10 trends shaping the federal IT future

Deloitte identifies "enablers" and "disruptors" taking on significant roles in federal IT.

Editor's note: This story was modified to correct the lists of disruptors and enablers. 

Don’t be surprised to see more agencies using information technology to tackle problems stemming from scarce resources and budgets, and adapting practices from the private sector for greater efficiency, performance and innovation.

Deloitte Consulting’s newly released report, "Technology Trends 2012: A Federal Perspective," outlines the top trends influencing IT and its potential to change the ways in which agencies accomplish their missions. Specifically, it highlights 10 technology trends that will play a major role in how federal agencies operate over the next 18 to 36 months.

The annual report groups 10 trends into two categories: Disruptors -- technologies that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations and business models – and Enablers, commonly used technologies that warrant another look this year because of new developments.

What these trends have in common is that each is relevant, has significant momentum and the potential to make an impact, Brad Eskind Federal Technology Practice leader and principal at Deloitte Consulting, writes in the introduction.

“Forward-thinking organizations should consider developing an explicit strategy in each area – even if that strategy is to wait and see,” he stated. “But whatever you do, step up. Use the digital forces to your advantage. Don’t get caught unaware or unprepared.”

For the disruptors, the report identifies these five:

1. Social business.

2. Gamification.

3. Enterprise mobility unleashed.

4. User empowerment.

5. Hyper-hybrid cloud.

And as enablers, the report names:

6. Big data.

7. Geospatial visualization.

8. Digital identities.

9. Measured innovation.

10. Outside-in architecture.

“Today, each of these trends can be valuable individually,” Eskind writes. “The combination of two, three, or even more can help accelerate progress towards this new set of business capabilities – enabling a new set of business rules for operations, performance and competition.”

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