From the way people communicate to daily work norms, technology and other drivers are encouraging unprecedented collaboration in local governments, disintegrating walls that have traditionally kept organizations siloed. A new report from Deloitte predicts a number of trends within government centered around this shift.
"This year, we have one overarching theme to the trends, which is around walls coming down," said Bill Eggers, executive director of Deloitte's Center for Government Insights and an author of the annual "2023 Government Trends" report. From silos within governments to walls that have historically kept the public and private sectors separate, "All the boundaries are increasingly being dissolved."
Within that broader theme of collaboration, the report highlights nine specific trends that researchers expect to see within government in the coming year: flexible workforce models; more data sharing; shared funding mechanisms; personalized government services; improvements in back-of-office systems; policy changes as regulators look to spark innovation; a restructuring of health care systems toward a holistic approach; a focus on end-to-end justice; and cooperation with nongovernmental entities for greater digital security.
Collaboration is happening out of necessity, as constituent expectations evolve and everything becomes more global. Eggers noted the change has been underway for some time, but "there's always been a lot of obstacles to doing so," he said.
Recent technological breakthroughs, coupled with global events like the pandemic, have accelerated the timeline. Technological innovation, an ecosystem approach (as opposed to individual departments), a closer public and private sector relationship, the breakdown of hierarchal power structures, collaborative approaches to problem solving, and the convergency of physical and digital spaces are also noted in the report as impetuses. When people were forced to stay at home, for example, most essential services and systems moved online.
And beyond that digital-first evolution, "we saw so many different players involved. This was not something that could be tackled by one government agency or one actor," Eggers continued, noting it required an interconnected, comprehensive response. More recently, initiatives pushed by the Biden administration have placed "a big emphasis on 'whole-of-government' and 'whole approaches'" by "pushing a model of agencies getting out of their siloes and coordinating."