9 Government Tech Trends That Mattered in 2020


The federal government turned to technology during an unprecedented 2020 marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unprecedented challenges in 2020 ushered in monumental changes in operations and technologies for the federal government—and many of these tech trends are here to stay, according to a report released this week by the Deloitte Center for Government Insights.

Deloitte’s Government Trends 2021 outlines nine transformative tech trends that—in many cases—were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some were hard to miss. Remote work, for example, became a staple for nearly one million federal employees and contractors, as agencies relaxed their restrictive work policies.

“From remote work to telemedicine and online schools, the pandemic brought the future of government work into the present. This trend follows the emergence of adaptive workplaces, including approaches for managing a distributed workforce and delivering high-quality citizen services virtually,” the report states.

In addition, the report highlights the rapid acceleration of “digital government,” noting the pandemic “changed digital from ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘must-have’ for agencies. Relatedly, the report depicts seamless service delivery as another trend to watch, as agencies strive to approach “the ease of the best online experiences” for customers.

Other trends were more nuanced, though the report makes clear each impacts government operations, is sufficiently mature as to begin to “penetrate the heart of government,” and is global in scope. Altogether, the nine trends are:

  • Accelerated digital government.
  • Seamless service delivery.
  • Location liberation.
  • Fluid data dynamics.
  • Government as a cognitive system.
  • Agile government.
  • Government’s broader role in cyber.
  • Inclusive and equity-centered government.
  • Sustaining public trust in government.

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