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How the Private Sector is Helping Government IT Modernization

Accepting that another organization may be able to improve your organization’s best practices is hard. This is especially challenging during the tumultuous time of IT modernization that is taking place throughout government agencies. However, in order to continue growth, it may be time for govies to start taking some tips from the private sector.

In order to illuminate what tech tips the public sector has to offer the government, Nishita Henry, Technology Strategy and Innovative Principal at Deloitte, sat down with Christopher Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER to discus Deloitte’s Public Sector Tech Trends Report.

Recently, the government has struggled to reimagine their core IT systems. Henry explained, “reimagining core systems is really about modernization and transformation of legacy technology.” In order to do this, organizations have to take a large complex legacy system and reimagine a new system that is agile, flexible, scalable, and adaptable.

However, reimagining is more than just the technical updates. Simply ripping and replacing old technology with new technology is not the most effective way to update government IT because even though you have new technology, you have the same old bad processes. As a result, “we really have to reimagine the way we want to do business,” Henry explained. This means, “having a way to maintain some of the legacy systems that are transforming into the new system and creating more agility and flexibility for the organization.”

In order to help government make this transition more efficiently, Deloitte’s Public Sector Tech Trends Report identified eight forces facing the public sector that are crucial to driving transformation and innovation within the government. The trends include: right-speed IT, the Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, reimagining core systems, autonomic platforms, blockchain, industrialized analytics, and the social impact of exponential technologies.

An example of a trend that is currently being utilized in government is the virtual reality technologies. The Department of Defense (DoD) is working with virtual and augmented realities to simulate real time operations for training purposes. This allows the DoD to understand where the pitfalls are for fixing and testing different scenarios before personnel are thrown into the situations in real life.

Additionally, adopting an enterprise approach to social impact is crucial. Henry emphasized, “understanding the impact that social has from communication, speed of communication, controlling the message, and being able to use those channels to help you control the message.” It is necessary to shift from the multi-channel mindset to an Omni channel concept in order to offer the public the same brand, services, and presence across their channels.

In order to make these changes, Henry posited that, “people have to get away from the mindset that change is incremental and understand that change is exponential.” Technology changes every day and the more you wait until you are ready to change, the farther behind your agency falls. As a result, your agency’s IT must be ready to adapt and modernize on a daily basis.

Looking forward Henry highlighted the importance of partnership and learning from each other. She emphasized that, “government IT employees must balance between being operators and technologists with being actual catalysts and partners to the business for change. Too often IT organizations are seen as a commodity when instead they need to start positioning themselves as business partners.” It is Henry’s hope that the government can take these lessons from the private sector and continue to optimize their journey through IT modernization.

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