Growth consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan has released a new report on mobile eID programs. The report, entitled “Transforming National eID Programs and Services into a Mobile Success Story”, predicts that by 2018, government sector ICT spending will amount to about $441 billion USD.
It’s a huge market, with North America driving it, accounting for about 47.4 percent of all spending, according to Frost & Sullivan’s predictions. The Asia-Pacific region will follow at 21.7 percent of global spending, while Western Europe will claim 21.3 percent. The report notes that while many governments in these regions have already made major investments into digital services, they need to be more zealous in promoting them via mobile devices, and they need to raise awareness among citizens of this ‘mobile-first’ and user-focused approach.
The report also points out that electronic ID systems provide an excellent gateway for citizens to access digital and mobile services; in a synopsis, the researchers note, “Many countries have already deployed national ID programs and electronic identity card (eID) solutions to facilitate identity management,” and assert that “eIDs are delivered by trustworthy parties and serve as reliable proof of identity when accessing online government services.”
Indeed, it’s Estonia’s ambitious eID program that allowed that country to recently conduct a parliamentary election in which 30 percent of the vote came in online – an electronic voting program that many other states are starting to explore. India, meanwhile, is going a step further, using its new biometric citizen registry to administer government services like healthcare to citizens in a more direct and accessible way. If Frost & Sullivan is correct, such programs could become widespread in the near future, which should be good news for governments and citizens alike.