What Would Improve Data Security? 75% of Government IT Pros Say Biometrics

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And nearly 90 percent say they would be more satisfied at work if their agencies invested in smart tech, according to a survey.

Nearly three-quarters of government IT experts around the world see biometrics, prediction tools and other emerging technologies as the key to improving data security and privacy throughout the public sector, according to a recent report.

Employees may also reap the benefits of these systems, with 89 percent of respondents saying investments in emerging tech, particularly advanced analytics tools, will boost overall job satisfaction. They believe these programs could automate tasks that otherwise bog workers down, giving them more time to work on pressing issues related to the citizens they serve.

In its report, Accenture surveyed and interviewed 774 government IT experts from nine different countries: Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Participants came from all levels of government and worked in a variety of areas including citizen services, budget oversight and policymaking.

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Almost 90 percent of people who have already started using these tools, which Accenture calls "intelligent technologies," believe they’ll see returns from their investment within the first two years. Legacy systems present a potential obstacle, however, to getting new IT in the workplace. Nearly half of those surveyed saw legacy IT as a substantial barrier to integrating intelligent systems, and only 38 percent thought senior leadership was aware of such technology’s potential.

Another challenge governments around the world face in adopting intelligent systems is finding people with the skills to operate them. Respondents listed digital developers, data scientists and software engineers as their agency’s top three recruited positions, and about 60 percent said serious retraining will be needed to put the new systems in place.

The survey also revealed how countries are investing differently in intelligent technology. Biometrics make up almost 70 percent of Australia’s smart programs, but only 29 percent in the U.S. Of the nine surveyed countries, only the U.K. and Finland have invested in language processing systems, and the U.S. is the sole user of machine learning tools.

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