"The overall e-government services market will see sharp growth over the next five years," says ABI Research analyst Phil Sealy. "Investment is set to increase from $28 billion in 2010 to $57 billion in 2016, and the number of users will nearly triple over the forecast period."
The market is very fragmented, however, with different regions and countries at different stages of implementation and success. "Initially much of the activity will be in the major industrialized countries," says Sealy, "but rollouts of e-government services will accelerate beginning in about 2014 when online services in developing regions start to become a reality."
Governments are looking to offer information and services on many levels. ABI Research is expecting to see mobile services become ever more popular, especially in those countries where providing citizens fixed broadband connections may not be a viable investment option. The aim is to maximize e-inclusion and e-participation of citizen-centric services by providing simplistic and convenient means of access.
It is important to note that the investment required to create, manage, maintain, and market a government-to-citizen service portal is high, and savings are not always seen immediately. Online e-government services are more an investment to create future savings.
ABI Research group director John Devlin remains confident: "Countries such as the US that already have well-established e-government services are looking into aligning services onto one portal rather than multiple portals. The same applies for Europe. Aligning services will make it easier for a country's citizens to access all services in one place. This allows a reduction in operating costs, while maintaining service levels."