New technologies improving government operations

New IT trends are having a major impact on government operations. Most notably, the growing availability of data has significant business intelligence implications, potentially greatly improving government agencies' decision-making capabilities, as Gartner recently highlighted.

IT opportunities
Several Gartner researchers and partners spoke at the recent April Gartner Symposium and ITxpo in Dubai, Forbes reported. Among the key topics discussed were the evolving role played by IT services in the public sector, and the potential benefits offered by these trends.

"Adopting the trends may make government more responsive to the public, more communicative and more efficient through the use of technologies such as cloud infrastructure and business process management," the news source noted.

In addition to cloud integration, key IT trends affecting government bodies include the utilization of big data, the rise of the Internet of Things, gamification and mobile platform development, Forbes reported.

Data factors
Brian Gryth, program manager of the Colorado Secretary of State's Business Intelligence Center and one of the event's speakers, emphasized the role that data is playing in these trends. Notably, he argued that the expanding availability of data is among the most important factors driving government IT investment.

"I think the biggest selling point is, we're just sitting on top of mountains of data," said Gryth, the news source reported. "We have a lot of information, and it is owned by the people, and it's not useful unless we're putting it out there."

By embracing business intelligence solutions, though, government agencies at every level have the potential to improve their internal operations and decision-making in a wide range of capacities.

Limiting progress
However, Gartner noted that governments' IT efforts are frequently hampered by a number of factors. Among the most significant, according to Gryth, is the culture that frequently surrounds governmental bodies. Agencies are generally resistant to changes to their culture, which makes it difficult for these organizations to deploy new technologies.

Budgets are also an obstacle. The news source pointed out that many public sector agencies simply lack the money necessary to hire the personnel needed to take advantage of new IT solutions.

This suggests a certain amount of shortsightedness, as new IT solutions have the potential to save governments a tremendous amount of money. For example, think tank Policy Exchange recently concluded that the U.K. government could save more than $40 billion per year by 2020 simply by using IT solutions more efficiently, Information Age reported. To varying degrees, U.S. government agencies at every level can see similar financial benefits by embracing IT more completely.