GPMDecember 23, 2020Technology Trends for Governments 2021

GPM Center for Government Transformation

What are the tech trends for Governments in 2021?

Government leaders face evolving challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic over the next 12 to 18 months. Public sector CIOs can help address these challenges by linking business capabilities to technology investments that accelerate the pace of digital innovation. This complimentary webinar reveals the top business and technology trends Gartner sees impacting government performance in 2021, and provides CIOs with a framework to connect I&T strategy with improved outcomes.

Although many leaders are used to some level of constant change, COVID-19 impacted the world in ways no one could have predicted. In turn, organizations have had to pivot and strategize, adapt and change in new ways. (Gartner, 2021)

It is not a normal evolution, it’s an aggressive disruption with the “Total Experience”

The lesson has been learnt, thanks COVID-19! Governments started 2021 with aggressive fitness by reimagining their services and the mechanism of doing things in order to maintain their resilience and competitiveness. Like corporate momentum, public sector decided to rely on technology in many aspects for productivity purposes.

As per the recently published Gartner’s report (Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021), they gave ample space to Xperience aspects as they called it “Total Experience”

Total experience

Total experience combines traditionally siloed disciplines like multiexperience (MX), customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and user experience (UX), and links them to create a better overall experience for all parties. Not only does this streamline the experience for everyone, because organizations are optimizing across all experiences, it offers an excellent opportunity to differentiate an organization from competitors. With an overall goal of transforming the entire experience, total experience enables organizations to lean into the challenges created by COVID-19 and identify new activities that they can integrate and build on.


Chatbots will be the new face of the public sector. In 2021 AI-driven chatbots could have human-like avatars to strike a balance between digital capabilities and the personal human interaction for citizens contacting the public sector with queries. These ‘digital humans’ –  animations of humans to make them more life-like – are driven by robotics and AI to interpret the mood of customers and deliver improved service through empathetic behaviour and actions. Innovations such as these will help drive citizen uptake of digital channels for interacting with government departments to fulfil simple requests. This will be invaluable to freeing up public sector professionals to deal with more complicated tasks, especially during peaks in demand, and those where human interaction can result in improved outcomes. They also have the potential to improve citizen satisfaction as wait times are not dependent on a set number of human beings being available.

Digitization at Scale

When we imagine amount of beneficiaries of any e-Government platform, we talk about millions of transactions in less than a week. The capacity that needs to accommodate the services redesign and agile growth with a


robust infrastructure & reliable services delivery

Source: Open Access Government, 2021

Digitizing services helps governments meet public expectations and become more efficient and resilient. The task is complex, but a tried-and-true formula can help them move faster and with limited resources (McKinsey, 2020)

As per McKinsey report on Digital public services: How to achieve fast transformation at scale, 2020; they clarified that the Digitization is a whole-of-government challenge.


It’s all about money!

From SaaS applications and on-prem solutions to a mix of public and private clouds, hybrid cloud strategies help organizations strike the right balance for their unique cloud infrastructure needs. Over the past year, we have seen major investments in hybrid from large public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google, IBM and Oracle. (Forbes, 2021)

XaaS (Everything-as-a-Service)

As-a-Service (aaS) has already become the standard to turn into a truly digital-native enterprise. The new pattern in the aaS model is Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) where services delivered will totally dwell on the cloud with virtual access to nearly everything. Tools, for example, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a critical part in building those services or expanding existing services to accomplish the digital-native status quo.

Digital Inclusion Platforms

The lockdown measures put in place to fight against COVID-19 may reinforce the digital gap, as many French citizens struggle with online services. As a response, the civil society organization MedNum, with the support of the Secretariat for Digital Affairs, launched, a platform which helps people who have difficulties with accessing digital tools during the crisis. It offers a variety of digital inclusion resources (tutorials, useful websites, etc.), as well as a free of charge number to get advice from volunteering digital mediators.

Transforming custom code | Outsystems Case

New and improved technologies can help organizations revitalize legacy systems to either spruce up or retire core systems. (Deloitte, 2021).

What is Low-Code? As per the global leader, Outsystems, Low-code is the modern way to develop applications. It resorts to visual development that abstracts and automates every step of the application development lifecycle, to reduce the complexity and time needed to deliver custom applications.

Outsystems is a recognized leader in low-code development by Gartner and Forrester

What are the benefits for Governments?

Government CIOs struggle to keep up with the technical pace of change that their citizens now require, as well as managing their legacy IT infrastructure. There’s a better way to achieve a true digital transformation without costly hiring or outsourcing.


DataStars has concluded the different technology trends that will enable governments in 2021 as follows:

  1. Digital Experience
  2. RPA Tools
  3. AI-enabled Platforms
  4. Cloud-driven Technology Operations
  5. Productivity Tools

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Sources: Global Government Execellence, 2021

United Nation, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2020
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