interact with their citizens and the way they deliver services.
They are also giving them the ability to provide faster, more effective and efficient customer experiences to their citizens while helping save precious time, money and labour. Some of the top tech trends and technologies tipped to impact government include artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, as well as the evolution of privacy legislation and digital ethics.
Let’s look at these in more detail, and see how they will impact the digital transformation of government in 2019 and beyond.
Automation, AI and robotics
Automation, largely driven by AI, is touted to be one of the most influential and beneficial technologies for governments. AI essentially helps you handle repetitive tasks easily – things that people take a lot longer to do. Automation in the form of software will increasingly undertake routine tasks, like filling out forms, invoice processing and data collection, freeing up a workforce to focus on higher-value activities.
Understandably, government agencies are very interested in the capabilities that AI and even robotics can provide, particularly from a cost-benefit perspective.
Cybersecurity is a perennially hot trend, and for good reason. Data breaches are so potentially damaging that every level of government needs to take the threat seriously. Not only are criminals trying to get their hands on our personal data, but there is also corporate and state-sponsored espionage happening online.
Add the threat of ransomware – the fastest-growing type of cyberattack – to the mix and you have a good idea why cyber resilience is a necessity for any government. This requires them to have a holistic, flexible and responsive approach to cybersecurity and its ever-evolving array of threats.
Privacy and ethics
Another challenge for governments in 2019 and beyond is the strategic value of data. With so much personally identifiable information now being generated, and held by the public sector, privacy and digital ethics are hot tech trends. Governments must not only ensure the data they hold is secure, but monitor and legislate how the private sector gathers, stores and secures user data.
Legislation like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which protects EU citizen data on a global scale, is seen as the benchmark for personal privacy legislation. The trend here is expected to be for other jurisdictions to follow suit as laws and ethics play catch-up in the digital era.
Internet of things
The internet of things (IoT) tech is already a reality in many people’s homes, but it will also come to play a bigger role for the state sector, as governments look to streamline services and improve the end-user experience. Embedded sensors and connected devices can help aggregate data and seamlessly transmit it, or passively capture and measure information with no human input required.
Governments will also be able to deliver services based on real-time conditions, and respond more effectively to a range of different scenarios thanks to the information delivered by connected devices.
There is little doubt that technology is transforming the way we interact with government, and even the processes of government itself. With appropriate regard for privacy and security, we can all look forward to better, faster and more efficient services for all constituents.