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Hybrid and Secure: The New Face of Government in 2022

With a global effort underway to establish new ways of doing things post-pandemic, two leaders from Oracle dig into the opportunities government agencies will have this year to chart a new path forward.

As the world continues its slow — and at times seemingly unsteady — recovery, government agencies continue to modernize critical systems to improve resilience and agility and to deliver better citizen services. All of these improvements have a common enabler: technology.

Technology can change every part of government operations for the better; for many agencies, it already has. For those whose digitization journey is underway, 2022 is yet another opportunity to accelerate that uptake. For governments just getting started, or considering new solutions, this year is a chance to play some catch-up.

Here are key technology trends to watch as the public sector welcomes a new year in our rapidly digitizing world.


Bad actors are out there and will continue to find ways to make money at the expense of vulnerable organizations. When it comes to breaches, especially in our hyperconnected world, it’s not a matter of if an attack will happen, but when. Organizations must consider not just how they can prevent an attack, but also how they can minimize impact and cost when an attack succeeds. Many smaller local and regional governments don’t have the resources to implement the advanced security services that some of the major vendors provide. But there is a solution for both prevention and mitigation: the cloud.

With the cloud comes better automation, which can regularly provision patches to combat security vulnerabilities and prevent breaches where patches have not yet been applied, without downtime of critical systems. Cloud technology often comes equipped with built-in AI that can help detect and protect from system failures and user errors automatically. If ever systems fail or a bad actor is successful, automation can be employed to provide failover to standby databases with zero data loss.

In the public sector’s new era, expect to see municipalities adopt cloud services to be proactive in securing all the components of an organization — process, platforms and people.


Most government organizations are used to managing expenses, budget and citizen expectations. Now, employee satisfaction joins those metrics as a top indicator of organizational effectiveness. Workers have begun their return to the office, most in hybrid format. In fact, Forrester predicted one-third of global workers’ schedules will become hybrid permanently. Organizations that fail to adopt some sort of hybrid work capabilities for employees in the most sought-after roles will likely experience some employee retention struggles as employees opt for organizations with more flexible work environments. Failure to meet the moment of the hybrid imperative could cause "The Great Resignation" to hit organizations that don't act.

Embracing this move will require governments to have a proper technology infrastructure in place to ensure their workforce remains competitive and has the competencies to respond to these changes. Agencies that have invested in their IT environments — even if they are only in early stages — are better positioned to facilitate this evolution and provide staff with the training and education tools to help them make the move.

In addition to training and supporting employees, agencies can take advantage of new technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation to help employees do their jobs more effectively. In many cases, these technologies reduce or even eliminate manual, time-intensive tasks, freeing employees to dedicate time toward more citizen-focused tasks.

As we touched on before, strong security features will be another critical part of enabling hybrid work. Because numerous state agencies regularly interface with federal networks for data reporting, benefits administration and other intersecting functions, the impetus to adopt a zero-trust architecture may filter down to state governments. Zero trust can involve using strict access controls, multiple authentication checkpoints and increased monitoring resources to repeatedly verify users and devices before allowing them to access a network or asset. If government employees log onto systems with personal technology, agencies need to ensure that additional security mechanisms are in place to combat risks related to accessing systems from non-agency owned devices.

According to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ 2021 State CIO Survey, 67 percent of state CIOs anticipate that introducing or expanding a zero-trust framework will receive more attention in the next two to three years. Expect state governments to begin laying the groundwork to adopt this approach in 2022 and beyond.


The pandemic amplified the need for governments to quickly respond to public demands as traditionally face-to-face interactions moved online. In 2022, we’ll continue to see agencies get creative in when, where and how they meet constituent needs.

We’re already seeing governments use automation to speed up processes and make it easier to get financial help to people who need it. This includes determining program eligibility to enable the accurate and timely distribution of funds, which can remove inefficiencies, reduce operational costs and enhance fraud prevention.

These types of services will be increasingly delivered via digital channels, but for this to work, citizens have to have access to the Internet. As such, closing the digital divide will be a focus for municipalities in the upcoming year. Once governments stand up the hardware to enable the actual connectivity, they can tackle the task of setting up technology to help constituents access services.

The pandemic exposed state and local government IT leaders to the fact that many mission-critical applications are running on legacy architectures or in outdated programming languages that cannot be easily changed or scaled up, clarifying the need for modern, digital government services. This year and beyond, governments must continue to reimagine their cloud, security and citizen engagement strategies to accelerate digital transformation and provide more efficient and user-friendly services to constituents.