Recent IT (Information Technology) improvements in Government
Over the past few years, government agencies have been working towards enhancing some of their online programs. As citizens are addicted to quick & user-friendly digital interactions with private firms, they expect the same from the public sector. The ever-growing digital needs of people and new initiatives has pushed agencies to look for better solutions to improve their communication strategies. Governments are now making public services more accessible in the cloud and via mobile devices.
Here are the government’s 3 objectives for IT:
- To drive value in IT investments.
- To protect IT assets and information.
- To deliver world-class digital service.
Spending by federal, national, and local governments worldwide on technology services is forecast to grow to $475.5 billion by 2019. Around 8.5% of federal agencies’ spending for fiscal year 2016 has gone toward provisioned IT services, leaving the vast majority of spending toward non-provisioned IT services. Agencies have increased the amount of operations & maintenance spending relative to their overall IT spending by 9% since 2010.
Operations & maintenance spending was 68% of the federal IT budget in FY 2010. In FY 2017, agencies plan to spend 77% of their IT funds as depicted above.
(Source: GAO analysis of agency data).
Let’s have a look at recent IT improvements:
Big data strategy is the central focus of federal agencies. The U.S. Commerce Department’s ‘Commerce Data Service’ aggregates and shares essential trade and commerce data with government agencies and private businesses. The service aims to help public and private organizations make better decisions, leading to better service delivery.
Cloud technology is a way to speed up deployment, reduce costs, and improve responsiveness. A significant proportion of government’s operations could benefit from the cloud’s flexibility and scalability. Governments are pursuing various types of public and private cloud services, and the adoption of hybrid cloud is considerably on the rise.
Open data is a powerful tool that’s more likely to help people make decisions about everyday life, including schools and neighborhoods. The number and variety of open datasets & Web APIs published by governments at all levels continue to increase. Also, the number of agencies launching open data initiatives is growing every year.
Internet of Things
The IoT (Internet of Things) is the idea of a pervasive environment where people and objects are connected with the ability to share data over a network. Today there are around 14 billion things connected to the internet. IDC predicts that the IoT will grow to 30 billion things by 2020. The IoT has the ability to disorganize conventional methods for public service delivery. It allows local bodies to act faster in response to growing demand. Smart city plans aim at processing massive amounts of data coming from video cameras, air quality monitors, parking sensors, and to help agencies achieve goals in terms of increased public safety.
Governments and their public service agencies are embracing social media as a key channel of communication. These applications inspire the public to actively participate and share constructive ideas. Social media also helps governments to improve service delivery and facilitate collaboration. For instance, Twitter is not only a popular method of sharing information, but also a means of conducting quick opinion surveys and running broad public relations campaigns. Social media accounts and meta tags are being utilized as information dissemination tools with assistance from a variety of third-party applications.
The large number of cyber attacks against government agencies makes this a critical focus area for IT decision makers. Steps have been taken to mitigate risks. The new ‘Cybersecurity National Action Plan’ allots $19 billion to cybersecurity as part of the FY 2017 budget, and this reflects a 35% increase over the FY 2016 budget.
Defense & Intelligence
Recent developments in database technology have enabled governments to monitor statistical information that could be used to combat fraud and manage the economy. IT had a major impact on the defense capabilities of governments. Advancements in weapons design have increased the efficiency of the armed forces. IT also had an impact on intelligence agencies.
Government is progressively riding the digital transformation wave with the adoption of advanced technology solutions.