Let’s agree on one thing: technologies are vital. They allow humanity to evolve, live better, and discover new opportunities. That’s why we’ve gone a long way from first sharpened stones to space shuttles. Moreover, our progress speeds up as new technologies emerge. Most often, people implement them in manufacturing and other business aspects. But not always, we also have GovTech.
On a par with FinTech, MedTech, and EdTech approaches that deliver the new tech to banks, healthcare facilities, and universities, there’s a so-called GovTech. Put simply, this term refers to using technologies in various governmental sectors to make them more efficient and convenient. It combines values created for citizens with ones for administration/employees.
Undoubtedly, GovTech is worth our attention not less than business innovations. That’s why we’re going to talk about tech trends for governments that will be crucial in 2020.
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Government tech strategies
One can argue with the idea of wide GovTech adoption. Traditionally, states were in opposition to businesses due to a number of factors. The majority of citizens around the world accept outdated hardware, long lines, need for personal interaction, and other obstacles familiar for public services. Instead, businesses always try to deliver the best customer experience. So, why not to use this approach?
And it’s the first core trend. Today, governments implement enterprise tactics and strategies, turning into large business entities. The 2019 GovTech 100 study reveals that modern governmental ecosystems move closer to corporate culture. They face merges, investments, innovations, startups, etc. States realize the needs of citizens and try to create comfortable environments. They also outsource public services to third-party players.
Overall, a thriving modern government strategy should include the following points:
- Be ready for changes. Twenty years ago, we lived in a world of papers. Today, we’re in the digital world. A few years later, anything can happen. If a government wants to survive long enough, it should focus on future changes.
- Care about security. Due to exhaustive databases with personal info of each citizen, governments are tasty targets for hackers/frauds. That’s why high-end security is essential for all digital-oriented nations without exclusion.
- Connect instead of dividing. Generally, regular people and government employees were on different sides. Thanks to new tech, it’s possible to build a cooperative environment where all stakeholders feel comfortable.
- Move away from legacy stuff. While some citizens still need traditional interaction ways like phones, innovations sound as a good idea. Today, it’s not required to connect personal computers and phones to each desk, use physical servers and static networks.
- Put each citizen at the center. Time and cost savings are essential, but governments should care about citizens, firstly. This approach includes a high level of inclusiveness, convenience for all social strata, etc.
- Set high interoperability. Usually, a government is a leviathan with dozens of functional departments (ministries) and local branches (regions). Smooth interaction between all parts means a lot to users who can reach their goals faster.
- Use data actively. Without Big Data, it’s barely possible to manage large systems like governmental ones. Moreover, nations have a significant advantage as they collect personal info of citizens easily. This allows building more user-oriented services.
Surely, in the world of nations, it’s more challenging to change your provider – government. When a car manufacturer fails to meet the customers’ demands, they just go to another company. When a country fails to deliver top-notch services, citizens have to either protest, start a problematic emigration process or wait until the next elections. Unsatisfied clients still fight in their own way. They may evade taxes or go on strikes and even overthrow this particular cabinet.
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Key emerging trends of 2021
Okay, it’s clear that modern countries are close to business companies. And citizens are consumers of their services, literally. The main goal of any enterprise is to make its customers happy, deliver relevant offers, and continue mutually-beneficial cooperation. For nations, this goal becomes more global, but the citizens’ satisfaction remains the top priority.
Nonetheless, technologies can help greatly in both cases. The next ten sections include the most critical GovTech trends emerging today. All of them have four things in common:
- Available for both developing and advanced nations.
- Don’t represent actual spending but predict the future.
- Feature technologies that already exceeded test stages.
- Focus on governmental operations.
1. Adaptive security
To start with, each digital government should be prepared for attacks. As we’ve mentioned, frauds around the globe aim at getting precious data about citizens that is stored on the gov servers. That’s why reliable defense is a must-have. Moreover, hackers continuously invent new ways to infiltrate into protected areas, so cybersecurity specialists have to set adaptive measures. This trend will become more important with the rise of digital GovTech initiatives.
2. Augmented intelligence
Moving away from just AI, cabinets can benefit from the collaborative work of human experts and machines. Based on extensive data volume processed by governments, AI systems can become a national-grade asset. They can be used in healthcare, transport, law, defense, public services, etc. Human operators acting as both users and regulators have more chances to develop a reliable and really intelligent machine. This also paves the way for autonomous intelligence.
