By Srinivas Rao
Over the years, humans have predicted fantastical feats would be achieved by 2020, from robot servants to public space travel. Now that we’re in the year 2020, some of the accomplishments are different—but still grand. In the decade ahead, transformational technologies that better meet constituent needs will define the missions of local government leaders. Advancements in multi-cloud operations, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) will expand community experiences and digital government possibilities.
It’s a new era for data: a time to catalyze streamlined IT, flexible consumption and operations, multi-cloud options and an evolution of the network edge. Sustainable innovation and modernization will bolster how we live, work and play. As CIOs and IT leaders prepare their departments for new ways to serve their constituents, here are the biggest technology changes that are impacting them—and important considerations for each.
Multi-Cloud Strategy Evolves
As local government cloud strategies mature, a multi-cloud approach that encompasses a combination of solutions hosted on premises, in public clouds and at the edge will become more critical. Considering a multi-cloud strategy offers increased security, as well as greater flexibility, transparency and scalability.
To make the most effective cloud investments, local governments should plan ahead and think about their IT infrastructure holistically. Leaders should consider the various workloads they manage and keep their constituents—and the services made available to them—at the forefront of decision-making. To move forward with their cloud strategy, local-government IT leaders need the ability to plan on a workload-by-workload basis. This requires the flexibility of multi-cloud.
5G Becomes Mainstream
The next-gen network is not simply an evolution of 4G; it requires massive transformation, demanding new distributed architectures using software-defined infrastructure.
High-speed connectivity will lay the groundwork for “always-on,” interconnected services that define smart cities. But local governments are still searching for answers to learn how 5G will apply to their specific departments and constituents.
Getting started with 5G will require a dedicated effort to support advancements in IoT technologies. More devices and sensors will accelerate transmission of data. A report by the World Economic Forum shows that the impact of 5G cuts across markets, opening the door to capabilities such as self-driving cars and automated drones for public sector organizations.
More Cities Will Benefit From Deep Learning and AI
AI is changing the way cities operate, deliver, and maintain public amenities, from lighting and transportation to connectivity and health services. The, innovation within deep learning and analytics will transform these cities further. Think of cameras and sensors with the ability to count cars, bicycles and pedestrians to improve traffic flow and safety on city streets.
AI will continue to transform public safety capabilities. Cities will also continue to leverage automation to build more-accurate models of traffic patterns, leading to a safer and more-efficient world. Incidents will be easier to map and predict, helping residents get out of harm’s way. Even everyday interactions with government can be supplemented by AI such as chatbots and personal assistant devices, making government departments more effective and citizen interactions more efficient.
The technologies that help local governments behind the scenes, and the leaders at the forefront of IT strategy are at the core of mission success. Through digital transformation initiatives, municipal and Center or State own subsidiaries can take advantage of the rollout of 5G to bring new levels of high-speed connectivity and institute digital inclusion in cities. AI will help leaders make sense of the wealth of data at their fingertips for better decision-making and citizen safety. Multi-cloud strategies will optimize how we store and access information for greater efficiency, cost savings, and capability. We need to take advantage of these now to mold the community’s digital future—but keep constituent experiences as the guiding factor in the new data decade.
(The author is Director, System Engineering at Dell Technologies and the views expressed in this article are his own)