Top 10 tech trends for 2020

By Jonathan Nally
Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Top 10 tech trends for 2020

Gartner has identified the solutions and technologies on which government CIOs should focus in 2020.

Gartner has released research identifying what it says are the top 10 government technology trends for 2019–20 that have the potential to optimise or transform public services. The research company said that government CIOs should make sure these trends are included in their strategic plans for the next 12 to 18 months.

The trends take into account pressing global social issues, such as social instability, ongoing austerity, ageing populations, a rise in populism and the need to support sustainability goals.

“Now more than ever, technology priorities must be established in the context of business trends such as digital equity, ethics and privacy, widening generational chasms and the need for institutional agility,” said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner.

“Any government service delivered at scale is underpinned by a host of technologies. If the success of these business projects is compromised by poor implementation of technology, then the political objectives are compromised, too,” Howard added.

Adaptive security. An adaptive security approach requires treating risk, trust and security as a continuous and adaptive process that anticipates and defends against evolving threats. It also acknowledges there is no one perfect solution and that security needs to be continuously adaptive.

Citizen digital identity. Gartner said digital identity is “critical for inclusion and access to government services”, yet many governments have been slow to adopt it. It said CIOs must provide digital identities that take into account security imperatives as well as citizen expectations.

Multichannel engagement. Gartner said successful governments will be ones that “meet citizens on their own terms and via their preferred channels”, such as in person, by phone, mobile devices, smart speakers, chatbots and augmented reality. A 2018 survey shows that more than 50% of government website traffic already comes from mobile devices.

Agile by design. CIOs must embrace principles and practices used to develop agile systems and solutions that influence both current and target outcomes.

Digital product management. The 2019 Gartner CIO Survey showed that more than two-thirds of government CIOs already have, or plan to implement, digital product management, which involves “developing, delivering, monitoring, refining and retiring ‘products’ or offerings for business users or citizens”.

Anything as a service. Gartner’s CIO Survey found that 39% of government bodies plan to spend the largest portion of new or extra funding on cloud services.

Shared services 2.0. Driving efficiencies through traditional centralisation or sharing of services often brings poor results. Shared services 2.0 “shifts the focus from cost savings to delivering high-value business capabilities such as enterprise-wide security, identity management, platforms or business analytics”.

Digitally empowered workforce. Gartner said a digitally enabled work environment is linked to employee satisfaction, retention and engagement, but that governments are lagging behind other sectors.

Analytics everywhere. Gartner said providing “analytics everywhere” will move agencies from “the dashboard reporting of lagging indicators” to “autonomous processes that help people make better decisions in real time”.

Augmented intelligence. Gartner said that CIOs should reframe AI as “augmented intelligence”, which it calls “a human-centred partnership model of people and artificial intelligence working together to enhance cognitive performance”.

According to Gartner, these trends are not a reflection of “what government CIOs are spending most of their time or budget on today”, and their relative importance will vary according to local, regional and national contexts.

“Public sector leaders expect government CIOs to find ways technology can reduce costs, create efficiencies and improve outcomes for citizens and businesses,” Howard said. “They also expect CIOs to consider the social, technological, economic, environmental and political trends that impact the constituents they serve.”

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