The Impact of Emerging Technology on the Public Sector
The impact of information technology has been tremendous within the public sector. Over the years, the growth and development of technology has caused the public sector to change. One of the most significant changes in technology has been the evolution of the information systems and how their development has reshaped the way the world uses technology. “It has been just over fifty years since the worlds first programmable computer became operational. It cost millions of dollars to build and processed an unprecedented 5,000 instructions per second. By 1971, Intel was able to pack 25 times that power into a single, two hundred-dollar chip. Today’s personal computers process 400,000 instructions per second and if current trends continue, desktop-computing power will be at 100,000 million instructions per second by the year 2012.” [i] Although the benefits of technology were first realized in the private sector, the public sector has been able to reap some benefits. In addition they have also incurred some of the challenges it has brought. This research paper will discuss the types of technology that are used by the public sector, cost considerations, security and confidentiality issues, the National Public Review and Government Information Technology initiatives and the challenges of training a computer literate workforce.
Public Sector Technology Applications
Emerging technology is the application of rising or forthcoming sciences to industrial and commercial objectives. These rising and forthcoming sciences have also been applied to the public sector. Technology has impacted the services the public sector provides as well as the internal systems used to support these services. E-mail and computerization address internal functions of public sector environments while electronic services such as the Internet and on-line technologies provide benefits to its customers.
Electronic mail is utilized by various local, state and federal entities. E-mail provides a high level of convenience and accuracy in communication. "Over 40 million workers correspond via e-mail and that number is increasing 20% per year".[ii] Electronic mail (e-mail) is a form of correspondence that has become a popular form of communication in the public sector. Given its ease of use and convenience, e-mail is becoming the correspondence of choice through local, state and federal governments. E-mail is used to coordinate various levels of government, communicate information rapidly and disseminate information to a wide variety of persons in the quickest manner possible. E-mail also delivers cost benefits when compared to the cost of postal services.
In today's public sector environment virtually all federal, state and local government use computers. Computerization has streamlined repetitive processes, promoting a more cost effective and efficient use of information...