Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business’ “2019 Economic Forecast.” It was quite exciting to return to my alma mater and speak about the work our company is doing to push the government technology revolution forward. Dr. Mark Shen, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Mine Kuban Yücel, senior vice president and senior research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas were also featured as speakers at the event.
Happy 2019 to our customers, partners, and friends! We’re celebrating today — CSDC has been named to Government Technology’s GovTech 100 2019 list — for the second year in a row. The GovTech 100 is an annual update of the top 100 companies focused on and making a difference for state and local governments. We’re honored to be selected again and are looking forward to working with our customers to help them build safe and prosperous communities!
What does 2019 hold in store for governments and the govtech industry? It’s hard to say with certainty of course, but we’re making a few predictions and look forward to seeing how we do by this time next year.
- Continued gridlock at the U.S. federal level will shift focus to the work that state and local governments are doing as it more directly affects citizens’ day-to-day lives. With a divided government and talk of the 2020 presidential election already underway, we won’t see much new come out of Washington. Canada, while not facing the same federal government challenges, does have a national election scheduled for October which will attract political energy, which could divert attention away from federal citizen-facing efforts. Citizens’ attention will turn to what innovations are made at the state/province and local level — especially as they involve the use of technology to make government operations more efficient.
- “Smart Community” will be the buzzword of the 2019 govtech year. With increased attention on state and local governments, continued challenges on their budgets, and competition to be the “best” at attracting and managing growth — more governments than ever will form and embark on smart community plans. The public will eventually want to know more about how we define a smart community — and how we know when the “right” choices have been made to further grow communities and benefit our daily lives.
- Government IT procurement will increase its focus on modern and advanced technology — like artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, government IT professionals will continue to seek out flexibility, scalability, and interoperability when making any IT purchasing decisions. The days of custom-built solutions for individual governments and the individually developed “smokestacks” within those governments are quickly becoming obsolete as it’s hard to gain efficiency when systems won’t talk to each other.
- Governments will increasingly find ways to collaborate with each other when working to solve common challenges. We saw a great example of this in Oxford County, Ontario, last year when the county and eight municipalities standardized their land management and building permit processes and started using Amanda as a shared service. In the U.S. we are actively at work with one county in California on a system that any county in the state could use — and expect to have more news about that soon.
- Internet of Things (IoT) sensors will become much more ubiquitous in public infrastructure, and citizens will start to become accustomed to the idea of IoT sensors monitoring activity and communicating within networks. As the average price of sensors continues to fall, the price of placing the thousands of sensors needed for public infrastructure comes within reach of most all governments.
- Security will continue to be on the mind of every citizen and every government IT professional — and remains a key priority for us. Undoubtedly, there will be another major data breach in the private sector sometime in 2019 exposing the personal information of people. As consumers demand online and mobile interactions with government services, they will begin to question how governments are securing the much more personal data to which they have access.
- Data analytics will be one of the most sought-after skills by governments and govtech companies alike. There will be 175 zetabytes of data (1 zetabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes!) in the world within six years — the value of that only comes when we can develop artificial intelligence programs to access, analyze and take action based on the data.
We look forward to working in 2019 with many of you. What are your plans and predictions for the coming year? We’ve love to hear your thoughts — you can respond here or on Twitter by including the hashtag #2019GovTechPredictions .