By 2030, advancing technology will have affected every one of our personal lives and occupations in some way, shape, or form. The progress of these current advances is leading us in to an age some have dubbed, “the fourth industrial revolution.” For example, 3D printing has been a leader in advancing technology, aiding the education and medical industries by creating 3-dimensional objects from nothing more than a digital file. A recent front-runner on the darker side, election hacking, has exposed the uglier truths of advancing technology and its role in our worldwide government elections. As we move full-speed into the unknown future, the following examples provide some insight on what we do know.

Cloud-based services have been in demand over the past few years, but the focus has recently shifted from development of internal cloud-based applications to commercially-developed, government restricted services. Government clouds will be more of a hybrid-version moving forward, utilizing both public and private components, maximizing their potential. The focus of this shift is primarily cost-savings, although faster response times to regulation changes and time-efficient deployments are also added benefits.

The Internet of Things (IOT) has begun to gain more traction outside of our mobile phones and laptops. We are increasingly seeing more examples like smart meters for our utilities and road sensors to help monitor traffic. Even biosensors are being used by the military to gather on-demand medical information from deployed personnel around the globe. IOT devices are predicted to triple in the next three years, with an estimated $6 trillion in government resources being invested on IOT solutions over the next six years.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is projected to have a major impact on how governments will operate and plan accordingly for the future. Although enhanced productivity, predictive capabilities, and near-elimination of inefficiencies are near, several jobs will face elimination and others will most certainly face modifications. This massive shift towards AI will ultimately save the government billions of dollars, although the defined path to getting there is currently unpredictable.

Although details involving our government’s role in changing technologies is somewhat unknown, change will come sooner than later. A major challenge for government staff will be staying educated and researching ahead on these technological advances. Governments must obtain and secure the most creative and intelligent workforce, capable of planning for unknown, but foreseeable technologies while simultaneously adapting old technologies to current ones. Change can often arrive, bundled with fears and anxiety. In order to sustain, we must stay universally informed and learn together, as a team.