CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jun 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Despite all the fanfare with the launch of the
Presidential eGovernment Initiatives in 2000, a new report from
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) indicates that the results
have been less than impressive. Citizen adoption is low and progress
has slowed as agency heads, CIOs, and program managers are faced with
increasing obstacles to widespread adoption of the Web for government
"Our research indicates that citizens contact the government
predominately for personal rather than business reasons, seeking
answers to specific questions, expressing opinions, or completing
transactions," noted Forrester Consulting Analyst Alan Webber.
"Because of the personal nature of these interactions, they still rely
on telephone and in-person contact and don't completely trust the Web.
Even though most of these people use the Internet for other aspects of
their daily lives, old habits die hard."
To add to the frustration, government agency heads have to deal
with added internal obstacles like constrained budgets and a
change-resistant culture. Forrester anticipates that federal IT
spending will begin to decrease in the next couple of years. The
government's bureaucratic and inefficient production model, extremely
long project cycles, and long overdue deadlines are also large
obstacles to adoption.
Moving From Access To Engagement
To measure progress, Forrester developed a continuum of
eGovernment maturity. First, the era of access is defined by citizens
and businesses being able to access government information online.
Second, the era of interaction -- where most agencies are currently --
allows constituents to make small transactions, such as submitting
forms and applications, online. Third, the era of engagement is
reached when citizens and businesses complete personalized,
comprehensive, complex, multichannel transactions that assist in
resolving real problems.
Forrester notes that to move into the engagement phase, government
agencies must address five major challenges:
-- Implement disciplined management practices. Agency CIOs and
program managers will have to focus more effort on the
estimation of costs and benefits, project management, and
management buy-in to the processes.
-- Establish a more secure environment. Until citizens are
comfortable with the security and privacy safeguards of
government systems, few will be willing to interact with
government via the Web.
-- Complete agency enterprise architectures. Only a handful of
agencies have effective architectures in place, and it will be
difficult to make intelligent investment decisions until they
are all fully ramped up.
-- Develop capabilities for records and data. Even with the large
push toward storing, retrieving, and disposing of electronic
data and records, there are still enormous amounts of new
records being established on paper.
-- Address the IT talent shortage. IT workers are a hot
commodity, and agencies are having a difficult time replacing
retiring federal IT workers.
Over The Horizon
Forrester notes that to be successful, the government business
model must shift away from a centralized, machine-like organization to
a decentralized model based on regional and local structures that are
closer to the citizen. Technologies like the Internet portal will
replace the phone as the primary channel for citizen and business
government interaction. As federal portals advance and can handle more
activities, more constituents will be comfortable using technology as
their primary point of contact.
More information on the obstacles government faces in moving
toward a Web content model and recommendations for agencies are
available in the research, "The Future Of eGovernment." It is
available to WholeView 2(TM) clients and can be found at
Forrester is an independent technology research company that
provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice about technology's
impact on business. Business, marketing, and IT professionals
worldwide collaborate with Forrester to align their technology
investments with their business goals. Forrester offers products and
services in four major areas: Research, Data, Consulting, and
Community. Established in 1983, Forrester is headquartered in
Cambridge, Mass. For additional information, visit www.forrester.com.
SOURCE: Forrester Research, Inc.
Forrester Research, Inc.
Patrick Tripp, +1 617/613-6216
Public Relations Specialist