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TECHNOLOGY VISION 2017


Q&A WITH DOMINIC DELMOLINO

Q1

In the past, we talked about technology change happening to us.

Now, we’re taking a people first approach to business and technology. This is a very important strategic shift in federal government, as we are rethinking how people can use technology to better serve citizens—achieving more by allowing them to realize real outcomes, not simply transact with government.

Q2

With technology evolving so fast, we need to amplify individuals’ ability to interact with a faster landscape of change.

This presents a wonderful opportunity to use technology to elevate the experience from transactions to interactions that help people achieve their desired outcomes. We can use assistive technology from a physical perspective, but also from an information perspective. Assistive virtual agents can help people interact more closely with government.

Agencies with high touch citizen interactions will use technology to help people navigate the vast amount of information and to better understand what benefit to ask for, how to apply for it and how to get answers. People will reply upon digital agents to interpret their questions and direct them to relevant information in a more sophisticated way than traditional voice-prompt menus. We will even look to smart machines to translate to a native language or help those who cannot see—all to make interactions easier.

Q3

AI is now a very natural interface. We use it to help citizens navigate the structure of a website and even autofill information based upon intelligence it has about them.

Government caseworkers can use AI to help decide what to do about a case by providing relevant context and history. Users will explain the problem they are trying to solve, and the system understands the problem and presents information or steps in a logical sense. This has major potential for improving transactions between citizens and government.

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Q4

Change is happening so fast, it’s difficult to go it alone.

Agencies must draw on partners and similar agencies, and essentially crowdsource to solve a problem. Federal government can establish an ability to exchange information with top thinkers from leading institutions, startups and disruptive companies. Years ago, we had business-to-business exchanges, but they were rigid and specific to a technology or industry domain. Now, we have much more flexible platforms. Governments are more transparent and they are making data available. Platforms will arise where different partners can add value to the data.

Data sharing obviously raises privacy concerns. Government is at the forefront of ensuring data is privacy aware. Agencies have been dealing with information integrity for a while, and they want to be real, logical and fair about it, making sure bases are covered.

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Q5

Governments are evolving to be part of the platform economy, tapping into the broader ecosystems available today.

Micro-contracting is one example of how agencies are working in new ways. Previously, it took a while to put out a procurement. Now, if agencies need a smaller effort, there are ways to get a workforce who can help for a few hours; or one expert to answer a single question. Agencies can even post the same questions to a range of micro-contracted firms, and evaluate and choose the best answer. This is exciting as we can bring the best experts and talent to bear to work on all kinds of government problems. The barriers to participating in government work will dissolve.

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Q6

It is largely about how agencies handle data and apply data to personalize the experience and meet the individual needs and goals of people at all levels.

What is the person’s background? Where do they need help? What are they trying to achieve? It’s all about being human-centric in designing your technology so that you forge relationships. If we can make interactions specific to the individual, that adds greater value. But how can we apply technology in a way that maintains the trust of that information and relationship? The flow of information must be trustworthy. We are seeing a rise in digital identity and the encryption of personal interactions to enhance trust.

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Q7

This goes back to not going it alone. It is an uncertain world, with uncertainty coming from a variety of sources.

We need to be better at consuming information, regulating markets and applying standards to them. Government will play an active role in this highly evolving economy of change. However, government will need to up its game to assess technology and get common sense regulations out quickly so that technology can flourish. We can draw on ecosystems to see what other governments are doing globally, how commercial entities are figuring out disruptive vs. conservative technology.

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Q8

Overall, technology will be designed by people, for people—focused on helping people achieve more as individuals, and improving society as a whole.

There is a real opportunity now to show how differences in data and delivery options can make government more efficient and transparent, leading to better outcomes. It used to be very expensive to implement a new service. Now, it is easier to adopt new technologies. We can leverage the immense power of computational technology to illustrate how decisions are made, and how we can interact with and make changes to policy. I’m excited to get into the transparency aspect of how technologies are deployed and used.

Q9

We are in a strong position to enable collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Government wants innovation, but sometimes it is unclear how to apply innovations to public service. It can be a challenge to bring in technology to deliver the outcome that government is looking for. We can facilitate that process by tapping into our broad network of partners. Accenture is at the forefront of doing that translation: understanding the public sector need, and figuring out how to optimize the technology for government use. It’s not so much about systems integration; it’s about idea integration.

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