September 6, 2016 | Written by: Brenda Decker
We continue to hear a lot about transformation in government, but what does that really mean? Is it the first to bring a new service to citizens? Is it a shiny new website? How about creating an interesting place to work? Although opinions differ on what transformation means, it is clear that the underlying theme of transformation is a nimble, flexible government able to address any new situation or take advantage of an opportunity quickly.
Nimble and flexible are not usually words used to describe government due to the highly regulated nature of government, as well as the need for high transparency. Procurement rules/requirements have been born out of historic obstacles to ensuring a fair and competitive purchasing environment. Unfortunately, these rules don’t help create a very nimble purchasing environment when the need arises. Transparency causes its own issues – if we want an open government, can we afford to allow government business owners to make decisions about their offerings without the opportunity for lengthy collaborative discussions across complimentary businesses?
So how do we position government to be able to become that nimble, flexible government of the future? The starting point seems to be a strong and modern infrastructure. An infrastructure capable of expanding and contracting based on demand and circumstance. An infrastructure that can support older technologies, as well as provide emerging technologies such as mobile. Current thought leaders, including IBM, believe that this infrastructure will be a hybrid environment. An environment where public and private entities will collaborate to provide citizens with the most advanced government services available at the time. Sounds a lot like transformation to me!