Government Web2.0 Trends for 2008

In the context of enterprise IT, a “mega trend” is a long term movement in time that drives large masses of people and is a forcing function for strategic directions. One of the mega trends sweeping over us all right now is Web2.0. This trend will continue to impact government in 2008. Here are a few probable ways:

  • Enhanced innovation: Most large organizations, including government, find the most innovation where there is interaction with others. Innovation frequently seems to come from the edge. With more Web2.0 in government, there will be increased interactions among users internal to government and with citizens. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn of an unmet need which is an opportunity to fuel innovation.
  • More deployment of applications for (and by) users: The trend toward enabling users with tools that let them create their own solutions will continue in 2008. Enterprise mashups based on enterprise data is already an expectation among the workforce, but the deployment of this capability in government has been slow to start. As government organizations see how others do it the deployment of secure enterprise mashup capabilities should accelerate.
  • Expect less emphasis on huge integrations and more on what Forrester has been calling “dynamic apps.“ These are applications designed for people and built to enable people to change them. As John Crupi, CTO of JackBe has noted in his recent post on “What's Out, What's In“, “Knowledge workers need ad-hoc and situational data which is dynamically integrated in small amounts.“ Government IT departments will begin to deliver on dynamic apps in 2008.
  • Enhanced retention and enhanced job satisfaction. People stay in their job for a wide range of complex reasons. One factor in job satisfaction (and dis-satisfaction) in the government workforce has been the relative inability of big IT departments to deliver modern tools to users so they can efficiently accomplish their mission. As more government enterprises deliver secure mashup capabilities, the ability of the government workforce to efficiently and effectively accomplish their mission should increase, which should have a positive impact on retention, fueling additional benefits to the mission of government.

Really we all know the best way to predict the future is to make the future. My hope is that enterprise IT departments from throughout government are planning now to enhance the delivery of Web2.0 capabilities into their environments. Doing so will make it a brighter future for all of us.

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Bob blogs on enterprise IT at

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