Governments use technology for various purposes, from improving citizen services to increasing transparency and accountability. Governments at all levels are under pressure to do more with less, and technology can help them meet these challenges.
The world is changing faster than ever, and the government must change. Government leaders must stay ahead of the latest technology trends to stay ahead of the curve. In this article, we will discuss the trends we see in government technology in 2022, the opportunities and challenges with each tech, and how government agencies can take action to implement each trend to support them.
What Are Government Technology Trends To Look Out For in 2022?
Some of the government technology trends to look out for in 2022 include:
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
- Blockchain technology
- 3D printing
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
- Increased cyber security solutions
- The use of robotics
- Big data
- Cloud computing
- 5G technology
- Self-driving vehicles
Each of these government technology trends comes with opportunities and challenges. So let’s take a closer look at each one.
Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are one of the government analytics and technology trends to look out for in 2022. Government organizations are already using AI for various tasks, such as predictive maintenance, fraud detection, and cybersecurity. In addition, ML can help government organizations automate repetitive tasks, improve decision-making, and speed up processes.
- Automation of manual tasks: Government organizations can automate manual tasks, improve decision-making, and better manage data. By automating low-level tasks, government employees can focus on more critical work that requires human interaction and judgment.
- Improve service delivery: Predictive analytics can proactively identify and address issues before they become problems. Additionally, citizens can use chatbots and other digital assistants to provide citizens with easy access to government services and information.
- Money savings: AI and machine learning technology can also help government organizations save money by automating manual tasks and reducing labor costs.
- Lack of data: One of the biggest challenges government agencies face regarding AI/ML is the lack of data. Large amounts of data are required to train these systems. Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of government data, it is often difficult to obtain.
- Privacy and security concerns: Another challenge associated with AI/ML in government is the privacy and security concerns that come along with it. Since these systems often handle sensitive data, there is a risk of it being leaked or misused if not appropriately handled.
- Ethical concerns: As AI/ML systems become more advanced, agencies must consider ethical considerations. For example, should these systems be used for surveillance purposes? How will they impact decision-making?
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that agencies can use to record transactions and track assets. Government organizations use it for various tasks, such as land registry, identity management, and supply chain management.
- Efficiency: By using a decentralized database, blockchain can help speed up the data sharing and verification, reducing the time needed to complete tasks such as benefit claims or tax returns.
- Security: Using a decentralized database makes it more difficult for hackers to access sensitive information. Additionally, using smart contracts can help ensure that only authorized users can access specific data.
- Transparency: Decentralized databases make it easier for the public to track the status of government contracts or see the use of tax dollars.
- No standardized implementation: There is no agreed-upon set of standards for how agencies should implement blockchain technology in government. This lack of standardization makes it difficult for government agencies to know which type of blockchain technology to use and how to implement it to work well with their existing systems.
- Security demands: Blockchain technology is incredibly secure, but this security comes at a cost. To maintain the safety of a blockchain system, government agencies would need to invest significant resources into developing and maintaining their security infrastructure, and all system users receive adequate training in how to use the system.
- Lack of regulation: Blockchain technology is still relatively new, and governments are still working to figure out how to regulate it; this may lead to confusion and uncertainty about what is allowed and what is not. This regulatory uncertainty makes it difficult for government agencies to know how to best use blockchain technology and could ultimately delay or even prevent its adoption.
The use of drones is another government technology trend to look out for in 2022. Agencies can use drones for various purposes, including surveillance, delivery, and mapping. You can already see the use of drones in government organizations for border patrol and disaster relief tasks.
- Increased efficiency and productivity: Agencies can use drones for various tasks that can help increase government agencies’ efficiency and productivity. For example, different agencies can use them for surveillance, mapping, and delivery tasks.
- Enhanced safety: One of the most significant advantages of using drones is that they can help improve safety for government employees and the public. For example, departments can use them for hazardous tasks that would otherwise be too dangerous for humans, such as inspecting power lines or bridges.
- Increased transparency: Entities can also use drones to help improve the transparency of government agencies. For example, entities can use them for live-stream events or aerial footage of public areas.
