5 Domains of Government That Are Ripe for Transformation

Article by William Eggers: “…in a Deloitte report entitled Creating the Government of the Future my colleagues and I identified five principal domains of government activity that are ripe for technological transformation:…

Service delivery: In Estonia, taxpayers can file taxes online simply by approving forms auto-populated with their income data. This ease represents the future of service delivery: focused on the user, automated for no-touch government that serves people without them having to fill out long forms. (Think hospital data of a birth triggering a birth certificate, Social Security card and health-care record for the child and family allowance payment to qualifying parents.)

Services will more and more tailor to such anticipated life events. Ideally, a single login omnichannel experience provides access to tasks as varied as collecting unemployment benefits to registering to run for office. With once-only government, citizens and businesses need only provide their data once, and it’s then shared across departments with appropriate privacy protections.

Operations: Government operations should take a cue from the private sector, where technologies like data analytics and cognitive automation converge to create serious efficiencies. Operations from HR to procurement can combine in an integrated center office, creating insights from shared, analyzed data about what to expect and how to improve. “As-a-service” acquisition allows contractors to provide basic infrastructure, such as cloud services, leading to faster scaling. To transform operations, strike teams of specialists and subject-matter experts meet in digital factories, using agile processes without traditional bureaucracies.

Policy- and decision-making: Evidence-based policymaking can identify what approaches produce the best results. With artificial-intelligence-based scenario analysis, machine learning can test the relationship between factors in systemic problems. Potentially, understanding these relationships could allow policy to be self-correcting. Likewise, increasingly sophisticated statistical models will allow government by simulation — a cheap way to A/B test systems like traffic management, disaster response and city planning. Meanwhile, mass-communication tools enable crowdsourced and distributed policymaking, in which ordinary citizens contribute their expertise.

Regulation and enforcement: The future of this governmental domain is tied to the predictive abilities of AI and analytics. In a form of risk-based regulation, for example, AI can identify factors likely to contribute to a food-borne illness outbreak, helping food inspectors focus energies on restaurants more likely to violate. Modeling systems to identify beneficial behaviors can enable positive enforcement strategies, which reward a business’ focus on the big picture and going beyond the bare minimum. Lastly, countries like New Zealand have experimented with legislation written as software code. The bureaucratic effects of the legislation could be simulated ahead of time.

Talent/workforce: Flexibility will be the hallmark of the future public workforce. NASA and other agencies are trying a talent marketplace model, in which some workers have the ability to move from project to project, even between agencies, based on their documented skills. Talent won’t go to waste in this just-in-time civil service. Such a talent marketplace would cover an open talent spectrum, from freelancers to career employees….(More)”.