Chris Steel is chief solutions architect for Software AG Government Solutions.
The need for transformation in government is a constant. This year, the focus will be on finding the necessary IT capabilities for “faster” transformation, as agencies realize their existing IT models are not capable of fully supporting their mission.
While government transformation can’t happen quickly enough for most, many agencies are still struggling with where to focus their efforts. For 2016, we are predicting seven key agency transformations:
Everything will be hybrid. The complexity of increasing cloud adoption and the need for increased innovation to build digital apps will force IT to explore different cloud options. Agencies will start adopting hybrid cloud, hybrid integration and even managed cloud solutions. Agencies will move away from pure public/private cloud solutions to true hybrid cloud solutions. Instead of trying to migrate to public and private cloud options, agency IT will increasingly explore other models for flexibility, security and control of their data.
APIs will get their SWAGGER back. The Swagger API framework is becoming the de facto standard and initiatives like Open API are further standardizing the role of Swagger in API development. We predict that Swagger will gain further traction, and over time become the most widely used standard for APIs. Vendors will rally behind the Open API initiative and give Swagger a much-needed boost to become the dominating API standard across government while RESTfulAPI Management Language will fade over time.
APIs will enable ‘self-service’ integration. Imagine a world where everything is an application programming interface and all your data is immediately accessible to you and whomever you choose to share it with. That includes your users within your agency, component agencies, partner agencies, suppliers and just about everyone in your ecosystem. How will you manage this complicated world of data access? APIs will provide the answer and self-service style onboarding for these APIs will drive integration. As agencies continue to move more towards opening their data up as part of the Open Data Initiative, they will need to increasingly rely on APIs and API management strategies.
Bimodal goes mainstream. Developers and integrators will co-exist peacefully with IT teams to deliver new applications and interfaces to speed the overall innovation quotient of the organization. Different integration models will come together under IT and thrive. While one group is focused on developing and maintaining stable and secure systems, the other group can focus on mission agility and speed to readiness with new functionality, increasing the agencies’ ability to react. After a decade of transitioning from traditional development strategies to agile methodologies, agencies are now finding the right approach to the problem at hand via the bimodal IT paradigm.
Integration will capture big data’s hidden value. Many agencies have been adopting Hadoop platforms for processing large data sets without actualizing the full value of the data captured. Increased integration of existing systems with newly acquired Hadoop platforms will unlock the hidden value, enabling big data to finally be used to make smart decisions to improve customer satisfaction. By combining static big data analytics in Hadoop with real-time streaming data from sensors, social media, and other feeds, agencies can react more quickly to real-time demands and gain greater insight into their big data analytics by adding real-time context to it.
Microservices will demolish monolithic architectures. The microservices movement will gain strength and slowly keep drilling away at the foundation of monolithic software architectures. As agencies speed up digital transformation, they will realize that the biggest roadblock to faster innovation is legacy monolithic architectures—and will find ways to adopt more DevOps friendly microservices-based architectures. Microservices will also increase the growing need for API management as the number of APIs explodes from this microservice revolution.
IoT will meet MDM. The expanding definition of Citizen-360 means Master Data Management will incorporate data about customer buying preferences, linking that data to standard MDM data quality processes, such as cleansing and matching. Synchronizing and enriching master records through device-generated sensor data will become a more common requirement for MDM’s consolidation process.
At the end of the day, all of the above predictions point to how agencies can build better business applications—as those are going to be the manifestation of how they will best achieve their transformation goals and become digital government enterprises.