These 6 technology trends can help power government in 2024

Government agencies are continually looking at new technologies that can impact mission priorities and enhance service delivery.

Like their private sector counterparts, government professionals look at new technology as a means to enable new capabilities in support of critical goals. As we look forward to 2024, six standout trends are likely to shape operations in 2024 and beyond, as agencies look to protect national security and advance the public good.

  • Generative AI goes mainstream

Agencies are adopting generative AI (GenAI) to help accelerate or simplify routine processes and enable workers to focus more time on tasks that require their judgment, experience and decision-making ability. Personalization and automation can improve constituent experiences, while summarizing large amounts of information can free up workers to be more creative and productive. Experimenting with safe and trustworthy GenAI technology is one way to uncover its value and learn what improvements it can – and cannot – offer. There’s no doubt, as GenAI becomes increasingly certified for use on secure government cloud platforms, there will be much greater adoption.  

  • Complex workloads require powerful platforms

As technology advances, more horsepower is needed to make these new capabilities run. Fast-evolving technologies such as digital twins, AI and more put greater demands on hardware. New platforms and components — from next-generation CPUs and GPUs to future quantum computing systems — can deliver higher performance and may reduce operating costs. But they can create management challenges, requiring continuous monitoring and optimization. Agencies will need to pay attention and plan carefully to get the right balance of power, cost and complexity.

  • Tech talent becomes a priority

Good talent is hard to find; great developers are harder to keep. Attracting and retaining software developers and engineers is often difficult due to complex hiring processes or work environments that dampen productivity, adding risk to every agency’s mission. Improving the developer experience is a great way to become a workplace of choice for the most talented technology professionals. By removing bureaucratic barriers and supporting continuous learning, agencies can empower their developers and engineers to innovate, problem-solve and deliver even more effective solutions.

  • Modernization takes a holistic approach

The technical debt of agencies’ siloed systems weighs heavily on budgets, time and mission readiness. In 2024, the goal must be technical wellness — not just examining the state of any one system but looking at how well all of those core systems work together to perform mission tasks. Agencies will make targeted investments, including in automation and self-healing capabilities. Starting with the end in mind can help modernization happen in a controlled, gradual manner instead of a costly and disruptive “rip-and-replace” approach.

  • Time to mitigate AI risks

With all of AI’s proven and potential benefits, the technology still presents risk. Deepfakes — including images, videos and voices — pose security threats that target agencies, employees and the public with effective phishing attacks and disinformation. The government must address this issue early, which will take coordination among agencies, industry and international partners. Major initiatives, like the president’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s AI Risk Management Framework, show that the government is seizing the initiative.

  • The metaverse strengthens organizational efficiency

Imagine a soldier training in a virtual battlefield, or a repair technician seeing the parts of a machine expanded in 3D while performing maintenance on it. These virtual and augmented reality scenarios are already occurring in pockets of the government, but the “spatial web” has the potential to create broader impact. Expect to see more use of digital twins — synthetic duplicates of physical buildings or systems — to manage infrastructure or optimize processes and procedures.  

Government agencies are continually looking at new technologies that can impact mission priorities and enhance service delivery. Decision makers need to account for where internal change is currently happening, where it’s still needed, and how external forces affect their choices. The steps agencies are expected to take in the next 18 to 24 months will impact effectiveness and mission performance and will likely have a lasting impact on both their constituents’ user experience and their employees’ satisfaction.

Scott Buchholz serves as chief technology officer for Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice.

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