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QnA with Grantly Mailes – Governmental Barriers in the Digital Age Part 2

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 In the second of four blogs, Grantly talks about how digital technologies can play a role in helping governments to engage the public and also to improve the efficiency of government operations.


In your opinion, what do you think will be the key digital technologies for governments in the next 5-10 years?


Over the next five to ten years, the disruption of digital technologies can play out in two very broad ways for governments. There is the opportunity to identify how to even better engage with the public through the delivery of services and the efficient operation of government. The other is the impact that digital disruption will have on the economy and in turn on government policy.


Looking first to service opportunities and threats, there are a few key technologies government should watch very carefully. These have the ability to disrupt government revenues, employment of citizens and the security of the community.


Governments will progressively embrace the as-a-service model. The greater use of cost effective, large-scale and globally standardised digital platforms will allow governments to focus more on service outcomes than on the core processing or business processes.


The Internet of Everything will shape the next 10 years. Insights from internet data will have profound effects for governments and citizens. The smart cities rhetoric will become a reality.


Consumers are moving from web to mobile consumption. Consumer expectations are now moving to resolving most issues in seconds, mostly using mobile devices. The diversity of government will be challenging in an app-centric world. Information and services delivered through mobile apps are difficult to discover through traditional search engines. Any restriction on citizens being able to find information easily will create a dilemma for government around discovery of information and services.


Government has a fantastic opportunity to reap the rewards of big data analytics. This comes down to privacy and security legislation and the conservative attitudes of government in using its data.


Autonomous vehicles and robotics will become more prevalent in the economy. Robots, in the widest possible definition, are already involved in banking, retail and airline check-in counters. They are playing a part in building and construction, manufacturing and warehousing.  While there’s an increase in capital expenditure it significantly brings down input costs.


The combination of dramatic increases in computer processing power and the rise to prominence of artificial intelligence and deep learning technology will cause massive dislocation in knowledge work and highly skilled professions. The rise of digital technologies can see traditional white collar jobs automated in a wide variety of workplaces as intelligent software systems perform knowledge work tasks involving unstructured tasks and subtle judgments.  This can extend to jobs that were previously thought as untouchable - surgeons, diagnosticians, lawyers and auditors.


Desktop manufacturing, through 3D printing, will change manufacturing and the way we procure manufactured goods. At least one commentator has speculated that 3D printing will have an equal or greater impact than the internet on the economy over the next 10 years. In future, most homes and businesses will have at least one 3D printer. Consumers will be able to download designs and print their own goods. Design will win at the expense of manufacturing. 


We expect that the general category of cryptocurrencies will increase in importance in the next ten years. Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. It is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining feature of a cryptocurrency is that it is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions makes them well-suited for a host of illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion.


The continuing explosion of data and the number of connected devices will increase risks to cyber security.


And no, we won’t be getting rid of email any time soon…


This is another edition in the series of Q&A sessions with business leaders and experts. In part 3 of Grantly’s Q&A, he talks about how governments can stay relevant in a digtial citizen age.


Optus Business would like to thank Grantly Mailes for his time. If you'd like to know more about Grantly, please follow him at @grantlymailes.


By (Phil Brady), State Manager, NSW Government Sales