Disruptive technologies, customer experience, security are coming to the fore in the federal IT landscape.
Over the years, we have seen the federal IT landscape evolve, and this year will be no different. In 2019, we will continue to see federal agencies move full speed ahead with technology that will allow government to enhance citizen experiences and prepare for emerging technology.
Six key technology trends will emerge in the federal space in 2019.
1. Investing in strong networks: Reliable, secure, high-capacity networks will remain a priority for agencies this year. CIOs recognize how dependent application performance is on the network. Further, as more agencies migrate to the cloud, network performance becomes critical for robust performance, work productivity and citizen engagement.
2. Leveraging disruptive technologies: Agencies will make sure they are positioned to leverage disruptive technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, robotics and automation. Many of these technologies have now moved from concept to reality, and federal CIOs will discover how these innovations will enable better business outcomes.
3. Refocusing on customer experience: Citizens increasingly demand better experiences as they interact with public and private entities alike, and the administration has set a goal to improve the customer experience provided by the federal government. In order to meet this goal, agencies will leverage data and AI to better engage with constituents and provide better services. Further, with AI infiltrating customer experience, there's a greater opportunity to put citizens at the center by personalizing the experience.
4. Redoubling security efforts: Data breaches continue to plague the private and public sectors. In 2019, security will remain a focus, and federal CIOs will redouble their security efforts, adopting network-level security measures. In some ways, it will be a "back to basics" approach of understanding the risk environment and making sure that the proper IT hygiene routines are in place to protect against vulnerabilities. But CIOs will also look to use data to drive insights and make decisions on how to mitigate against security threats.
5. Putting privacy front and center: The federal government is in the unique position of handling millions of pieces of sensitive data -- from the personal information of an estimated 2 million federal employees to citizens' tax information to health records of military and veterans. Individuals are now more aware than ever of privacy and how their data is used, which means that in 2019, federal agencies will make data privacy and protection a priority for their security plans.
6. Embracing software-defined networking: In 2018, we saw SDN begin to transform business opportunities around the world. In 2019, federal CIOs will further embrace SDN and leverage the many options that it enables, including increased agility and flexibility to meet individualized needs in a secure environment.
Federal government, and the public sector as a whole, is moving toward modernization. As federal CIOs continue to balance the workings of government and the business needs of their respective agencies with the requirements of citizens, they will determine the best way to leverage these technology trends and opportunities. In 2019, there will be an increased reliance on industry for managed services, and agencies will move toward buying technology as a service, rather than owning the technology.
Citizens expect the same level of technology, innovations and insights from the public sector that they receive from the private sector. Government agencies are continuing to incorporate technology solutions in multiple areas of service delivery, and technology providers have an opportunity to help government meet its needs and serve citizens. Agencies will need to pick technology partners who are both well-versed in the public sector and able to deliver end-to-end technology solutions.