According to the survey from research firm Gartner the increased focus on data reflects CIOs’ acknowledgment that artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics will be the top “game-changing” technologies for government in 2019.
“Taking advantage of data is at the heart of digital government — it’s the central asset to all that government oversees and provides,” said Rick Howard, VP analyst at Gartner.
“The ability to leverage that data strategically in real time will significantly improve government’s ability to seamlessly deliver services, despite increased strain on finite resources.”
Gartner says the survey data indicates that governments are making deliberate progress toward designing and delivering digital services, achieving comparable maturity to other industries overall.
And when asked what stage their digital initiative was at, 29% of government respondents say their organisations are scaling and refining their digital initiatives — the tipping point at which a digital initiative is considered mature. This is up from 15% in the 2018 survey. However, government is still lagging other industries (33% overall) in scaling and refining digital initiatives – and the gap is particularly marked in defence and intelligence, where just nine percent of respondents have scaled digital initiatives.
“To meet increased demand and evolving expectations of citizens for effective and efficient services, government must continue to enhance its digital maturity,” Howard said.
“Government CIOs clearly recognise the potential of digital government and have started developing new digital services, but now need to take digital beyond a vision to execution through digital leadership.”
According to the survey, despite the focus on digital, only 17% of government CIOs plan to increase their investment in digital business initiatives, compared with 34% of CIOs in other industries. While government CIOs demonstrate clear vision in the potential for digital government and its emerging technologies, 45% report they lack the IT and business resources required to execute.
AI has taken the lead as the top game-changing technology for government CIOs for 2019, Gartner says.
AI (27%) is followed by data analytics (22%) and cloud technologies (19%). Cloud dropped from first across all levels of government last year, to third overall in this year’s survey.
“AI introduces new insights and delivery channels that will enable governments to scale in magnitudes not previously possible,” Howard said. “This will allow reallocation of valuable human resources to more complex processes and decisions.”
Among government respondents, 10% have already deployed an AI solution, 39% intend to deploy in the next one to two years, and an additional 36% intend to deploy an AI solution within the next two to three years.
Graphic: courtesy Gartner