- Restrictions on Flight: There are restrictions on where drones can fly. In the United States, drones cannot fly above 400 feet or within 5 miles of an airport. These restrictions make it difficult to use drones for government applications.
- Lack of GPS Signals: The lack of GPS signals in some areas makes it difficult or even impossible to use drones in specific locations, limiting their usefulness for government agencies that need to conduct operations in remote areas.
- Cost: Drones are also expensive, limiting their usefulness for government agencies. Depending on the model, the drone cost can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. This cost can be prohibitive for many government agencies.
3D printing can create prototypes, produce products, and create customized solutions. This technology can develop prosthetics, medical devices, and airplane parts.
- Prototyping: The ability to quickly and easily create prototypes of products or parts can save time and money compared to traditional manufacturing methods.
- Customization: 3D printing can create custom items, or parts that are not readily available from commercial sources can be especially useful for government agencies that need specialized parts or products for their operations.
- Materials: Agencies can use this technology to create educational materials, such as models and simulations, to help government agencies provide training and education to employees or the public on various topics.
- Regulatory Barriers: There are currently few regulations governing 3D printing technology, making it difficult for organizations to know what is permissible. Additionally, intellectual property concerns can also be a challenge regarding 3D printing.
- High Costs: 3D printers and materials are still relatively expensive, making it difficult for many organizations to justify the investment. Additionally, the costs of trained personnel and maintenance can also be prohibitive.
- Lack of Awareness: Most people are still unaware of the existence of 3D printing technology and its potential applications. As a result, there is a lack of understanding of how governments can use this technology to create products and improve organizational processes.
Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality
The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is another government technology trend to look out for in 2022. Governments can use VR and AR for training, simulation, and visualization, and government organizations use them in military training and emergency response tasks.
- Enhanced Training Opportunities: Virtual reality can create realistic simulations of dangerous situations, providing personnel with an opportunity to experience and learn from these situations without harming themselves. This type of training can be invaluable for preparing personnel for real-world scenarios.
- Improved Data Visualization: AR technology can create visualizations of data sets. Giving analysts a new way to interact with and understand information can help government organizations make better-informed decisions.
- Increased Engagement with the Public: VR and AR technology can increase public engagement. For example, government organizations can use VR to give citizens a virtual tour of a facility or to provide an immersive experience that allows them to learn about a particular issue.
- Limited Availability: VR is still in its early stages of development, meaning that a limited number of VR and AR headsets are available on the mark. VR can be expensive, and it may be difficult to find technology that meets the requirements of your government agency.
- Resource Intensive: VR and AR headsets require a lot of processing power to create the immersive experience that users crave, which can strain government and military resources. Additionally, setting up and maintaining a VR or AR system can be complicated and time-consuming, adding to the resource burden.
- Security Concerns: Because VR and AR headsets provide users with an immersive experience, users can become so absorbed in the experience that they lose track of their surroundings. Additionally, the data collected by VR and AR systems could potentially be compromised if it falls into the wrong hands.
The Internet Of Things
The Internet of things (IoT) can connect devices, collect data, and improve efficiency. We’re already seeing this in government organizations using the IoT for transportation and asset management tasks.
- Enhanced security: Agencies can also use IoT to improve safety. For example, sensors could monitor potential security threats and alert authorities accordingly.
- Improved service delivery: Agencies can also use IoT to improve service delivery. For example, sensors could monitor traffic conditions in real-time and adjust traffic light patterns accordingly to help reduce congestion.
- Increased efficiency and productivity: IoT can help government agencies become more efficient and productive by automating tasks and processes. For example, sensors can automatically collect data which can then be processed and analyzed to help improve decision-making.
- Lack of standardization: There are many different types of IoT devices and sensors, each using a different communication protocol, making it difficult for government agencies to interoperate with each other and exchange data.
- Security: IoT devices are often connected to critical infrastructure, making them a prime target for hackers. As a result, government agencies must ensure that their IoT networks are secure and that data is encrypted.
