How is it December already? One moment I was planning the year and blink, the year was over.
I love December, as it’s a great time to reflect on the year that was and the year that is to be. A lot has happened in government technology in the last year, and there’s much to be excited about for 2014.
Here are my seven biggest trends for 2014:
1. Design Thinking for Service Delivery. Earlier in the year, I wrote a column about design thinking in government. I must have struck a chord as it was my most popular article for the year. Further, Stanford d.school added a class on rebooting government with design thinking. Design thinking is 2014’s requirements gathering process.
2. Mobile Shift. I think 2014 will bring a huge shift in mobility; you will finally see agencies moving off BlackBerry and into iPhone and Android. I think you will see deeper mobile and tablet rollouts — not just for city hall officials but also mission-critical work like park sign-ups, sewage treatment and more.
3. Solving Deeper Problems. I just got back from the Code for America Summit, and it was amazing to see how much emphasis was given to working on more meaningful problems like criminal justice versus neat apps. We need to get past just making cool citizen engagement apps and work on tools that solve the deep mission problems of government. I’m excited to see more of this approach in 2014.
4. Virtual Training. In 2014, I believe you’ll see more and more agencies moving to virtual training. And not your 2001 boring PowerPoint and bad voice-over e-learning, but government starting to incorporate the lessons and approaches of cutting-edge virtual training such as Khan Academy and massive open online courses like Coursera.
5. Procurement Reform. The backlash of HealthCare.gov has turned into a national conversation about public-sector procurement. It’s rare to have this much attention on a very niche (but important) issue. I believe in 2014, you’ll start to see some changes at the federal level in procurement that end up trickling down to the state and local level.
6. In-Sourcing Tech Doers. The United Kingdom has built a 300-person Government Digital Service team that’s responsible for building and designing gov.uk and rethinking digital solutions for service delivery. It’s unusual for a government agency to have that much technical, design and development talent in-house. I think that in 2014 you’ll see more digital services offices that are more than just a policy and strategy shop but with doers in-house.
7. Rise of Chief X Officers. This year was the rise of new roles such as chief innovation officers, chief data officers and chief digital officers. New technology and trends require new roles so you’ll see more of these titles in cities and states across the country in 2014.
The best part of being in technology is that it’s always changing in approaches and opportunities. As you get going on your 2014 plans, hopefully you’ll plug in a few suggestions from these trends.