Technology in government: future trends

The New Zealand government is increasingly using panels as a procurement tool for technology because it’s a great way to get a clear picture of where additional efficiencies can be gained and real innovation can find a target. No longer is procurement about merely choosing which vendor will provide a technology that’s already been mandated. Instead, panels are letting government agencies ask for broad-based innovation so they can see where it might fit in the agency’s environment.

Technology in government: future trends

This approach is likely to unleash new levels of innovation and creativity regarding how organisations approach digital transformation. As we work with DIA on the evolution of the ECMaaS panel, there has been an increasing amount of discussion around innovation; what that means and how we deliver it in a way that is easy for Agencies to consume and gain benefits from.

But what does innovation look like in an ECM sense? Here are some of the innovations that could likely find a foothold across NZ government agencies in the next few years:


Useful for managing transactions and financials, blockchain technology could be employed in the fight against financial crime and fraud. It can also be applied to supply chain management and border security due to its inherent security features.


People are used to dealing with bots in the consumer marketplace, even if they’re not aware of it. In government applications, bots could be used to help non-citizens navigate their way through the immigration labyrinth for example. There is already a small pilot in place to look at the use of bots in routine tasks like paying rates, with a bot that can go off and check whether the citizen s eligible for a discount.


In a multicultural society that speaks many languages, translation services are highly valuable. The ability to render the entire contents of a website in Maori, or get an instant translation on your phone can help drive more positive engagement and user experiences. Allowing workers to interact with your internal systems in the language of their choice is also critical to making diversity a reality in the workplace and attracting the best talent from across the world.


The customer experience (CX) never used to be a key focus for government agencies, after all citizens have no choice in who they pay their tax too for example. But, with the move to a more holistic and customer-centric Public Service, a new focus on CX will see form become as important as function when it comes to how citizens interact with the government, especially through digital channels, not only websites but increasingly mobile devices and wearables. Imagine the efficiencies of your cardiologist being sent real-time data from your wearable device


Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, and process automation can all combine to deliver better outcomes. These technologies take humans largely out of the decision-making equation, which results in more standard, repeatable, auditable decision-making processes. This could potentially be lifesaving, such as using AI and data mining to identify trends that could predict the risk of certain incidents or develop policy to mitigate the risk of those incidents.

For example, by mining data sets in real time and using AI to make decisions, it may be possible to issue automatic tsunami alerts minutes and seconds faster than would be possible if humans were involved in the process. Those minutes and seconds could equate to lives saved.

Because AI tools can analyse massive amounts of data very quickly and identify actionable insights very reliably, they can potentially affect people’s lives in real ways. However, this underlines the importance of having quality data, since decisions made based on poor-quality data are unlikely to have useful or positive outcomes.

To find out how Cohesion can help your organisation set the pace of change, contact us today.