8 Tools, Practices Affecting Government Over the Next Two Years

A new report from Deloitte identifies key trends likely to re-imagine the public sector market in the near future.

A new report released May 3 identifies eight tools and practices that are making an impact in the public sector in 2016.

In the analysis from IT firm Deloitte, compiled in its seventh Tech Trends report, the disruptive trends are estimated to increase innovation in operations and IT development in the next 18 to 24 months. Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Bitcoin’s blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, and cloud technology all made appearances.

Among its wisdom, Deloitte imparted a simple tip to CIOs: They shouldn’t be afraid to operate at slower or faster speeds depending on their projects. Fast agile development — methods for quick delivery, user feedback and next iterations — doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing practice. Nor does the traditional, and sometimes slower, practice of sequentially producing projects — known as “Waterfall Development” — have to be completely eliminated. Deloitte dubbed this strategy of assigning quicker or slower production methods as “Right-Speed IT.”

Another trend in the list included “Active Internet of Things.” Within this concept, IoT products — devices connected to the Internet, equipped with sensors, and that collect data — can be utilized for more than reporting. Some CIOs have put the data to work so that it automates city services. For example, rather than a smart trash can notifying city staff when it’s filled, that same trash can in an in Active IoT environment might dynamically reroute trash pickups based on real-time data — the govtech startup Compology
is a well known vendor in this space.

Deloitte went on to detail the benefits of how Bitcoin’s blockchain could be used to streamline contracts and financial transactions, how augmented and virtual reality are set to be go-to technologies for training and civic engagement, and how analytics can be optimized to manage infrastructure and operations.

The eight trends are:

1. Right-speed IT

CIOs are building capabilities with targeted investments in process, technology and talent to re-engineer the business of IT — enabling delivery at a speed that’s right for the need.

2. Active Internet of Things

In moving IoT’s focus beyond mere sensing and passive reporting to actually doing, companies are identifying new opportunities in automation, signal analysis and robotics, among other areas.

3. Working augmented reality and virtual reality

Utilizing augmented and virtual reality systems to enhance business processes.

4. Redeveloping core systems

Revamping old back-, mid- and front-of-office systems with emerging digital technologies. 

5. Autonomic platforms

Leveraging virtualization, containers, and the cloud, autonomic platforms transform IT to enable employees to focus on higher-value tasks.

6. Blockchain

Blockchain, the backbone behind bitcoin, could impact transactions and contracts in a way that transforms the underpinnings of business, government and society.

7. Industrialized analytics

To realize data’s full potential, some businesses are treating data analysis as a strategic discipline and investing in industrial-grade analytics.

8. Social impact

Organizations should consider the ethics and morality of applying exponential technologies — beyond traditional risk concerns of security, privacy, regulations, compliance, safety and quality.

Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.