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IT-based technologies have been instrumental in enabling the research into the development and growth of technologies in other fields, including applied science, health and transport.
FREMONT, CA: Information technology (IT) has changed society over the last decades. IT not only escorted in the information age, but IT-based technologies have also been instrumental in enabling the research into the development and growth of technologies in other fields, including applied science, health and transport. As a result, technology is now creating novel possibilities while testing the ability of governments to harness their benefits and provide prudent oversight.
The public sector is undergoing what technology trends?
A major pivot on the digital agenda of governments besides infrastructure is data, open data. Some evidence shows that governments could reduce administrative costs by fully exploiting public sector data. However, these estimates do not incorporate the benefits of greater access to and more effective use of public-sector information.
Such advantages can be obtained from weather forecasts, traffic management, crime statistics, enhanced transparency of government functions (e.g., procurement) and educational and racial knowledge for the wider population. Another driver of the shift in this cluster is, of course, Big Data. Predictive analytics allows proposed policy changes in one system to be mapped against their flow-on impact on all systems.
Consequently, we can have, and in some cases already have, deep insights into the trade-off between public policies about other major mega trends such as water, energy, air and climate. At the field level, there is more insight as well. For example, fire departments employ advanced analytics to evaluate fire risk in various places and manage their inspections accordingly.
Police services use modern models to predict where certain types of crime are likely to happen under specific conditions. Automated advanced models to support risk-based inspections and supervision to support supervisory bodies are available and integrated into the rule and workflow-based systems. Digitization also presents an important new type of risk using cyber security challenges.
Governments already confront pressure to protect their citizens, their operations and the security of their nations from threats not seen before. This will grow even more. The European Union Institute for Security Studies forecast that “over the next two decades, the cybersphere is likely to become an arena of clash and tension between forms of all political stripes, not minimal among those for which cyber security is a key element of intelligence and military strategy, and also between individuals or private businesses.”
Can’t it just be all about data?
Besides the constant improvement and evolution of technology creating enormous opportunities for improved efficiency and decision-making for governments, I also see other chances now lining up. Integrating new technologies into the lives of people and businesses offers governments the challenge to reinvent the way public administrations communicate with citizens and businesses.
It provides opportunities for more collaborative and participatory relationships and challenges to actively shape political priorities, collaborates in the design of public services and takes part in their delivery. The design of the fresh services models in flourishing on collaboration is becoming more and more a reality.
Collaboration with citizens and users performs an increasing role in transforming public services towards new forms of production and delivery. IT-allowed, collaborative service production refers to any public service electronically provided by the government, citizens, private companies & individual civil servants, and NGOs, whether or not in cooperation with government institutions, according to the government or citizens-generated data. While the public sector is prime in ensuring that public value is created in most situations, its potential is improved through cooperation with others.
Acting as an open involvement and collaboration platform, making data and information available, the government can assist an ecosystem of actors, cooperating organizations and individuals, thereby generating public value.