What’s Hot in the Fast-Moving World of GovTech?

GovTech – the use of hot technology to enhance the delivery of governmental services and upgrade civic infrastructure – is an explosively growing sector at the intersection of innovation and public sector mission. Accenture analysis indicates GovTech could become a £320 billion global market by 2025. Underpinning this rise are cutting-edge technologies being deployed to make cities smarter, improve public health outcomes and streamline bureaucracies. Here are five of the hottest GovTech trends making waves right now with real-world impacts.

Citizen Experience Apps

Cities around the world are investing in unified digital platforms and mobile apps to integrate the vast array of public services urban dwellers need access to – from public transport timetables to reporting potholes to signing kids up for schools. London’s City Hall launched London.gov.uk in 2021 as a centralised portal for Londoners to access over 700 services on web and mobile. Such citizen experience platforms use cloud platforms and leverage open data, IoT sensors and new engagement models with local authorities.

Digital Twins for Urban Planning 

Governments are beginning to leverage spatial data, 3D visualisations and predictive analytics powered by AI to create ‘digital twins’ of entire cities. These virtual replicas of the built environment can run highly realistic simulations to inform infrastructure planning decisions on mass transit expansions, disaster management, zoning policies and more without costly real-world pilots. Los Angeles and Singapore are two global cities using digital twin technology today for next-generation urban development.

Blockchain-Enabled Identity Management

Having secure digital identities is becoming essential for citizens accessing e-government services, benefits systems and voting rights. Blockchain technology offers a tamper-proof way to provide unique identities pegged to biometrics that enhances inclusiveness, privacy and security. India’s national ID database Aadhaar contains iris and fingerprint data for over 1 billion citizens stored on a private blockchain, while Illinois has trialled blockchain tools for birth certificate registries and credentials.

AI Chatbots for Constituent Services 

Many governmental agencies are swamped handling routine constituent queries and requests by phone and email. AI-powered chatbots like those from GovReach and Adastra are being deployed to manage millions of conversations, freeing up humans for complex cases. Canada has begun rolling out such bots focused on specific policy areas. Over time, machine learning will enable ever-more insightful dialogue between governments and citizens. 

Prescriptive Analytics Against Fraud

Government welfare systems and benefits programs lose vast sums each year to sophisticated fraud schemes and erroneous payments. Leveraging techniques like graph database analysis, geospatial tracking and machine learning, insurtech tools can now identify suspicious patterns and unlikely associations in claims data to flag potential fraud for investigation in near real-time. Start-ups like Featurespace and FRISS are partnering with public agencies to address fraud leakage. 

With public sector missions under pressure from budget constraints and rising citizen expectations, GovTech innovation will surely only accelerate from here. Governments that can keep pace with these trends will be well positioned to build citizen trust and to do more with less.

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