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As featured on BusinessMirror: Voices on 2030: Digitalizing government

The year is 2030. People and technology live in harmony. Trust is embedded into data. Interactions are cognitive. And government services are seamless, customer-centric and intuitive.

It is less than eight years away, but expectations for 2030 are already sky-high. Across many spheres — technological, social, political, economic and others — transformation is underway and huge goals are being set. So, what will the world look like in 2030? And what can public sector organizations be doing to help ensure they can meet these expectations?

To shed further light on the challenges and opportunities of digitalizing governments, we spoke with leaders and disruptors from around the world, across the public and private sectors to illustrate how the digital landscape will shape governments and the public sector in 2030.

Explore the five areas of disruption in 2030

A new relationship: Cognitive capabilities enable machines to interact with humans more seamlessly

Imagine that one morning on your way to work you pass a small hole in the bike path. “There’s a pothole here,” you mutter into your phone mic. The next day the pothole is gone. How? Cognitive and intuitive government. You told your phone that you saw a problem. It used voice-to-text technology and analytics to surmise that this was an infrastructure issue. It captured your exact location and submitted the information. That translated into a work order, a road crew (one human and one automated machine) and a resolution. Simple. Intuitive. Cognitive. This is the world of 2030.

Perhaps one of the most noticeable changes in the customer relationship in 2030 is that much of it now happens in virtual reality. Web 3.0 and the metaverse have created spaces where many citizens now interact with government and healthcare professionals, as well as private companies and communities. More and more often, virtual worlds are becoming the channel of choice for both citizen-customers and governments.

The transformation journey: Governments rethink models for a decentralized world

Governments in 2030 have recognized that their role in a decentralized world is remarkably different from the past. Government operating models have become much more agile and open. In fact, many governments now actively 'crowdsource' code development from citizen developers, creating a resilient and agile network of capabilities that drives the diversity and enhances trust. In doing so, governments have created a more flexible, resilient and responsive platform upon which they can deliver services.

At the same time as having to rethink their roles in a decentralized world, governments have also had to rethink their presence. In 2030, trillions of dollars are spent in the metaverse, and it is used by billions of users. And those numbers are growing exponentially. Citizens have discovered that Web 3.0 is more secure, flexible and agile – they are leaving Web 2.0 platforms in droves. Governments needed to quickly develop their capabilities in the metaverse in order to properly receive data and act on it accordingly.

The decentralization of data: The power shifts to the individual

Not so long ago, NFTs were considered a novelty. By the mid-2020s, however, people had realized they could use NFTs to hold and manage their own personal data. Smart contracts could be created to unlock certain bits of data, to certain users, for very specific uses. Data started to become decentralized and self-sovereign.

In part, this was driven by the introduction of Web 3.0 which, itself, is based on a very decentralized data and management architecture. Web 3.0 architectures gave people the tools they needed to take ownership of their data. Security breaches into the big cloud data lakes raised concerns about how personal data was being managed. And that catalyzed a movement of citizens and businesses eager to take their data back from the centralized and opaque data lakes they had resided in before.

The evolution from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 was not only driven by companies or governments – it was also driven by citizen demand for a different way to organize data.

The citizen developer: Coding is democratized

In 2030, when an individual is tasked with something mundane, they are likely to just automate it. And it’s easy. With low-code/no-code platforms, almost every citizen has the tools and capabilities they need to create or customize an app. Drag-and-drop user interfaces and pre-built components have almost eliminated line-by-line coding. Citizen developers are everywhere.

The adoption of low-code/no-code has allowed a much broader, non-technical audience to start rapidly building solutions. That, in turn, has helped reduce the skills gap that had been slowing the pace of digital transformation. It has given workers the power to customize solutions to meet their actual needs and realities, thereby driving enhanced productivity and efficiency. It has allowed organizations, public and private, to become much more agile and customer-centric.

In the public sector, low-code/no-code has allowed employees to design, test and fully deliver bespoke apps in days. Many government employees use their skills to customize massive enterprise solutions to suit their unique needs or circumstances.

Sustainable growth enabled: Digitalization helps achieve ESG goals

Web 3.0 architecture has allowed sensors and IoT devices to be linked together in unprecedented ways, providing citizens and decision-makers with detailed data on their actions and activities in 2030. Also, city planners and asset developers use digital twins and virtual worlds to simulate everything from the development of new transit systems to the design of tiny individual components. As a result, government investments are much more efficient, effective and environmentally sustainable.

There have been heavy investments in space infrastructure to help measure and manage environmental change on Earth. And there's a combination of different sources of data to help us understand human impacts and risks in a much deeper way.

Government investment has also helped spawn several growth industries and service areas that are helping contribute to more sustainable economic growth. Governments have helped foster massive AI ecosystems and have invested in public sector solutions for the metaverse. In each case, new industries and innovations have emerged that serve the wider population, create new jobs, attract talent from overseas and drive further investment.

Start today. Be ready for tomorrow.

Based on these predictions, what tangible steps can government and public sector organizations start taking today? Here are six ideas.

1.     Start fresh with a bold, holistic vision.

2.     Learn about Web 3.0 technologies and trends.

3.     Prepare your future talent and workforce models.

4.     Reassess your governance models.

5.     Picture yourself in the metaverse.

6.     Form your ecosystem.

To turn these ideas into reality, leaders from both the public and private sector must come together and create a plan in integrating innovation solutions to the ever-evolving needs of their stakeholders.

Let us make it happen in this year’s KPMG in the Philippines’s Innovation Summit! Sharing the same vision of creating smart and sustainable cities through public-private partnerships, KPMG in the Philippines will hold its annual Innovation Summit on 20 July 2023, that champions digital transformation and innovation in the country.

In our first-ever hybrid event, we will feature game-changers in government, automation, environment, social and governance (ESG) tech, and disruptors in various industries. KPMG in the Philippines will also launch its Digital Government Center, a one-stop shop for national government agencies, local government units, and GOCCs to help them with their digital transformation journeys from crafting a strategic plan and road map to automating services and processes to harnessing emerging technology to provide citizen-centric solutions to upskilling civil servants through training and certifications.

Digitization is crucial for the Philippine government as it enhances efficiency and service delivery, promotes transparency and accountability, enables citizen engagement, improves access to government services, facilitates data-driven decision making and drives economic growth and innovation. By embracing digitization, the government can become more inclusive, efficient and responsive to the needs of its citizens.

Emmanuel P. Bonoan
Vice Chairman and COO and Head of Advisory
KPMG in the Philippines

Join us on 20 July 2023 as we bring together industry experts and government leaders in a venue for us to share stories, perspectives and strategies in digital transformation and innovation. Visit our website to know more: https://kpmg.com/ph/en/home/events/2023/07/innovation-summit-2023.html

Registration is free but slots are on a first come, first served basis.


The excerpt was taken from the KPMG Thought Leadership publication: https://kpmg.com/xx/en/home/insights/2022/07/voices-on-2030-digitalizing-government.html

© 2023 R.G. Manabat & Co., a Philippine partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more information, you may reach out to KPMG in the Philippines Vice Chairman and COO and Head of Advisory Emmanuel P. Bonoan through ph-kpmgmla@kpmg.com, social media or visit www.home.kpmg/ph.

This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice to a specific issue or entity. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent KPMG International or KPMG in the Philippines.