Smart Government Key Initiative Overview

Archived Published: 18 June 2013 ID: G00252076


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This overview provides a high-level view of the opportunities and challenges facing governments as they seek to sustain and improve services in an era of economic uncertainty and profound social change.


Figure 1. Smart Government Key Initiative Overview
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (June 2013)

Smart government applies information, communication and operational technologies to all operational areas across multiple domains, process areas and jurisdictions to generate sustainable public value.

Smart government:

  • Extends earlier concepts of e-government, joined-up government, and open government to take full advantage of the information and technologies needed to improve government services in ways that are quick, measurable, affordable and sustainable.

  • Seeks to leverage the Nexus of Forces — that is, the combined and synergistic impacts of social, mobile, big data and cloud technologies. During the past five years, these forces have worked together to offer new ways to permanently improve how governments serve and interact with the needs and expectations of the public.

  • Enables collaboration among government entities, nonprofit organizations, private-sector companies and the public. Smart government uses this collaboration to help integrate and improve previously distinct processes, systems and policy domains.

Consider These Factors to Determine Your Readiness

Successful initiatives to improve service effectiveness, operational efficiency and mission alignment require:

  • Sustained and visible commitment and support from key government executives, elected officials and influential stakeholders

  • A level of e-government maturity offering technology-enabled ways for the public to readily access licenses, permits and registration; benefits determination and payments; tax collection; and other services

  • A clear vision of the elements of public value that will be improved by smart government approaches, for civil servants as well as citizens

  • An understanding of how to support integration and interoperability among different initiatives and processes along the service delivery value chain, now and in the future

  • An understanding of evolving trends and the roles of information, operational, and consumer technologies in developing and providing government services

What Smart Government Means to CIOs

CIOs can support smart government by incorporating the capabilities of social, information, cloud, and mobile technologies into business and IT strategic plans and operations. For example, CIOs can:

  • Integrate and harness the value of mobile devices (whether employee- or agency-owned) along with government-owned assets (such as public safety vehicles and infrastructure) to create more informed and responsive services.

  • Leverage and help create new streams of data provided by the Nexus of Forces to continuously improve services while also developing real-time analytics to predict and manage the spread of contagious diseases, traffic conditions, utility usage, fraud or other financial abuse, or probable locations of future criminal activity and the like.

What Smart Government Means to IT Leaders

IT leaders responsible for planning and implementing smart government initiatives will rely on effective governance structures, business re-engineering and project management competencies and should:

  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis to understand stakeholders' perceptions and motivations.

  • Develop a communications plan to address the specific needs of stakeholder groups and successfully articulate the vision, goals, value and responsibilities of the initiative.

  • Assess organizational readiness along with the potential risks associated with cross-boundary projects, and develop action plans to mitigate such risks either before commitment or during the process of implementation.

  • Assemble a project team with the management and technical skills required for the particular initiative being undertaken.

  • Serve as role models by applying smart government concepts and practices to improve business performance, empower public-sector employees, and produce better outcomes for citizens.

© 2013 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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