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Can Business And Tech Transform The Way Our Government Works By 2020?

Governments could become more responsive, efficient, and functional if they adopt today’s tech trends. But don’t count on it.

The rise of open data, crowd-sourcing, predictive analytics, and other big tech trends, aren’t just for companies to contend with. They’re also a challenge for government. New technology gives public agencies the opportunity to develop and deliver services in new ways, track results more accurately, and open up decision-making.

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Deloitte’s big new Government 2020 report looks at the trends impacting government and lays out a bunch of ideas for how they can innovate. We picked out a few below. There are more infographics in the slide show.


Consumerization of public services

Deloitte expects entrepreneurs to “develop innovative and radically user-friendly approaches to satisfy unmet consumer demand for better public services.” Startups like Uber or Lyft “reinvigorated transportation.” Now it expects a similar “focus on seamless customer experiences” in education and health care.

Open workforce

Deloitte expects governments to become looser: collections of people doing a job, rather than large hierarchical structures. “Governments [will] expand their talent networks to include ‘partnership talent’ (employees who are parts of joint ventures), ‘borrowed talent’ (employees of contractors), ‘freelance talent’ (independent, individual contractors) and ‘open-source talent,'” the report says.

Outcome based legislation

Just as big data analytics allows companies to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, so it allows governments to measure how well legislation and regulation is working. They can “shift from a concentration on processes to the achievement of specific targets.” And, if the law isn’t working, someone has the data to throw it out.


Pay for performance

The report expects to see more “innovative funding structures” like social impact bonds, where private investors invest to achieve a certain social outcome (like driving down the rate of reentry into prison). “Flipping the model and moving some financial risks from governments to investors and contractors is a central characteristic of this global trend,” the report says.

Shareable cities

Sharing is good for cities. Deloitte points to how ride-sharing can reduce congestion, and how skill-sharing can improve job competitiveness. “The growth of collaborative consumption, which turns underutilized products into on-demand services, changes how cities function, from transportation and education to water and energy supplies,” it says. “Sector-spanning sharing solutions reduce pressure on public infrastructure and services, making the zero-emissions city possible.”

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See more from the report here.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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