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Technology radically impacts the ability of public-sector and government CIOs to deliver on their mission, strategy and operational goals and meet the current and future needs and expectations of citizens and other stakeholders. Know the key technology trends.
Composability enables governments to focus on citizen-centric services, rather than on the frequently used, siloed, program-centric approach. Government CIOs focused on digital transformation and innovation must:
Promote a culture of composable thinking by collaborating with organizational and ecosystem leadership to develop a future-state vision for service delivery. Achieving mission outcomes requires a flexible approach to strategy, enabled by empowering staff and partners to work together, autonomously, to adapt to rapidly evolving needs.
Develop a flexible approach to defining current-state and future-state capability models by working with department leaders to perform a gap analysis of these capabilities and advance a roadmap for a composable business architecture.
Create a composable technology architecture that embraces modularity and integration based on the future-state capability model by working with technology and product leaders to develop a roadmap for the digital government technology platform.
By 2024, more than 25% of government RFPs for mission-critical IT systems will require solutions architecture and variable licensing that support a composable design approach. This is compounded by our prediction that by 2025, eight of the top 10 application vendors will structure their application suite products as collections of composable business capabilities.
Adaptive security is fundamental to creating trust that information is shared only as necessary and maintains its integrity. Adaptive security is also fundamental to resilience by helping to ensure that information and services are available when needed. In an adaptive security model, cybersecurity systems comprise components for prediction, prevention, detection and response.
With threats increasing in scope and impact, the shift from a compliance-based to a risk-based approach for cybersecurity and response capabilities is becoming necessary. Cybersecurity techniques are only as good as the weakest link — very often, the human element — and require improved awareness programs and embedded cybersecurity practices throughout IT organizations.
The adaptive model forgoes traditional notions of perimeter and assumes there is no boundary for safe and unsafe. This is a necessary conceptual shift, given the migration to cloud services and Ubiquitous-X. While national policies often speak to data sovereignty, those kinds of boundaries provide limited operational security improvements.
Cumulatively, the evolving threat, rapid advances in tools and updated compliance frameworks increase pressure on government agencies to evaluate their cybersecurity capabilities and embrace adaptive security.
The scope of citizen digital identity used to cover mostly online authentication and electronic signatures (eID) in interactions with the government. But the scope and needs for digital identity is quickly expanding beyond those boundaries.
A few examples are:
Bring your own identity (BYOI) enables citizens to use their banking or mobile operator logon to access government services — and vice versa.
Identity wallets can enable individual consent for sharing identity data or affirmation of claims with a third party, for example, when buying age-restricted goods — online or offline.
Identity proofing can be used for onboarding new users, remote interactions like court hearings or in-person visitor management systems.
Delegating authority between individuals (e.g., family members) or from an organization (e.g., company representatives) becomes increasingly important.
Digital identity makes the difference between more- and less-advanced digital governments. But traditional ecosystems boundaries between “citizen,” “consumer,” “patient,” “student” and other identity domains are starting to blur. Public- and private-sector interest in more decentralized digital identity approaches is accelerating.
By 2024, at least a third of national governments and half of U.S. states will offer citizens mobile-based identity wallets. But only a minority will be interoperable across sectors and jurisdictions. The pressure is, therefore, high on governments to make digital identity work at scale.
Total experience (TX) is an approach designed to create superior shared experiences for government agencies’ citizens, constituents and employees.
To create a shared superior experience that focuses on and emphasizes the human experience with the technologies supporting them, TX interlinks:
Citizen/constituent experience (CX): Understand several dimensions of citizens/constituents — wants, needs, expectations, beliefs, feelings and past experiences.
Employee experience (EX): Increase employee satisfaction, retention, skill level, safety and productivity.
User experience (UX): Combine business objectives, user needs and design best practices to optimize digital products.
Multiexperience (MX): Interact across multiple touchpoints — mobile apps, web, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) and wearables with a combination of approaches — voice, touch and vision.
A TX strategy also interlinks digital and nondigital techniques from these four disciplines to increase citizen and employee confidence in, and satisfaction with, government services. Enabling citizens to have access to government services through multiple channels helps enhance inclusion, equity and the overall experience.
The anything as a service (XaaS) model is the preferred approach for many government organizations tackling legacy infrastructure modernization and service innovation. Government CIOs must adjust their IT governance, procurement practices and talent strategies to optimize adoption.
XaaS encapsulates several categories of IT infrastructure and software services, including those delivered in the cloud as a subscription-based service — such as:
Software as a service (SaaS)
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Business process as a service (BPaaS)
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS)
An XaaS delivery model shifts capital expenditure (capex) IT investment “heavy lifts” to a more consistent pay-as-you-go operating expenditure (opex) funding mechanism. This normalizes IT spend over time, making budgeting for IT more predictable while avoiding the accrual of technical debt.
