Like every other amateur prognosticator, I wish I had a crystal ball to tell what is coming tomorrow. But I don’t. The nearest I can give are the nine trends that I expect to see when it comes to government and technology that may give indications about the future. Those trends include:
Shared Services Becomes More The Norm. This is already happening in places like Washington DC, Los Angeles, and others where government agencies and whole government entities turn to the cloud as a more effective and lower cost option. This doesn’t mean that every government entity will be in the cloud by the end of 2010, but it does mean that where it makes sense more and more government agencies will be turning to cloud computing, either through a private cloud, a consortium, or other semi-private form.
Continued Transparency Of Government. Government is becoming more transparent and as a result more democratized. Some have claimed that this new Open Government movement is a passing fad and a backlash to the previous administration. I disagree. It’s roots go much deeper back to the 1990’s when the agencies first paid companies to publish data. 2010 will be the year of execution – when agencies will be spending more time and money cleaning data up and getting it out there in a format that is useful. The less pleasant result is that some agencies (and the public) will discover programs were not as successful as first thought and it will force some hard decisions.
Efforts To Be More Green. Sustainability is a major issue for government agencies – from procuring energy to reducing paper usage to better managing the usage of resources like water. It also ties in closely with the Open Government movement as true sustainability reporting needs to allow for open sharing of information and data. The question outstanding in will US governments become as serious about reporting and managing this as say the Australian government is.
Invasion Of Digital Natives Forces Organizational Changes. With the economy remaining questionable and the stated social intentions of the Obama administration, more and more new and recent graduates are looking at government employment to secure a paycheck and maybe contribute some back. This invasion of 20 something’s that are digital natives will have a significant effect on the government workplace. What will this impact be? I expect there will be pockets of reverse mentoring, more open work arrangements, and maybe even a more open desktop. A guy can hope, can’t he?
Improving Efforts At Measuring Performance. Key to any government program and effort is measuring performance – something government has continued to struggle with. 2010 won’t be the turning point yet where government gets really good at measuring and reporting performance without a serious stick. None the less, tightening budgets and the availability of better tools will force agencies to be more aware of their spending and the corresponding impact.
Agencies Strive For Better Citizen Engagement. Citizen engagement is becoming more and more critical. It isn’t necessarily that most government agencies want this, but the shifting digital culture is forcing government agencies to adapt to these new ways of engaging and conversing with citizens and businesses. In 2010 I am expecting that more and more government agencies will realize that there is a very close alignment between Open Government, Gov 2.0, and eGovernment that manifests in citizen engagement as agencies move beyond a page on Facebook or a twitter stream into deeper citizen engagement.
Ongoing Battle To Keep IT And Data Secure. Government agencies and IT shops continue to do a tremendous job at trying to keep IT systems, government data, and personal data secure. With the closer integration of physical and logical security along with efforts to expose more government data online, expect the relentless attacks on government IT systems and data to only increase. As a result, spending on cyber and data security will continue to grow.
Rise Of Enterprise Content Management Systems. Increasing rates of content and information creation, more content converted to digital format, and a push to move more and more information out on the Web all require a more robust backend system to manage all of that content. Government agencies will more and more turn to real enterprise content management systems to manage, store, and deliver all of that content. The large systems push across government in 2010 will be ECM systems.
Escalation Of CRM & ERM As Healthcare & Web-Based Engagement Move Forward. No matter what you call it – customer relationship management, citizen relationship management, electronic records management – nothing is going to push the management of electronic records forward faster in government then healthcare and the increase in Web based interactions increase in 2010. Expect the shift from ERP systems to CRM and ERM systems that started in the private sector earlier to become firmly entrenched in government primarily because of healthcare requirements and increased interactions between citizens and government on the Web. Whether it is the integration between VA and DoD health records for a soldier, efforts to track Medicare and Medicaid recipients, or even updating DMV records at state and local level, CRM and ERM adoption forward in government in 2010 at a greater rate then in previous years.
These are my best guesses for 2010. What do you think? What do you expect to see in 2010?