The reverse web and what government must do to adapt


What’s the “reverse web” — and why do our agencies need to be on it? Dries Buytaert, a founding father of the open source movement, speaks exclusively on the challenge for all government leaders.

Governments and public agencies should begin thinking of themselves not as depositories of information for citizens to access at will, but instead reposition as technology platforms providing useful insights before citizens realise they are even needed.

This is the position of Drupal creator and Acquia co-founder and CTO Dries Buytaert, who says governments should take heed of the gradual rise of the “reverse web”, wherein fewer citizens actively search for the information they need and instead are provided that information, along with relevant insights and calls to action, by platforms with knowledge of their behaviour.

“I think governments need to think of themselves as platforms,” said Buytaert. “They need to offer a core set of capabilities available to government departments, and then enable agencies to innovate and transform services, or build on top of that platform.”

Over the next decade, Buytaert says, the internet will completely transform from users “pulling” relevant information to organisations and providers “pushing” that information whenever — or even before — it is relevant.

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