Technology has become part of the fabric of everyday life for citizens. For governments, it’s becoming no different. Check out these 5 technologies that are helping governments serve us better.

Cloud Computing

Government agencies worldwide have begun to use cloud computing as an innovative means of streamlining processes. Cloud computing is helping governments to improve flexibility and overcome the problems created by the back-end silo systems of the past. We’ve seen major players like The U.S. Army, and the U.S. Department of Justice adopt cloud technologies early on. But governments worldwide have started to catch on to this trend, and today most governments are using cloud technologies to deliver improved services to citizens.

Machine Intelligence

The use of machine learning, robotics process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) has been a global talking point this year. The rapid advancements of these technologies have the potential to automate workloads and increase productivity, as well as providing new avenues to enhance citizen engagement with government bodies. Currently, RPA and AI are used in all manner of innovative ways to help governments monitor and make decisions about traffic, road safety, transport and logistics. But experts suggest that the number of uses for robots and AI in government will continue to increase. Some predictions have estimated up to 250,000 government jobs could be lost to automation technologies.

Everything-as-a-service

The everything-as-a-service model has been around for a while. Providers create on-demand, digital versions of their products, and customers can then “pay for what they use” via a subscription service. Private enterprises and home-based customers have benefited from this system for some time, and now governments are beginning to make the shift too. The contrast with the traditional methods are very clear. Traditionally governments have built and maintained data centres with both physical and virtual servers. The everything-as-service approach passes these costs on to large service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, and just like any other customer, the government pays for what they use.

Integrated Visa Management

Integrated Visa management systems are becoming the norm for governments across the world. The benefits include significant reductions in administration costs, and speedier turnaround times for travellers. The traditional process used to take anywhere up to two months. A costly and stressful experience for potential tourists. E-Visas have completely changed the face of tourism and immigration. For example, today a Malaysia tourist visa can be issued in just a few days, or even hours. The reductions in time and costs aren’t the only benefit. Simplifying the visa process for travellers has the knock-on effect of increasing tourism revenue.

Geographic Information Systems

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. The most well-known and widely used GIS system is of course, Google maps. In general, the term describes a system that stores, edits, analyses and shares geographic information. With GIS, governments can analyse environmental, demographic and topographic data to help make decisions about everything – construction, logistics, resource management and the environment, just to name a few examples.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.