Top 10 post-pandemic recovery priorities for government CIOs

Wednesday, 31 March, 2021

Top 10 post-pandemic recovery priorities for government CIOs

Critical security, cost containment and citizen experience challenges in the public sector are some of the top trends that will influence the post-pandemic recovery priorities for government CIOs.

This is according to the research and advisory firm Gartner’s latest ‘Top Technology Trends in Government for 2021’ report.

“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.”

Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends is directly linked to public administration and policy issues that government leaders must address. Government CIOs can use this list to inform their recovery priorities and establish the rationale, timing and priority of technology investments.

Fast-tracked legacy modernisation

Governments have experienced the limitations and risks posed by decades-old legacy infrastructure and core systems. To be better equipped to deal with the next disruption, government CIOs are accelerating the move to modern, modular architectures. While the need for legacy modernisation is not new to government CIOs, the challenges related to the pandemic have only served to heighten the awareness of the resulting risks and the need for it.

More than half (50%) of government agencies will have modernised critical core legacy applications to improve resilience and agility by 2025, predicts Gartner.

Security beyond the perimeter

An adaptive security approach treats risk, trust and security as a continuous and adaptive process that anticipates and mitigates constantly evolving cyber threats. This approach features components for prediction, prevention, detection and response. It forgoes traditional notions of perimeter, assuming there is no boundary for safe and unsafe, a necessary conceptual shift given the migration to cloud services.

Seventy-five per cent of government CIOs will be directly responsible for security outside of IT by 2025, to include operational and mission-critical technology environments, according to Garner.

Anything as a service (XaaS)

XaaS is a cloud-only sourcing strategy that embraces acquiring the full range of business and IT services on a subscription basis. Pandemic response and the critical need for digital service delivery have exacerbated pressures to modernise legacy applications and infrastructure. XaaS offers an alternative to legacy infrastructure modernisation, provides scalability and reduces time to deliver digital services.

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

Case management as a service (CMaaS)

Case work is the predominant workstyle of government, with the entire legacy-heavy portfolio of monolithic case management point solutions found in many departments. CMaaS is a new way to build institutional agility by applying composable business principles and practices, to replace legacy case management systems with modular products that can be rapidly assembled, disassembled and recomposed in response to changing business needs.

Gartner predicts that by 2024, government organisations with a composable case management application architecture will implement new features at least 80% faster than those without.

Citizen digital identity

Digital identity is the ability to prove an individual’s identity via any government digital channel that is available to citizens, which is critical for inclusion and access to government services. Digital identity ecosystems are quickly evolving and leading governments to assume new roles and responsibilities. The topic is high on political agendas, so government CIOs must link digital identity to salient use cases.

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

Composable government enterprise

The composable government enterprise is any government organisation that adopts composable design principles. This enables them to extend the reuse of capabilities and continuously adapt to changing regulatory, legislative and public expectations. CIOs are embracing composable government to overcome existing, siloed approaches to managing services, systems and data that limit the ability of governments to adapt to the rapidly evolving needs of the emerging digital society.

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.

Data sharing as a program

Data sharing is often ad hoc in government, driven by high-profile use cases such as child protection incidents or gender violence that cannot easily be generalised. Data sharing as a program moves it into being a scalable service, with multiple reusable capabilities, supporting the drive toward more composable approaches in government service delivery.

Gartner predicts by 2023, 50% of government organisations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing, including standards for data structure, quality and timeliness.

Hyperconnected public services

Hyperconnected public services is the whole-of-government use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms to automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Government CIOs can use hyper-automation principles and practices to develop hyperconnected, highly automated end-to-end business processes and public services that require minimal human intervention.

Gartner predicts that by 2024, 75% of governments will have at least three enterprise-wide hyperautomation initiatives launched or underway.

Multichannel citizen engagement

Citizen direct participation with governments reached new heights in 2020 as communities dealt with the pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes and other events. Multichannel citizen engagement is a seamless, bidirectional engagement with constituents across organisational boundaries, while delivering a personalised experience using the preferred and most effective channels to reach them.

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

AI, data analytics and operational decisions

Operationalised analytics is the strategic and systematic adoption of data-driven technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and advanced analytics, at each stage of government activity to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of decision-making. Decision-makers can make better context-based operational decisions in real time to improve the quality of the citizen experience.

Gartner predicts that by 2024, 60% of government AI and data analytics investments aim to directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes.

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