Transformation and Innovation in Public Sector has new hope

I have seen many “transformations” throughout my work with governments: from punch-card Fortran programming to client-server computing, to web, to mobile and social media. Almost every presentation I have seen over the past twenty years speaks to the government’s need to transform: to do more with less and to innovate. So far there has been more of an evolution than a transformation in government IT. However, with new initiatives such as“Bring your own device” (BYOD), Cloud,“The Internet of Things”, “Appification”, Anti-“Skumorphism” User Interface Design(The word exists!), Big Data, Analytics and Social and Mobile, there is a growing shift toward transformation within government technology.

Specifically, there is a changing culture due to new possibilities for government workers to leverage technology of their own.This shift is driven by the changing spectrum of user expectations and the free availability of information.Let us take me as an example. I am my very own IT department, complete with location services, rules, process automation, the internet of things, cloud, big data and a large supply of apps at my beck and call. I can use IFTTT (If This Then This) for simple rules to control the light bulbs and thermostats in my house. The power I have as an end user is boggling. What can we take away from all this? IT and Central CIOs are now using this same technology and brainstorming about potential applications of similar techniques to meet end users expectations and demands. These thought leaders are pushing the government to empower end users in the same ways that these users are being empowered in their personal lives.

Despite movement toward transformation in Government, I hesitate to get too enthusiastic. Major road blocks to such progress still remain. Chiefly, procurement: due to the siloed government approach to selecting vendors there is limited ability for transformative technology use.

But don’t give up hope.  Together, we can work to develop creative and strong business cases and procurement vehicles that can bring in transformative solutions. To push Transformation in Government forward we must have government IT and line of business execs motivated and educated in order to advocate for better and more dynamic procurement policies that can pave way for the development of truly transformative solutions.

However; in my previous post of the infographic on Contextual Computing I believe since policies will be challenged in order to deploy that type of computing technology that in turn procurement will be challenged as well.  Here is the executive report on the study done by IBM on Contextual Computing

Empowering governments through contextual computing Exec Report.pdf

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Contextual Computing

Contextual Computing unlocking the power of enterprise data Infographic

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