Many countries have already put e-government initiatives in place to streamline their departments and enhance public sector efficiencies.
These learnings and advancements have opened the gateway for emerging governments to make technology advancements. Similarly, this has given our South African government agencies the tools and knowledge to follow suit. In fact, we know that information technology is a key component in promoting growth in a country.
The feasibility of e-governance
Introducing an e-delivery strategy in the public sector involves re-engineering the current way of doing business and using collaborative tools to function effectively. E-governance boils down to adopting a more inclusive process with citizens playing a bigger role. High-speed Internet connectivity is non-negotiable for transmitting high volumes of information. With the offer of an online service, citizens are empowered with access to the information.
Many South Africans have become used to online services, shopping online and engaging online with products or services when they need or want them. In turn, we expect the same quality of service from government. The challenge is that our government can’t simply implement new systems. Lack of resources to scale services are a challenge, but by implementing an e-delivery strategy to many government services the technology will help them scale to deliver to a larger audience. A greater degree of trust will be created as citizens interact with government online and receive a responsive and engaging service. Information technology can be seen as a key driver to improve the delivery of many services. Freeing up necessary resources to focus on other challenged areas and fundamentally changing the relationship between government and its citizens.
Analytical data to the rescue
In the African Business Review they highlighted a key challenge, we have limited pool of resources to deliver a vast range of services and infrastructure. The answer this challenge lies in the Data. Using data to analyse where problems are will help to improve how resources are allocated. Recently the education department mentioned that they will undertake a survey exercise to generate data about the state of schools, generating a rating for each premise.
In turn, schools on the top end of the scale that are highly functioning will receive less funding than schools that are on the lower end of the scale. This data will actively help the department to allocate resources to the areas that need it the most. Future data analysis of this structure will show schools improving and a continual process of evaluating resources can continue. To address this challenge, we need to pre-empt inefficiencies so they can be dealt with before they have a chance to affect the economy. For instance, with the help of the Internet of Things, sensors can be used to detect leaks in water pipes. This will speed up repair times and cut the cost of maintenance.
How government can lead innovation
Innovation will impact positively on service delivery and citizens will reap the benefits. Government investments can be leveraged to have a far greater impact on the economy when you choose technology partners with a strong focus on enterprise development. We believe true partnerships involve close cooperation with the government to manage complex systems better and deploy citizen-centric solutions so the state can focus on its core mandates. For more information on how IT solutions can transform the public sector, feel free to get in touch.