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California Insiders Offer Insights, Outlooks on Gov Tech in 2023

Key topics on the horizon, according to the experts: the emergence of progressive IT leaders; investment in transformation and creative new approaches; and a shift in approach from “output-based” to “outcome-based.”

With the dawn of a new year and the release this month of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2023-2024 Fiscal Year state budget, Industry Insider — California surveyed industry insiders on their predictions for state and local gov tech in the coming year. Three have been published so far, here, here and here. This is the fourth round of responses:

Gary Leikin, CEO of SimpliGov
Gary Leikin.
Gary Leikin
2023 will see a clearer separation of progressive and innovative government technology leaders from those still largely deploying legacy approaches and technologies. This will be evidenced through real progress as measured by constituent digital engagement, deployment of cutting-edge technologies which enable an enhanced digital experience, and speed of implementations and time-to-value which are closer to commercial industry benchmarks.

Given the mission, government will always be different and more complex, but there will be far less appetite and acceptance of legacy approaches against a backdrop of rapidly changing economic conditions and constituent expectations. In the same way you would not automate a broken or legacy business process, simply going digital will no longer be enough as well.

Kais Menoufy, president and CEO, Delegata
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement of a $22 billion state budget deficit in 2023-2024 presents a challenge. At least, that is how analysis and news of the 2023-24 state budget has been reported. But I have a different perspective. It’s time for creativity and innovation. I see opportunities. Here is why:
Kais Menoufy.
Kais Menoufy

For the state leadership to meet its responsibilities within budget squeeze, investing in transformation (technology, process, people and information) is the direct answer to address that challenge. Recent advances in technology give the state a unique opportunity to find efficiencies through creative approaches that force change.

Actionable strategic transformation initiatives can spark growth through visionary programs, including updating existing IT infrastructure, placing strong emphasis on creating innovative lean processes and workforce transformation supported by methodological organization and change management. California is primed for meaningful transformation to join the modern world and continue its success on the way to becoming the world’s fourth largest economy.

From state corrections, to health and human services, to transportation and other major services, government IT leadership needs to continue its transformation journey more aggressively in order to cross the deficit gap.

I am hoping that the state government leadership will not simply weather the budget shortfall, but that it will seize opportunities to better meet its public service mission.

Sanjib Nayak, CEO and chief product officer for xAQUA Unified Data Platform at xFusion Technologies Inc.
I believe 2023 will bring a renewed focus by most government agencies on the use of advanced analytics and augmented intelligence, including machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI), to enhance the cognitive performance of government agencies, including automated learning, efficient decision-making and improving effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery to the public.
Sanjib Nayak.
Sanjib Nayak

However, leveraging advanced analytics, ML/AI will require a very strong data platform to deliver trusted and reliable data as a product (DaaP). The enterprise data strategy would shift from a technology-driven “tool-centric” approach using “modern data stack” to a business-driven “solution-centric” approach. The goal is to leverage already integrated and automated, best-in-class tools as out-of-the-box solutions that increase productivity; improve data quality, usability and trust; ensure scalability, data security and privacy; and enable rapid adoption to deliver the first minimum viable product (MVP) in mere days or weeks.

The shift will be from an “output-based” approach to an “outcome-based” approach, where the solution definition would start with what the business wants to do with the data on Snowflake or Redshift, rather than how many terabytes/petabytes of raw operational data are piled up on the cloud.

Democratization, iterative, self-service, low-code/no-code delivery of DaaP, and data literacy are the key ingredients for the modern data platform that will empower less technology-savvy users with self-service data operations — making data everyone’s business!
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies including USA Today in Washington, D.C.