- Privacy: IoT devices can collect a lot of data about individuals, including their location, activity, and preferences. Government agencies must be transparent about using this data and ensure it is not misused.
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting electronic information from unauthorized access or theft. Government organizations already practice this, but the need for cybersecurity will continue to grow in importance as we become increasingly reliant on technology.
- Prevention: Protecting electronic information by having systems that have robust security measures to prevent cyber attacks from happening, reducing the risk of cybercrime
- Responsiveness: The ability to improve efficiency and respond quickly to mitigate any damage should a breach happen by having systems in place to detect any attacks supporting in reducing cybercrime.
- Safeguarding infrastructure: It can help to protect critical infrastructure. Government agencies are responsible for safeguarding critical infrastructure, including power plants, financial institutions, and transportation networks.
- Lack of awareness and understanding of cyber security risks: A lack of awareness and knowledge of the risks is a significant challenge facing government organizations.
- Inadequate resources: Government organizations often lack the resources necessary to address cyber security risks effectively. For example, they may not have enough staff to monitor and protect their networks adequately, or they may not have the budget to invest in the latest security technologies.
- Fragmented approach: Government organizations face a fragmented approach to cyber security. Different departments within an organization may have other priorities and objectives regarding safety, which can make it challenging to implement an effective overall strategy.
The use of robotics is another federal government technology trend to look out for in 2022. Robotics are used for various purposes, including manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare. In addition, government organizations already use this technology for tasks such as search and rescue and bomb disposal.
- Security and surveillance: Robotics technology can create unmanned security systems that monitor large areas, such as borders or critical infrastructure, allowing the government to reduce the number of human personnel needed for these tasks, freeing them up for other duties.
- Disaster response: Robotics technology can create unmanned systems that can enter disaster areas and provide information about conditions on the ground, allowing the government to assess the situation and quickly deploy resources.
- Infrastructure maintenance: Robotics technology can create unmanned systems that inspect and repair critical infrastructures, such as bridges or roads, allowing the government to reduce the time and money needed to maintain these vital assets.
- Lack of skilled personnel: Many government agencies do not have the necessary skills or knowledge to develop and operate robotics technology. This lack of trained personnel can result in costly mistakes and delays in implementation.
- Ethical concerns: As robotics technology becomes more sophisticated, ethical considerations will become more prevalent. For example, should robots be used in warfare? How should government agencies deal with the growing use of robots in society?
- Security concerns: Robotics technology can be used for malicious purposes, such as espionage or sabotage. Government agencies must carefully consider security risks when using robotics technology.
The Use of Big Data
Governments can use big data to improve decision-making, target advertising, and prevent fraud. For example, the government is already using big data for target marketing and detecting fraud.
- Streamline services: Agencies can use big data to streamline issuing benefits like food stamps or disability payments. It can also improve the accuracy of tax collection and track government spending in real-time.
- Identify fraud: Big data can help government agencies identify potential fraud and waste. By analyzing data sets for patterns of suspicious activity, agencies can crack down on fraudulent claims and save taxpayer dollars.
- Improved service delivery: Agencies can also use big data to improve the delivery of government services. By analyzing data sets on traffic patterns and crime rates, government agencies can better allocate resources and personnel to where they are needed most.
- Privacy and Security Concerns: A challenge that government organizations face regarding big data is the privacy and security concerns associated with collecting and storing large amounts of data. Government organizations must ensure that the information they contain is secure and that individuals’ privacy rights are protected.
- Political Concerns: Another challenge government organizations face regarding big data is the political concerns associated with its use. Organizations can use big data to influence and shape public opinion, and government organizations must be careful to use it responsibly.
- Lack of Internal Capacity: Another challenge facing government organizations is the lack of internal capacity to store, process, and analyze large data sets. Government organizations typically have smaller IT budgets and staff than private companies, making it difficult to invest in the infrastructure and personnel needed to implement big data projects.
The Use of Cloud Computing
Governments can use cloud computing to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve flexibility. Government organizations are already using cloud computing for tasks such as email, file sharing, and data storage.
