A technological and social revolution is currently sweeping the globe at an exponential rate. A new digital era is ushered in by cutting-edge technical advancements, including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and augmented and virtual reality.
The breadth of its use and the intensity of its influence on identification, distribution, production, and consumption systems globally make this new digital era distinct from previous ones. It is widespread and non-linear, and frequently, its effects cannot be predicted with accuracy. So it is when robots can learn independently, autonomous vehicles can communicate with intelligent infrastructure, and smart devices and algorithms can anticipate and respond to human needs and wishes.
According to Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner, “the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital innovation across the government sector globally, giving government leaders new opportunities to use data and technologies to foster trust, agility, and resilience in public institutions. Although pandemic-related problems won’t disappear anytime soon, technology trends dealing with pressing issues, including security, cost control, and citizen experience, have evolved.
Benefits of Emerging Technologies in Federal Operations
The benefits of emerging technologies in federal operations can help improve federal agencies’ efficiency, security, and customer service while reducing operational costs.
- Increased Operations Efficiency: Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation can help federal agencies to streamline their operations, reduce manual labor, and increase productivity. These technologies can automate repetitive tasks, enable faster data analysis, and reduce errors, leading to increased efficiency.
- Improved Decision-Making: Emerging technologies can provide federal agencies with real-time data and insights, which can be used to make informed decisions. With the help of advanced analytics and data visualization tools, federal agencies can gain better insights into their operations and make more data-driven decisions.
- Enhanced Security: With the rise of cyber threats and data breaches, emerging technologies such as blockchain and biometrics can increase federal operations’ security measures. These technologies can help to secure data and protect against cyber attacks.
- Better Customer Service: Emerging technologies can also help to improve customer service in federal operations. With the help of chatbots and virtual assistants, federal agencies can provide 24/7 support to their customers and respond to their questions in real time.
- Cost Savings: Federal agencies can reduce operational costs by leveraging emerging technologies. Automation and artificial intelligence can reduce labor costs, while cloud computing can help to reduce hardware and software costs.
Government organizations use emerging technologies like virtual and augmented reality and AI in cybersecurity and blockchain at supply chain management at all levels to improve operations and customer service.
- Artificial intelligence enables organizations to expedite procedures, analyze data to inform more intelligent decisions, and offer better services to the general public.
- Immersive technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, allows businesses to train staff and clients for difficult situations. For instance, NASA developed a virtual reality system to assist airport planners in choosing the optimal placement for emergency facilities and teach air traffic controllers to respond to emergencies.
- Edge computing helps organizations process the increasing volume of data required for conducting business in a connected world more swiftly and securely.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity: The Department of Defense (DoD) has been using AI to detect and respond to cyberattacks in real time. The DoD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) has developed an AI-enabled cybersecurity platform called Project IKE, which uses machine learning algorithms to detect and prevent cyber threats.
- Blockchain in supply chain management: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is exploring using blockchain technology to secure and streamline its supply chain management processes. Blockchain can provide a secure and transparent record of every transaction in the supply chain, making it easier to identify and address issues such as counterfeiting and fraud.
- Internet of Things (IoT) in transportation: The Department of Transportation (DOT) is leveraging IoT technology to improve the safety and efficiency of the transportation system. For example, the DOT has implemented a connected vehicle pilot program that uses IoT devices to enable cars to communicate with each other and the infrastructure, allowing for real-time alerts and warnings.
Challenges and Risks of Emerging Technologies in Federal Operations
Emerging technologies are transforming how federal agencies operate, improving efficiency and increasing the quality of services provided to the public. Here are some of the main challenges associated with emerging technologies in federal operations:
- Supply Chain Difficulties
Manufacturing and IT firms worldwide constantly struggle to get the essential components and supplies due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s bottlenecks, delays, and interruptions in supply chains.
- Threat Security Growing
As more federal agencies go digital, they inevitably amass more data, making them more appealing to cybercriminals wanting to steal or hold data for ransom. As a result, cyberattacks are on the rise. In addition to these dangers, the development of quantum computing could make obsolete current security mechanisms. For example, prime number factorization is accelerated by quantum computing, making cryptography attacks considerably more effective.
- Technological Innovation
The pandemic-related surge in digital transformation is showing no signs of abating, and the pace of technological advancement creates new problems. Cloud, edge computing, machine learning, metaverse, web3, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), robots, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and other technologies are all developing at an astonishing rate that is very challenging to stay up with. As a result, agencies must keep on the cutting edge of technology innovation to preserve their competitive advantage; otherwise, they risk being “digitally left in the dust” by rival businesses.
- Shortage of Talent
A talent gap for developing digital technologies has emerged due to the accelerated speed of technological progress. In the Gartner report, IT executives ranked security issues, implementation challenges, and a lack of skills as the top three barriers to implementing emerging technologies.
- More Sustainable Technology Is Needed
As consumer expectations rise and sustainability becomes a must in every aspect of operations, it quickly becomes the norm rather than the exception. As a result, federal agencies must implement green technology at all levels, especially in sectors with heavy resource demands, including data centers and blockchains.
Agencies wishing to thrive in this brand-new, competitive market must proactively address and prepare for obstacles, keep an eye on the sector to stay on top of possibilities and problems, and keep pushing the envelope to improve services to the public.
To prepare for the future of emerging technologies, federal agencies must stay informed about new developments and advancements and be willing to adapt and innovate. By doing so, they can unlock the potential of these technologies to transform federal operations and better serve the public.
At Vtech Solution, we understand the importance of staying ahead of emerging technologies and their impact on federal operations. Our team of experts can help federal agencies assess their technology needs and develop customized solutions to address their unique challenges and goals.