There is a gap in citizen expectation of technology enabled connectivity and faster turnaround and the speed and efficiency with can be provided by outdated government paper and ink procedures. It is time to bring government departments up to speed with technology. However, coordinating government units to work together for a common outcome –to deliver a more efficient and citizen centric government –has remained a constant challenge worldwide. Can technology assist in letting government units work cohesively and to simplify administration and delivery of services.
Our public sector departments and agencies are struggling with increasing pressure to deliver broad, complex services efficiently, effectively, equitably, and through integrated service delivery models to enhance the citizen experience. Countries like India are seriously considering e-administration in a bid to improve their administrative processes.
Given the economic scenario of recent years, governments across the world are witnessing a widening trust deficit between them and their citizens. Having said that, it is encouraging that a 2011 IPSOS MORI polling survey found Indian citizens express greater satisfaction with public services on average than citizens globally do. According to the survey 53% in India expressed that they are fairly or very satisfied versus 36% of the respondents globally. However, 80% of the Indian respondents said that they had difficulty in accessing government services that they need. This clearly highlights the gap that technology can very efficiently plug. E-administration and transformational technologies have the potential to reform, streamline and refine not only the public service initiatives but also inter-departmental interoperability.
Just like any business, the government is also constantly trying to meet the demands of its stakeholders. And so how can one overlook the importance of data and analytics? Data and analytics solutions can help the government make smarter decisions, deliver results and demonstrate accountability in the public service domain. For example, the Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) of the Ministry of Finance is using analytics & business intelligence to secure and share sensitive information between departments.
Cloud computing is also attractive as it offers opportunities and the ability to share IT resources among multiple agencies. Cloud computing offers an easier and less burdensome route to more efficient and effective public sector information management. While the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are keenly experimenting with cloud computing solutions, the state of Maharashtra has gone ahead and successfully put in place an administrative cloud, making it the first of its kind in India. Called the MahaGov Cloud, it is a private cloud setup by DIT, Government of Maharashtra to provide IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud service to various departments in Maharashtra.
These examples prove that the day is not far when governments will be fully connected and well equipped with technology to deal with the wired citizens. Do you agree? Do write in to express your views.