- Increased Agility and Responsiveness: The ability to quickly provision and de-provision IT resources can help government organizations become more agile and responsive. For example, if there is a sudden demand for a new application, Agencies can provide the necessary resources quickly in the cloud.
- Flexibility: Cloud computing can offer government organizations increased flexibility in procuring and using IT resources. For example, rather than investing in expensive hardware and software upfront, organizations can pay for only the help they need on an as-needed basis.
- Improved Collaboration: Cloud computing can enhance collaboration among government employees by making it easier to share documents and other files. For example, employees can use a cloud-based file sharing service to share files in real-time rather than emailing large files back and forth.
- Interoperability Issues: The lack of interoperability between different cloud platforms makes it difficult for government organizations to exchange data between other systems.
- Security and Privacy Concerns: There are also concerns about the security and privacy of data stored in the cloud. Government organizations must ensure that their data is protected and secure.
- Lack of Skilled Personnel: Specialized skills and knowledge are required to implement and manage cloud technologies. The lack of these capabilities is a challenge for many government organizations.
5G technology is another federal and state government technology trend to look out for in 2022. Governments can use 5G to improve communication, increase data speeds, and reduce latency; In addition, government agencies are already using 5G for tasks such as video streaming and remote working.
- Increased Productivity: One of the main benefits that 5G technology can bring to government organizations is increased productivity. With faster data speeds and lower latency, employees can access information and communicate with each other more quickly and efficiently.
- Improved Customer Service: Another benefit of 5G technology in government organizations is improved customer service. With faster data speeds, government employees can access customer information quickly and respond to inquiries efficiently.
- Enhanced Security: 5G technology can also help government organizations strengthen security. With the increased speed and capacity of 5G networks, government organizations can collect and store more data, which agencies can use to improve security.
- Cost: The cost of implementing and deploying 5G infrastructure is exceptionally high, presenting a significant challenge for government organizations with limited budgets.
- Limited spectrum availability: Another challenge facing government organizations is the limited spectrum availability for 5G networks. To deploy 5G infrastructure, organizations need to have access to spectrum. However, the spectrum is in short supply due to the high demand for 5G services.
- Security concerns: 5G technology also raises security concerns. Due to the higher speeds and data rates associated with 5G, there is a risk that sensitive data could be intercepted or hacked. Additionally, 5G networks are also more vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks.
Departments can use self-driving vehicles for various purposes, including transportation, delivery, and logistics. Government organizations are already using this technology for tasks such as transportation and delivery.
- Increased accessibility: Self-driving technology can also make it easier for people with disabilities or limited mobility to get around, which can help to increase accessibility and independence.
- Reduced emissions: Self-driving cars are also typically more fuel-efficient than traditional cars, which can help reduce emissions and help the government meet its environmental goals.
- Increased efficiency and productivity: Self-driving vehicles can also help increase efficiency and productivity in government organizations, for instance, by reducing traffic congestion or making it easier for employees to get to and from work.
- Regulatory Uncertainty: Self-driving technology is still in its early stages, and there are no clear guidelines for regulating it. This lack of clarity makes it difficult for government organizations to develop policies and procedures around self-driving technology.
- Cost: Self-driving vehicles are expensive, and the infrastructure needed to support them (e.g., charging stations) can also be costly. As a result, government organizations will need to find ways to fund the implementation of self-driving technology.
- Acceptance: There is significant public skepticism about self-driving technology, and many people are reluctant to use it. Government organizations must find ways to increase public trust in self-driving technology.
Conclusion / Closing Thoughts
As we can see, there are several government technology trends to look out for in 2022, including cybersecurity, robotics, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G technology. At the same time, these technologies offer government organizations opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, each also comes with challenges, such as the need for regulations and policies, the risk of data breaches and privacy invasion, and the need for training. As these technologies continue to develop, it will be necessary for government organizations to keep up with the latest trends to remain competitive.
IDEA Analytics works with government agencies using different technologies to identify solutions that measure what matters to your organization. Contact us to learn more.