The Obama administration made great strides in improving the government’s use of information technology over the past eight years, and now it's up to the Trump administration to expand upon it.
Let’s look at five possible Trump administration initiatives that can take government’s use of information technology to the next level.
1. Increase transparency
At least as of late last year, the vast majority of citizens are unhappy with how the government is working. A critical first step towards making changes is a continued focus on transparency. Since so much of agency business is now done digitally, continuing the Obama administration’s push for open data and access to government data will help increase citizen trust in government. That transparency will also encourage government – either directly or through citizens’ elected representation – to look more closely at their data to find and address inefficiencies.
2. Increase efficiency using analytics
While much is changing in Washington these days, one thing that is not is continued budget pressure. Analytics thrives best in environments with constrained resources, because it's an invaluable way of helping to do more with less, or maximize effectiveness for what you do have. Analytical tools can help agency leaders improve overall efficiency, from helping to detect and prevent fraud in government programs to optimizing the use of constrained resources.
3. Enhance citizen services
The Trump administration must commit to using the best that technology has to offer to target and tailor the right services to citizens, and streamlining the delivery of those services. While privacy is always an important consideration, citizens nevertheless want the same experience from government they get from online retailers and service providers. Many governments around the world have made significant progress in this area, and there are many opportunities for “quick wins” early in the administration.
4. Continue to improve security
Cyber and insider threats are not going away. With government holding so much citizen information, as well as national security information, keeping it secure has become more and more difficult. Citizen faith in government will continue to drop if agencies continue to suffer major breaches like the recent ones at the Office of Personnel Management and the National Security Agency. The Trump administration must continue investments in cybersecurity and insider threat detection – in technologies, people and training. Trump recently acknowledged the cybersecurity problem and how complicated it's become for government. Now we must all work together to address, and fix, these issues.
5. Battling terror online
The Internet has become a breeding ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS. An individual’s physical location is no longer a restriction to a person becoming radicalized, trained, and connected to the operational implementation of an attack. The Trump team must set up technology and other systems to better combat these efforts. This includes text analytics capabilities that can mine public information to provide more advanced intelligence into the inner workings of these groups.
The Obama administration took some great first steps to improving the use technology in government. The Trump administration has the opportunity to continue the incorporation of technologies like advanced analytics, cloud computing and mobility in government agencies to not only improve the citizen experience and the operation of government, but also to make sure we're staying ahead of the 21st century threats around us.