XaaS delivery models require different internal IT skill sets and place less demand on the organization to develop or acquire emerging IT skills, which are often hard to find and for governments to afford. This shift away from internal IT skill sets affords CIOs the opportunity to rethink workforce plans and create paths for upskilling staff wherever feasible.
As more and more citizens use online services and government employees continue to need remote-work capabilities, legacy applications need an upgrade. Government agencies that fail to do so could fall behind in their capacity to provide quality services to citizens and deliver mission value.
Legacy modernization is planned and designed to replace outdated architecture, hardware and software applications critical to current operations with modern equivalents. All legacy modernization approaches employ a cloud delivery model as part of the process.
Legacy modernization allows organizations to build the necessary foundations for a move to relieve manual process pressure points through the use of increased automation, including hyperautomation. Creating a software-defined infrastructure and using cloud to deliver automated citizen services increases agility and resilience.
To support agency mission and strategy, government CIOs must critically assess the business capabilities required and the technologies needed to deliver them, taking steps to:
Build and articulate a compelling technology roadmap to modernize their legacy applications and integration technologies.
Enable future agility and resilience by adopting a composable approach to their unique government platforms and solutions.
Adopt a blend of sourcing models and technologies like cloud, shared applications and XaaS models.
By optimizing the information and technology (I&T) operating model and instilling effective governance mechanisms, CIOs can maintain momentum and business support for modernization initiatives.
Driven by efforts to reduce red tape and improve efficiency and custom services, governments have been modernizing platforms, automating tasks and redesigning processes to improve services. Hyperautomation is a systematic approach to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. It involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms like AI, robotic process automation, XaaS, low-code/no-code and packaged software.
With numerous vulnerabilities in government service continuity, there is a heightened urgency for government CIOs to address business processes and technical gaps, such as interoperability, collaboration and data exchange. Many of these vulnerabilities have come from the accelerated deployment of digital solutions, such as chatbots, unified communications and collaboration, wireless broadband and low-code platforms and have led to the expanded use of automation technologies by the government workforce.
Hyperautomation offers governments the opportunity to deliver connected public services that are seamless, proactive and almost “contactless” access to government resources, and will link into their total experience investments. Through hyperautomation of government business processes and public service models, government organizations will be able to balance digital investments for resiliency and flexibility, while optimizing costs.
Case work is a universal workstyle of government. The integration of government services depends on designing and developing case management solutions as composable products and services that can be shared across the programs, verticals and levels of government.
With case management as a service (CMaaS), each process of the case management life cycle is designed as a collection of application building blocks called packaged business capabilities (PBCs). CMaaS can build institutional agility in government by applying composable business principles and practices to replace legacy case management systems with modular case management products.
A composable approach to case management modernization — where application capabilities are extracted, encapsulated and surfaced via APIs — enables organizational resilience and faster innovation. These API-wrapped application modules form a portfolio of PBCs that can be rapidly composed and augmented in multiple patterns to support new experiences, processes, partners and service models.
CMaaS can build institutional agility in government by applying composable business principles and practices to replace legacy case management systems with modular case management products.
Government decisions tend to have complex, interconnected effects, all of which have impacts on government outcomes, often outside the purview of any given agency. Improving both trust and customer experience requires decisions to be made accurately in context. This requires the decision process to be clearly understood and be about delivering outcomes, not just adherence to process.
Decision intelligence is a practical discipline that improves decision making through an explicit understanding of how decisions are made, and how their outcomes are evaluated and improved by feedback.
Decision intelligence systematically adopts data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics at each stage of government activity. It applies to all major levels of decision types: one-off strategic decisions, managerial decisions and high-volume operational decisions.
Gartner estimates that by 2023, more than 33% of large organizations will have analysts practicing decision intelligence, and by 2024, 60% of government AI and data analytics investments will directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes.
Data sharing brings together data sources to allow cross-analysis, which creates additional value for outcomes across the government. Data sharing in government overall is often ad hoc, driven by high-profile incidents. By contrast, data sharing as a program is a systematic and scalable approach to enable data reuse and services innovation.
Sharing requires compromise, strong sponsorship and political leadership. This means that CIOs must work with stakeholders to develop a data-sharing strategy across multiple scales, focusing on value and driving government goals.
All participating parties accept an increased risk to data they previously controlled, as well as exposure of data inadequacies, in return for contributions to mission delivery or budget savings.
There is a responsibility to deliver value and improve over time.
A data-sharing program does not need to solve the whole problem at once and can develop value in proportion to effort. Data of mixed quality exposes the originator to criticism for lack of control but also puts the user at risk of inaccuracies in decisions based on flawed data.
The data subject or originator and the data stewards must believe that the information is being shared appropriately, despite occasionally conflicting stakeholder expectations. Years of a culture of compartmentalization for security reasons now needs to be shifted to use of data to serve citizens and accelerate improvements.
Gartner estimates that by 2023, 50% of government organizations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing, including standards for data structure, quality and timeliness. At the same time, organizations across all sectors, including government, that implement data sharing will outperform their peers on most business value metrics.