Five trends reshaping government in 2023 and beyond Galeanu Mihai

Headwinds still linger, but government agencies are ready to solve complex problems and enhance service delivery. Here are five areas to focus on.

Consequential transformations are underway at all levels of government. Technology-enabled innovation, new ways of thinking and a renewed spirit of collaboration are helping unearth new and exciting ways to enhance the delivery of critical services to individuals and families across the country.

Despite the economic and geopolitical uncertainties that challenge any government modernization campaign, agency leaders continue to make progress in a collective effort to improve the citizen experience and strengthen public trust in government.

In fact, the White House’s fiscal year 2024 budget request doubles down on these efforts by allocating more than $500 million to help pilot innovative technology, increase agency capacity and capabilities, and design accessible service delivery models.

After examining these administration-wide priorities and engaging stakeholders from across the public sector, we at Deloitte Center for Government Insights have identified five key trends that are impacting government in 2023 and beyond:

1. Fluid government workforce models

Amid economic headwinds, governments are focusing on new methods to recruit and retain top talent. To stay competitive, they are re-designing the public-sector workforce to be more flexible and collaborative. For example, NASA’s internal talent marketplace offers workers a platform to identify and take part in rotations, detail assignments and special projects.

Leaders are steering away from traditional government talent models that include detailed job descriptions and specific degree requirements. Instead, they are moving toward a skills-based approach to talent recruitment and workforce management.

2. Crossing the data-sharing chasm

Government agencies have enormous datasets at their fingertips, but they’re drinking from a gushing data firehose. In the future, agencies will be challenged to establish appropriate data management strategies that can help them successfully leverage data to drive more government innovation and make more informed, data-driven decisions. Through ongoing governance improvements and real-world use cases, agencies can initiate secure data-sharing across different areas of government to help solve complex problems and improve people’s lives.

3. Tackling funding silos. Isolated funding silos can hinder the progress of key initiatives. Today, however, governments leaders increasingly embrace shared funding models that incentivize collaboration between agencies.

The federal government is encouraging this through the creation of intergovernmental collective funding mechanisms, such as the Technology Modernization Fund. For regional governments, leaders are delegating more funding authority to lower levels of government to provide more flexibility and coordination around specific community needs.

4. Tailored government services

Agencies are ditching the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to government services. They’re increasingly opting for more accessibility and intuitive user experiences that make it easy for people and families to get the information and resources they need – especially when they need it most.

Thanks to advances in digital technologies, insights from behavioral science, and new data management tools, agencies can now provide a more tailored and personalized approach to service delivery.

To this end, the Biden administration is reorganizing the delivery of a host of government services around specific life events for citizens – including retirement, having children, leaving the military and navigating financial shocks. This represents a transformational mindset shift for government agencies who provide critical services to Americans.

5. Back-office innovations improve mission performance

Administrative functions like finance and human resources are rising to 21st century challenges. Cutting-edge artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies – along with reimaging and reconfiguring legacy processes – are putting more power into the hands of non-technical employees and improving agencies’ overall mission performance.

Components within the National Institutes of Health, for example, deployed AI to assist in assigning grant applications to appropriate review groups. This innovation has reduced the time taken to process grant application – from two to three weeks to less than a day – ultimately accelerating NIH’s core mission of making scientific discoveries.

This year, we’ll continue to see vital shifts in government with broad and inclusive impacts. Leaders will increasingly deploy technology like cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence to build stronger bonds of connection between people, systems and different jurisdictions across all levels of government.

Collaborative work efforts will break down long-standing hierarchical and centralized power structures. All told, governments will have ample opportunities to become more effective and connected.

Although economic headwinds and other widespread challenges linger, government agencies are primed to keep solving complex problems, enhancing service delivery and strengthening public trust in the year ahead.

William D. Eggers serves as the executive director of the Deloitte Center for Government Insights. He has authored nine books, including: “Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems,” “Delivering on Digital,” “The Solution Revolution” and “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon.”