The Federal government remains largely unprepared to implement “accelerating technology trends most likely to cause disruption over the next 18 to 24 months,” a new report from Deloitte says.

The firm’s GovTech Trends 2023 report explores which tech may be most relevant for agencies – like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain – and how ready they are to take advantage of those tools.

The firm ranked the government’s readiness to take on new technology trends and gave it generally low marks across the board. On a scale of one to five – with five being the highest – the government scored a three or below on all seven categories of emerging trends.

The Federal government’s lowest ranking was for “immersive internet,” but the emerging tech was also ranked the least relevant for agencies at this time. In the future, the report argues, Feds could benefit by supporting virtual reality for both their constituents as well as employees.

Deloitte gave the government its highest ranking – a three out of five – when it comes to readiness to tame multi-cloud environments, reimagine the tech workforce, and expand its horizons from traditional IT to technology rooted in formal, natural, and social sciences.

The report noted that as the Federal government continues its migration to the cloud, commercial-off-the-shelf tools can help automate many functions – such as security – to help make a multi-cloud environment more manageable for IT staff.

Deloitte posits that the tech workforce is one of the most relevant trends today, and said the government is positioned to establish pipelines to recruit “non-traditional talent” and help fill gaps, especially to join a Federal IT workforce that is aging faster than its recruiting new talent.

The remaining three categories – artificial intelligence, blockchain, and modernization – all received a score of two, with the report ranking IT modernization as the more relevant category within the Federal government.

“Consider using new technologies and techniques which allow for more progressive modernization, enabling incremental service improvements and dramatically reducing migration risk,” the report recommended for Federal agencies.

Deloitte continued, “Design your future operating model and tools, supporting the cloud, security, AI/ML and more — then look at how to modernize progressively to take better advantage of emerging technologies going forward to support the mission more effectively and efficiently.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.