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Gartner Digital Government Platform Keys to Success

Scott Dulman
July 10, 2019

How Federal Leaders Are Building Next Generation Digital Government

Federal executives are eager to innovate, reduce technical debt, and improve their mission programs. But the federal government spends more than 75% of its IT budget on legacy system operations and maintenance (O&M), according to the GAO and OMB.

How can government technology leaders build a digital platform that aligns legacy solutions with emerging capabilities? Check out the Gartner Predicts 2019: Establish the Foundations for Next-Generation Digital Government Success report to learn about the resources, approaches, and technology that support mission services and modernize core systems.

Digital Government Trends

According to the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey, 53% of digital initiatives in government organizations have progressed beyond the design stage and are beginning to deliver measurable outcomes. The survey also revealed that 39% of government CIOs expect to spend the greatest amount of new or additional funding on cloud services.

Government technology leaders need agility to fuel digital transformation and meet the constantly rising expectations of elected officials, citizens, and businesses. Gartner explains the need for fundamental changes in government IT and delivery models required to meet the expectations of a digitally capable workforce and community. Leading agencies are looking beyond early, quick wins to find digital transformation projects with more meaningful return on their technology investments.

Changing delivery models, emerging technologies, and new approaches are driving the evolution of existing IT roles and the creation of new, less conventional roles in government. Gartner predicts that by 2023, CIOs will manage a workforce where more than 50% occupy roles that don't exist in government IT today.

Key Takeaways for Government Technology Leaders

Gartner advises government technology leaders to adopt a platform approach to application development. Establish a digital team with experience in product management, integration, agile, and enterprise architecture to deliver a flexible digital government technology platform.

The report advises government IT organizations to identify capability gaps, then create new skill requirements and establish a continuous capability transition program. The program should balance re-skilling the current workforce, redirecting talent from across the organization, and acquiring new talent.

Government CIOs cited four formidable barriers to their digital transformation and modernization projects in the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey: Insufficient resources, skills, funding, and cultural issues. Overcoming these barriers requires three major changes in the current IT operating model and workforce:

    • Retiring traditional application delivery models

    • Addressing culture and ecosystem implications of digital transformation

    • Adopting emerging technologies

Digital Government Technology Platform Benefits

Government CIOs should leverage a Digital Government Technology Platform (DGTP) approach for delivering better program outcomes to support functional and program executives in transforming government. A DGTP provides a means for CIOs to lead their organization in digital transformation by enabling teams to:

    • Design, develop, and deploy innovative applications that solve new mission, technical, and stakeholder needs

    • Reduce software project costs through reuse of common components

    • Quickly deliver new functional and technology capabilities to meet internal government requirements as well as external citizen and business expectations

    • Leverage "citizen developers" (non-technical staff and subject matter experts) to develop proof-of-concept solutions that address critical agency needs

    • Reduce IT staff hours required to develop and maintain new solutions from DGTP components

By 2023, over 80% of the government's digital government implementations that do not build on a technology platformwill fail to meet their objectives.

- Gartner

A frequent conversation that Gartner analysts have with their clients focuses on the differences in the time and effort needed to implement policy and regulatory changes in government systems versus the expectations of elected leadership. With a low-code platform, IT can deliver changes quickly by adding new components to government applications.

Start Your Digital Transformation Journey with Appian

Appian partners with IT executives who must secure modernization funding, build a consensus across their agencies, and create collaborative teams to build mission-critical applications. The platform enables government agencies to leverage current IT investments and extend the capabilities of their legacy systems.

Download the Gartner report to learn lessons from government IT leaders on the digital transformation and IT modernization frontier. Visit our Public Sector Resource Center to discover the key elements that should be part of your organization's digital platform.