The rise of GovTech: Trojan horse or blessing in disguise? A research agenda

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As GovTech solutions are steadily entering the public sector, they have yet to find their way into the mainstream literature. GovTech refers to socio-technical solutions – that are developed and operated by private organisations – intertwined with public sector components for facilitating processes in the public sector. GovTech solutions promise a superior customer journey for citizens and businesses compared to current government portals and front desks. GovTech solutions can be a blessing in disguise for governments struggling in their digital transformation journey, carrying the burden of public service innovation and replacing legacy systems with modern GovTech solutions. Yet, there are also concerns that GovTech solutions are a Trojan horse, exploiting the lack of technical knowledge at public agencies and shifting decision-making power from public agencies to market parties, thereby undermining digital sovereignty and public values. This paper develops a research agenda for GovTech based on a conceptual framework. This framework reveals four interrelated design areas for GovTech: institutional, governance, technical and human-centred design. Governments can employ the conceptual framework to further align and develop their strategies by focussing on GovTech governance, referring to the ability to manage the various interdependencies between the four design areas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101692
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Co-creation
  • Digital transformation
  • GovTech
  • Multiple-helix
  • Public service innovation
  • Trust frameworks


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