In part one of this post, we looked at how private sector innovators are disrupting traditional business models, even in areas that are traditionally the responsibility of government. We also covered some of the societal and technological trends that are impacting the constituents served by government. In this post, we’ll look at how these trends will have a significant impact on government’s medium to long-term business. If not handled properly, they’ll lead to significant negative financial impacts and increased gaps between constituents and government.
- 1Competition. Local government entities are increasingly being forced to compete amongst themselves to attract residents (especially Millennials) and businesses into their jurisdictions and be considered a desirable place to live and work. This requires careful governance, management, and planning of limited resources. City planners must invest in energy efficiency; public transportation; open data flow; greater connectivity; on-demand services; and accessible, open communications with constituents.
- 2Cooperation. Government will require a greater degree of intra and inter-agency cooperation, along with more public-private partnerships, to support and leverage an increasingly connected ecosystem.
- 3Data influx. Government must deal with a huge influx of data from connected devices and interconnected systems. Effective management, use, and sharing of this data will become critical, and deficiencies in this area will be increasingly visible to constituents.
- 4Decisionmaking. Government will have many more policy decisions to make, especially with regard to business model disruptions and technology trends being introduced by private enterprises. More security, data ownership, privacy, and governance issues will need to be tackled, and new regulations and rules will need to be developed.
Government jurisdictions must adapt to the changes coming their way and carefully manage the transition to a digital business model and a connected ecosystem. At the very least, government should:
Define a clear business strategy and commit to transforming end-to-end business processes to meet constituent demands, reduce operational costs, and create new revenue streams.
Establish a supportive policy framework that promotes innovation and expanded inter-government and public-private cooperation in an increasingly connected ecosystem.
Focus on core mission activities and, if needed, be willing to seek assistance and transfer responsibility for IT and even some business services to a government shared-service organization or a private enterprise that specializes in providing such services. Some government jurisdictions have established fifty-year collaborative agreements to have commercial organizations deliver some of their core services.
Establish an adaptable foundation of information and communications technology and resource management systems. The future age will be one in which the ability of each agency, city, and state to solve its challenges will depend on its ability to harness, analyze, and govern data as a strategic asset.
Promote and support the digital world in their environments. Governments entities should use technology to shift from high-cost service channels (walk-in service centers or call centers) to lower cost methods such as interactive voice response systems, the web, or mobile apps. To quickly adapt systems to support new regulations, government agencies will need to embrace cloud technologies and agile software development practices.
The clock is ticking. It is imperative for government administrations to learn from private-sector companies like Uber, establish clear strategies with supportive policies, and use technology to transform services and shrink the growing gaps that will otherwise drive a stake between them and their constituents.