Nine digital trends for the public sector

Where the ongoing digitisation will lead us remains a question. The future of the public sector is shaped by technological, social and economic developments. In a foresight study, the Dutch government has defined a number of trends that will play a significant role for the public sector.

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    • Mega Ecosystems
      As we have often mentioned, digitalisation will lead to digital ecosystems. The government is taking this development a step further and sees a future in which multiple ecosystems come together in mega ecosystems. Super applications in which multiple services are available. This will ensure that users have an optimal experience and there are sustainable earning models, from a as-a-service approach.

    • Decentralisation

      Awareness and the growing power of Big Tech companies are changing sentiments towards monopoly. This is leading to the emergence of decentralised solutions for data storage, intelligence and applications. Radical alternatives based on new design principles and institutional innovations will have to create a decentralised network that limits the power between companies.

    • Data sovereignty.
      The importance of big data is shifting. Where previously data was used unnoticed for commercial purposes, there is now a need for transparent and conscious data sharing for economic and social purposes. This allows citizens, businesses and governments to choose which data is shared for which


    • Digital Currency
      There is no denying that crypto-currencies are gaining traction. Crypto currencies have the potential to disrupt financial markets by enabling cheap and easy transactions. This combined with the Blockchain's supervisory structure, creates new revenue models and reward structures.

    • Stubborn data
      The Netherlands is becoming increasingly mature in its use of data. By linking A.I. to the data flow of cities, houses and factories, it is possible to give data applications a predictive and preventive character.

    • Autonomisation
      If data can predict more and more, artificial intelligence can also act more and more autonomously. Smart programmes and machines will then gain more autonomy. This will initially be limited to innocuous applications, but will become increasingly complex. It is important to make good considerations in this from ethical and moral principles.

    • Virtual worlds

      With the arrival of VR, MR and AR new layers of reality are appearing on our society. This makes it possible to come together and have meaningful experiences. It also provides the opportunity for borderless work, entertainment and education. This also means that more and more will take place outside government control. This brings new challenges.

    • Human optimisation

      Technology and robotics are increasingly helping us to overcome physical limitations. Sensors extend our senses and smart software improves our cognitive capacity. As a result, humans will be increasingly able to use their full potential.

    • Vulnerability

      The increasing dependence on digital means makes our society more vulnerable. A digital incident can have major consequences. In addition, the threat of cybercrime and espionage is growing. That is why integrity, quality, security and privacy are important cornerstones of digitisation.


    These trends are isolated developments. What future awaits us depends on how they come together. We ourselves can take an active role in this by pioneering and turning digital ambitions into reality.