3. Behavioral and predictive analytics
Again, much data is terrific. With it, executive teams can analyze their customers – citizens – with high efficiency. Thanks to the nudge theory, it’s possible to stimulate citizens via indirect influence. Probably, the most famous body established for this task is the BIT that operates in the UK from 2010. Predictions also help to prevent crimes and other issues on par with delivering better services. Sure, businesses utilize this approach for years already.
4. Data usage ethics
One of the most painful problems in the modern world is the lack of data privacy. Enterprises focused on money-making often violate basic rules and ethic postulates. Governments that must protect people may change the game. Local bodies and international groups will design new data usage standards, monitor their fulfillment, and punish criminals. They also will focus on AI ethics. Who will create the modern version of Asimov’s three laws of robotics, if not nations?
5. Digital citizens
Traditional public services are slow and complicated. Through integrated data with simple checks of digital identity, citizens can get access to high-quality, quick services: online documents, electronic queues, transparent governmental operations, easy-doing business, and more. In this field, Estonia is a leader. The country has successfully developed a simple and secure digital ID system with seamless access to various gov services.
6. Cloud-based services
Cloud products and services are familiar to modern users. In a nutshell, governments can rent storage and/or processing power remotely to lower burden, break data silos, connect stakeholders digitally, etc. By implementing the strategy of Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS), country leaders migrate from legacy server-based stuff to more innovative and flexible clouds. This also opens new options for innovations.
7. Labs and accelerators for experiments
While governments can borrow a lot of working strategies from the business environment, they also need some space for own innovations. For instance, experiments with digital currencies or large-scale healthcare services require proper testing, evaluation, and development. For this, in-house governmental labs or incubators exist. They help to run tests and check if a particular idea is viable or not.
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8. Multichannel engagement
For nations, it’s crucial to understand that one size doesn’t fit all. The more people live in your country, the more diverse they are and the more different needs they face. For this, treat citizens like customers. It will be a good idea to start with interaction options. Governments should move away from person-to-person consultations and phones only to chatbots, smart assistants, AR, and general online presence.
9. Shared services
The idea of shared services is pretty old, and some governments even tried to implement it. However, they weren’t successful because of the focus on cost savings. Shared services 2.0 strategies provide for orientation on value for users/consumers. They help to gather standard public services and other operations in a central hub. A public service hub that unites various documentary/administrative options is a sound citizen-focused example.
10. Smart landscape
Connecting all the trends, governments should come to the final smart ecosystem spread across the country. Today, we’re familiar with the ideas of smart cities. But it’s worth investing in other smart solutions: campuses for education, transport hubs for logistics, rural communities for agriculture, and so on. A smart country can be divided into interconnected smart regions that include the mentioned smaller ecosystems.
Tech-savvy nations – Examples
Based on these trends, some countries are building the GovTech systems of future – ones focused on citizens’ satisfaction, livable areas, and digital interaction.
According to the recent UN e-Government Survey, the most prosperous nation is Denmark, with a 0.915 general development index. Australia, the Republic of Korea, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, New Zealand, France, and Japan are in the top 10. Among the leaders in e-participation, there are three nations with the perfect index parameter – 1: Republic of Korea, Denmark, and Finland.
Take a quick look at some interesting cases of smart nations:
- Denmark. This government plans to simplify business interactions and invest in digital education. Denmark also works a lot with smart cities that are already called one of the most developed in the world.
- Estonia. The country focuses on digital identity and online services. The government claims that almost 50% of citizens use e-voting systems, and 99% of public services are online. Estonia has launched an e-residency and plans to move ahead.
- Singapore. The country runs several strategic projects with useful apps available for everybody. They work on transport, health, business environments, digital services, and urban living, mostly.
- The Republic of Korea. Here, smart services and environments are being developed. Korean leaders pay great attention to security, disaster management, and mobile devices. The local e-government strategy focuses on citizens’ happiness and productivity.
- The United Arab Emirates. The nation also works hard on smart cities. The most famous example is Dubai, with its ambitious goals, clean energy, and robotics. Also, the UAE government builds entirely new cities based on smart services.
DICEUS for governments
It’s clear that GovTech will rise further. Businesses show excellent results with customer-oriented strategies, so nations should realize the benefits. By getting the most successful business strategies and turning them into nation-grade initiatives, governments can make citizens happy, grow loyalty, and boost overall productivity.
In DICEUS, we work with various enterprises, including large corporations with advanced projects. From consulting to operations, we help clients to reach their goals. For government chief executives, our services can be highly useful: we test ideas, design solutions, run cloud transformations and migrations, conduct audits, work with data, and more.
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