Public Sector Technology And Digital Transformation Predictions 2021

By March 2, 2021 blog No Comments

2020 was a year of amazing challenge and opportunity for public organizations. The COVID-19 pandemic led to global shutdowns that made many government services more important than ever, while challenging those organizations’ ability to deliver those services. Worldwide, the public sector was called upon to accelerate their digital transformation — not to steadily improve and modernize services, but to continue delivering them in a time of disruptive crisis. 

“To effectively operate digitally, organizations had to accelerate or translate work to digital processes, and shift from in-person to remote collaboration,” says Suzanne Campbell, Splunk’s area vice president for federal sales engineering. “And it had to happen virtually overnight.”

There were some heroics involved. Some breaking of logjams to accelerate modernization to keep serving constituencies through the crisis.

“The pandemic was a real-world proof of concept that cloud and other modernization strategies are now a mission-critical priority.”

Juliana Vida, Splunk Chief Technical Advisor, Public Sector

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Every year, Splunk produces our Predictions report, contemplating the near horizon for data-driven technologies, broken down into an Executive leadership report, and three tech-focused reports: IT Operations, Data Security and Emerging Technologies. The reports are industry-agnostic, which is effective when you’re looking at the rollout of 5G, coming applications of AI/ML or the challenges of leading through unprecedented times.

But the public sector is a unique arena, worthy of separate consideration. It is, in fact, several unique arenas, with their own agendas around using technology to ensure mission success.

“Trying to cover the entire public sector perspective is difficult,” notes Juliana Vida, Splunk’s chief technical advisor for the public sector and a former deputy CIO for the U.S. Navy. “As across any industry, there’s such a huge range of maturity levels, of leadership buy-in and prioritization around technology.”

But we do have one blanket prediction for public agencies: 2021 will be a new era for data in government, says Frank Dimina, Splunk’s vice president for the public sector. Between the disorder and rapid transformation of the pandemic and a fractious U.S. election year, Dimina predicts continued and heightened interest in transformative digital technologies and the power of data to improve government services and citizen experience.

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“Government is moving with an agility we’ve never seen in peacetime,” Dimina says. “Just one example: The U.S. Department of Defense moved a million people to remote work in a month. That sort of thing would normally be a four-year project, but due to the pandemic, the government is able to work at mission speeds — less debate and more action. We’re seeing agencies across government react to the pandemic with that crisis agility, and I think we’ll continue to see more of it in the years ahead.”

Here’s a look at the issues around leadership and digital transformation that will guide leaders at public agencies as they continue their transformative journey.

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Leadership 

  • Digital transformation will continue to accelerate — despite familiar headwinds.
  • Remote work will continue, even after government workers are back in their offices.
  • The public sector will be a model of successful retraining programs.
  • Digital transformation will redefine public organizations’ partner networks.

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Technology and Digital Transformation

  • DevOps is here, though you’d be forgiven for not having noticed.
  • Zero trust will get bigger — fast.
  • Ransomware attacks will get worse, demanding a broader response.
  • Edge computing will prove itself in the Defense arena.
  • AI/ML will also make strides, starting with Defense.

Forbes

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