Government Executive Magazine - 9/5/00 Study predicts e-government will gain momentum

Over the next decade, government will change dramatically as citizens pressure the government to offer more services electronically and more efficiently, according to a recent study issued by Forrester Research last month.

In the report, "Sizing U.S. E-Government," researcher Jeremy Sharrard says e-government will start out slowly, gaining more momentum as citizens' expectations rise and eventually forcing federal, state and local governments to improve outdated processes.

Sharrard interviewed people at 45 agencies at all levels of government, and found that although a growing range of government services are becoming available online, the government does not market online services aggressively and limited funds, coupled with red tape, pose challenges to agencies.

"We have an Office of Public Affairs, and we're working with them on how to best market our offerings. This also has required a change of mindset. Up until a few years ago, it was a big no-no for government agencies to market themselves, so we are only now developing strategies on how best to do this," said a federal sector respondent.

By 2006, Sharrard predicts federal, state and local governments combined will collect $602 billion in revenue, and will receive 333 million online submissions. Sharrard predicts that e-government will go through three phases: experimentation, integration and reinvention.

Over the next two years, he says agencies will concentrate on providing simple services to citizens, such as filing income taxes online and making campground reservations. In this nascent phase, government will experiment cautiously and focus on not making mistakes.

The next phase will consist of linking multiple departments' systems together to provide customers with top-notch service.

"Tiring quickly of searching for services, users will demand that like offerings be combined on single sites," said Sharrard.

The study predicts that e-government at all levels will begin to reinvent itself when customers become savvy enough to pressure government to offer more services more efficiently.

"Once constituents and lawmakers see the structure of their government laid out before them on the Web, they will ask why departments like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health offer so many overlapping services," said the report.

Sharrard advises the federal government to launch an agressive marketing campaign, form more Web portal partnerships with industry, and stop charging citizens convenience fees. He foresees lawmakers playing an important role in promoting e-government services, as younger and more tech-savvy leaders emerge.

Ultimately, Sharrard argues, e-government will help foster the public's confidence in the public sector and will lead to a more activist government.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.