There are four important trends related to public-private partnerships and government that have been accelerated by COVID-19:
1. Governments are getting bigger, not smaller.
While governments have been getting bigger and bigger in the last 20 years, COVID has really accelerated this trend. Regardless of whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing, it means that working with governments will be even more important in the future than it has been in the past.
2. Government is also getting smarter.
Governments — from cities, to states, to federal agencies, to heads of states — have become MUCH more data oriented since March. SafeGraph, where I work, provides its geospatial data to over 4000+ cities, states, and government agencies and we’ve seen a remarkable leveling-up in sophistication in how to use data, and data science, in the last few months.
3. The biggest tech companies are actually working LESS with the government today than big tech companies had in the past.
Gone are the days of Hewlett Packard which worked closely with government. The biggest tech companies (like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc.) are opting to share as little with government as possible. These tech giants are increasingly wary of working with government and especially anything to do with the national security world. That means there is a huge opportunity for other technology companies that feel they have an obligation to work on bigger problems.
4. Standards are becoming increasingly important.
To join data across many companies, organizations, and governments … we need standards.
Imagine how the world would look without standards like the meter, Unix time, or the U.S. dollar to measure things. For instance, the Placekey initiative is an open standard that creates a free universal identifier on a physical place. Placekey and other standards and join keys will become increasingly important in the post-COVID world.