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4 ways the U.S public sector is championing the role of emerging technologies.

There has been an increase in spending on R&D in artificial intelligence and quantum information science, for federal agencies which indicates that the public sector is gearing up to adopt emerging technologies in this decade. With 39% of government organizations planning to spend the greatest amount of funding (existing or additional) on cloud services, it is very likely that emerging technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Predictive Analytics in Cybersecurity, Process Automation would be adopted as a strategic move to improve functioning. In 2019 the Federal CIO’s office introduced policies around cloud migration, internet connection trust program and a federal data strategy.

The expectations of citizens from government agencies are far more than it was five years ago as per 83% of local, state and federal government employees. All of the above progress makes it very evident that federal agencies have a pretty clear roadmap on the adoption and implementation of emerging technologies to live up to the expectations of the citizens.

So how exactly is the public sector approaching different problems utilizing emerging technology to solve those?

With 39% of government organizations planning to spend the greatest amount of funding (existing or additional) on cloud services, it is very likely that emerging technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Predictive Analytics in Cybersecurity, Process Automation would be adopted as a strategic move to improve functioning.

Data Privacy & Cybersecurity

Recently about 200,000 people were affected after the Defense Information Systems Agency suffered a data breach. Data privacy and security breaches have become a perennial nightmare for agencies, and it doesn’t look like it is going to go away. From ransomware attacks to data breaches, and the attacks due to vulnerabilities of networks, are going to be more sophisticated and serious in this decade, which won’t be limited to the mainstream sectors and agencies. Recently, a US natural gas pipeline became the victim of ransomware attack leading to the shutdown of the facility for two days. With AI and Predictive Analytics tools cybersecurity is expected to become more robust, with the ability to access millions of logs, sifting through large data sets to identify malicious codes, anomalous patterns, and network threats. Thus agencies would be more ready than ever, and would have a more proactive approach than reactive, and take every possible step where AI will be used keeping in mind responsible and lawful behavior. In one such initiative, the Department of Defense has already “released a set of principles for the use of AI in war” that includes responsibility, equity, and governability. Small Business Administration has reported that with the use of AI in cyber operations, they have the ability to track millions of lags of what’s going on in the agency with “second- by – the second description”.

Automation of Citizens Services to save time

According to IDC, 25% of government agencies will begin to process citizen services in real-time. This could be the beginning of the use of robotic process automation while increasing the relevance of process rationalization, organizational change, and data privacy and protection. With automation close to a billion hours can be saved in the federal sector that could lead to many agencies adopting it with some already implementing it.

Transitioning from legacy systems to efficient & cost-saving options

Federal agencies have been under pressure to move away from their own data centers and migrate to the cloud as a way to cut costs and bring in more efficiency in their operations. Besides the adoption of emerging technologies like AI and Blockchain, there is a push to adopt cloud that would obviously make it easy to adopt the mentioned emerging technologies. Several agencies are expected to adopt a multi-cloud environment during the process of transitioning from the legacy systems. Knowing that cloud migration poses many challenges and the change from legacy systems would have its own set of tricky situations, agencies are investing a considerable amount to be prepared for the change. A report on the cloud market in the federal sector expects an increase in expenditure on cloud computing by nearly $4 bn in the next 5 years.

The need for a data set sharing and simplifying through a decentralized database

U.S. Federal agencies would benefit largely from emerging technology like Blockchain, especially when it is applied to some procedures that have predetermined consistency levels and has low agility. There is also an increasing need in the area of data set sharing of simplifying database management by removing the centralization of access to speed up processes. In areas of procurement, food and drug safety, and trading, where a decentralized, simplified, and immutable system of data management would play a monumental role, the role of Blockchain would be key. And looks like the federal agencies have already welcomed blockchain’s ability to do that. The FDA already launched a pilot program in 2019 using blockchain as a supply chain tracker for pharmaceuticals “focused on tracking drugs and preventing pharma counterfeiting” and identify the sources of issues related to food safety. Similarly, the Department of Health and Human Services is reported to have implemented blockchain technology to provide for enhanced procurement, by providing contracting officers transparency and visibility into the agency’s acquisition functions. IDC has reported that in 2022 the spending on the blockchain by the federal government would be around $123 million and state and local governments are expected to spend close to $48 million. The government sector is most definitely taking the use of blockchain technology more seriously than ever. Paramount Blockchain team is already engaged with a federally owned agency dedicated to fundamental research and education in science and engineering (non- medical) for a project in the energy space. Thus it is quite evident that the adoption of blockchain and many other emerging technologies would see a deeper and wider adoption by the U.S. government at different levels and will soon witness the impact through the pilot projects.

The U.S. government – federal, state and local is continuing to strive to find ways to reduce costs, create efficient systems, and improvising processes for citizens and businesses through innovative technologies – and there is enough evidence to confirm that. The role of social, technological, economic, environmental and political trends cannot be downplayed in the time taken for adoption and implementation. Some of the other areas that remain to be explored by the public sector are public health and welfare. The public sector could play a huge role in the US healthcare system that has many disconnected components, to enable it to become less complex, more accessible and cheaper. Technologies like nanotech, robotics, quantum computing, AI and many others could focus on prevention and wellness and the public sector could reform healthcare system utilizing the same. The journey towards enhancement will continue to witness steadfast growth with all the emerging technologies, and the public sector will continue to make progress with the right plan and investments.

M.C.

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4 ways the U.S public sector is championing the role of emerging technologies.

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