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Government Digital Transformation Snapshot 2016


December 16, 2016

We made predications earlier this year about government digital transformation in 2016. We predicted taht government could not escapte from digital transformation, in open government, use of big data, concern about cybersecurity and adoption of new applications. We also saw the rise of smart cities hype.

Prediction Accuracy

We were about close to 50% accurate on the 8 predictions made:

  1. Digital transformation to gain steam in 2016. Experiments in external digital services and internal cross-government collaboration will go live and become accepted. Results: there have been many positive examples, but these seem to be more exception than rule ~10%
  2. Digital transparency matures, where “open” becomes default in more governments. The demand for transparency increases and government leaders recognize that trust & re-election are in the balance. There will still be significant cultural issues among public servants and politicians, but the genie can’t be put back in the bottle. Backtracking on transparency or freedom of information will get significant publicity. Results: Yes, more transparency – no, genies are being jammed back in the bottle ~50%
  3. The recognition of the open data – big data link for improved outcomes becomes more specific. Huge strides in understanding how to analyze big data will lead to increased government adoption. Unlike the enthusiasm for open data, big data initiatives will be highly focused. Results: no evidence to support this prediction ~0%
  4. Cities will drive improved governance, adoption of smart, sustainable and open technologies. Savings will accrue. Cities will become more sustainable.The value proposition of smart cities is well-understood. 2016 will see the adoption of good practices. Results: Smart cities reached new hype heights, with the value proposition a bit overhyped ~66%
  5. 2016 will be another difficult year as governments attempt to juggle security and privacy concerns. It doesn’t help when most politicians are from the pre-Internet era and don’t have an understanding of the technology. Expect knee jerk reactions. Results: Sadly, yes ~100%
  6. Governments recognize that mobile drives participation and value. 2016 could be a year of government mobile apps, especially in developing countries. Results: wasn’t the year for this to happen ~0%
  7. Governments get uber-fied. Government regulators will continue to be perplexed on how to react to car and apartment sharing. The implications of labour laws with the gig economy also becomes a hot potato. Many will view regulations as restricting innovation. Results: the sharing economy became white hot ~100%
  8. Government recognizes the role of citizen developers to add value and improve government services. Expect improved “user experience”, government toolkits that go far beyond “open data” to enable app preparation. Fewer hackathons and more apps in 2016. Results: was hard to count the number of hackathons or real apps developed ~unknown
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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