Gartner Research – social networks will partly replace government.

This post from Gartner Research is well worth a good read for anyone interested in large organisations and social media.

Gartner predicts the execution of many government processes in human services, tax and revenue, health care and education will involve individuals who are neither employees nor contractors. Examples include replacement of some human services functions such as online collection of charitable donations to be directed to people in need combined with online ‘time banks’ through which citizens provide time to help others. “The future of government is a very different government and, in some cases, no government at all,” concluded Mr Di Maio.

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Gartner points out that the benefits of social computing — when accrued — will rarely occur in the context of government-driven initiatives. For example, governments’ desire to retain ownership and control of the network, through restrictive participation policies, will be detriment to magnetism.

Gartner recommends that governments engage selected employees in finding external social networks relevant to the agency and its domain of government. They should also ensure that the use of social computing inside and between government organisations is based on a clear and compelling purpose – which is likely to be something that they cannot ‘engineer’. “Instead, they should recognise that spontaneity is needed for success,” said Mr Di Maio.

Thanks to Beth Kanter.

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