It’s that time of the year when many publications bring out imaginary crystal balls to try predict what federal IT trends the new year will bring. At Nextgov, we have a better approach than reading the tea leaves: In addition to our own reporters’ insight, we partnered with Forrester Research to get its analysts’ take on what government technologies will be hot in 2017.
Hint: Expect cyber, data and emerging technologies such as virtual reality to remain in the spotlight, while areas like customer service will see less momentum.
It’s still uncertain how the Trump administration will broach IT issues, but one thing seems certain: Cybersecurity will continue to be top of mind for the federal government. But with the backdrop of an onslaught of cyberattacks by nation states and other malicious actors, “the next U.S. president will face a cyber landscape of unparalleled complexity with little time or flexibility to bring it under control,” as Nextgov’s Joseph Marks points out.
The year will also see more momentum around virtual reality and artificial intelligence. On Dec. 1, General Services Administration’s DigitalGov University hosted an event focusing on the two topics and the excitement was palpable among the participants. Vendors showcased and demoed their AI and VR products, allowing event attendees to take a virtual trip into the human body, float around in outer space, or see how AI could identify their facial expressions.
Neither of these technologies is far into the future, as Justin Herman, artificial intelligence and virtual reality communities lead at GSA, told me at the event.
“We’re putting virtual reality in the federal reality,” he said. “Not five years into the future, but five months into the future.”