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Why is it important to keep educating ourselves about government and technology?

Gisela Montes | GLASS | 12.10.2022

Most people think that technology is a concept reserved for large private sector companies and has little to do with the public sector, which they only consider a beneficiary of what happens on the private side.

However, international organizations and other entities have been recognizing the role of technology in the public sector, not as something that merely impacts it, but as something that was conceived from it. In the last few years, we’ve seen a new trend where the first ones discovering the impact of technology on governments are new startups, emerging companies with small but very agile structures and fast-paced operations. Startups have adopted technology and innovation as the basis for scalable growth.

These types of companies are proving to have the ability to design, develop and execute tech solutions for governments, this being the biggest difference between GovTech startups and big tech companies.

This is how an interesting challenge arises: the visible competition between big tech companies and GovTech startups. As startups discover new technological opportunities in the public sector market, big tech companies do too.

For a while, big tech companies have provided governments with tech solutions that, although they had not been designed and developed exclusively for them, they allowed them to get things done. Thus, governments began to contract with big tech companies to create digital systems and tools that would help them tap into the digital transformation. On another hand, GovTech startups offer more customized, but also more experimental products, requiring considerable trial and error, review and refinement, given they are being designed exclusively for government users.

While big tech companies tend to offer more standardized solutions to governments, they might not necessarily be 100% effective, leaving a lot of white space, startups tend to provide more personalized solutions that are designed and developed exclusively for this sector. However, ignorance, bureaucracy, traditional procurement practices, and resistance to change, often make governments prefer the former over the latter.

That’s the reason why we need to keep educating ourselves about the intersection of technology and government. Despite the fact that there is this competition between big tech companies and GovTech startups, it is important to continue raising awareness about the impact of technology in the public sector.

Technology is not an element, it is a process. But it is not a process only led by the private sector, and from which the public sector can only take ideas, projects, and initiatives and apply them into its field. Technology is a transformation process that should take place in all areas, and we should also continue to highlight how governments have not only used technology but have also created it, unlocking solutions that play a significant role in our society.

Do you think there are enough conversations about governments and technology? How do you feel about the competition between big tech companies going after the public sector and GovTech startups?


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The evolution of technology in the public sector is getting easier, which is good for both startups and large technology companies. The important thing is to simplify, to make it easier for the user, the public servant. One of the great challenges for governments is that they cannot remain tied to past processes.