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Transforming budgeting amid rapid technological change

Transforming budgeting amid rapid technological change

 


In the face of rapid technological evolution, public sector organizations are faced with the complex challenge of modernizing and responding to their IT budgeting and planning processes. This is critical not only to keep pace with technological advances, but also to improve business outcomes through effective technology adoption. Traditional budgeting methods are often inflexible and incremental, making them inadequate to keep up with the rapid changes in today's technology environment. Public sector leaders are therefore faced with the need to adapt to keep up, and failing to keep up with technological advances can potentially increase costs.

A good example is the U.S. General Services Administration and its FY 2024 efforts. GSA has outlined annual performance plans that incorporate a strategic framework that defines performance objectives, baselines, targets, and results for strategic goals. This approach ensures that budget allocations are directly tied to intended technical outcomes and highlights the importance of defining key performance indicators for technology projects.

Governments have an opportunity to leverage technology to better serve their citizens, foster innovation, and improve overall welfare by adopting more responsive planning and budgeting approaches. This includes the ability to quickly adjust and reallocate resources as needed, a crucial capability in today's ever-changing environment. To achieve this, it is essential to integrate elements of different budgeting processes into a hybrid, custom-fit approach to improve budget performance measurement, management, and governance.

To improve planning and budget cycle performance, public sector leaders should follow three key guidelines:

Efficiency. Regular maintenance and upgrades of critical systems are essential to avoid failures and inefficiencies. Optimizing software and infrastructure through priority-based budgeting helps companies stay competitive. The Defense Innovation Board's adoption of software acquisition pathways is a great example of this approach, providing a more flexible budgeting model for software to keep up with evolving technology trends. Effectiveness. Leveraging AI and data analytics can significantly improve processes and decision-making. Collaboratively creating and extending capabilities, products, and services through value-based budgeting can help adapt priorities and realize more opportunities. The City of Tacoma's practice of sharing data across departments to optimize budgets and initiatives is a great example of increased effectiveness. Productivity. Introducing new concepts in a phased rollout helps balance the risks and potential benefits of innovation. Matching the pace of change to operational capabilities can ensure that innovation does not outpace the ability to effectively manage it. For example, Baltimore's outcome-based budgeting, which links funding to desired outcomes and performance metrics, shows how to create continuity and scale value capture.

Public sector organizations can greatly benefit from modernizing their IT budgeting and planning approaches in line with technological advances. By adopting responsive budgeting techniques, these organizations can become more agile and responsive, optimizing resource use and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector services. This provides tangible benefits to the communities they serve and highlights the importance of evolving public sector budgeting techniques in the digital age.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.nextgov.com/ideas/2024/06/transforming-budgeting-amid-rapid-technological-change/397319/

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