Catalyzing IT Transformation: Key Priorities and Challenges, Session one at the NILF 2010

We have Mr., Rajendra Pawar, Chairman NIIT Tech, leading the first session of the NILF 2010 on Catalysing IT Transformation: Key Priorities and Challenges.

This session is important to each and everyone in th aaudience for two reasons:

  1. Government is emerging as the single largest customer for the industry in country after country
  2. The rules and policy frameworks are defined by the Governments

And as people involved in shaping in building the IT industry we are concerned to get involved in discovering ways how we can make a significant difference. When we look across the world, the governments have played two key roles, as policy makers and as the customer. We have Mr. Chandrashekhar, who was the first Govt Official, to lead the IT initiative in Andhra Pradesh and has now moved to the center in leading the IT change. Jon Suffolk, CIO of the UK govt, resents another phase of how Govt uses IT.

And we have Mr. Chandrashekhar leading the session starting by saying that it is stating the obvious that INdia is a country which is rapidly transforming. The story really began in 1991 when the economy opened up. It took about 5 years for the world to notice that something was changing in Idea and then India noticed it as well, as it becoems harder to notice change when you are in the middle of it.

This transformation, which was a huge economic change had IT as the center-piece

It was only around the turn of the century when the whole gaze turned inwards and several things happened which made us relize internally. We had a fairly archaic system of governance and two things we inherited from the British period, one is the English language and the other is the system and it made us realize how we could do it better. The advent of the Pvt. sector in the country also heightened the contrast and at the same time, within the country the Govt was trying to reach out with developmental programs. And surely so became problems and it became clear that such programs could not be implemented without the extensive use of technology.

It was around the middle of 2006, when a national E-governance plan was adopted. The whole challenge was to translate the vision, to convert it into an implementable and accessible program. Over the last few years, cine the national program has been underway, there has been huge amount of innovative and inclusive growth. This has brought focus on to the areas of the social sector as health, education, agriculture and some big projects were implemented which brought all he services completely online, which also gave the Govt. confidence.

The power sector for example has a major program of about 50,000 crores, which is reforming power as a service, out of which, almost about 2 billion dollars are for the use of IT.

Im sure all of you would have heard about the unique ID project, which is also currently pretty much in the pipeline and these are some large projects, giving not just intent but also the scale of the entire effort towards leveraging IT. Nearly 20 million mobile connections been added every month and there in a sense these are different elements of the ecosystem which are complementing each other. There are now explicit instructions, which require each state govt. to allocate 2-3% of their budget to IT.

And now we have the challenges been spoken about and the issues being faced.

I think that in every sector, where we’v been fortunate enough to have a few people who have led the change. This transformation has been quite effective. The key difference has always been the kind of leadership and the exemplary partnership which have been forged which have been effective in helping, deal with he change broadening the vision each time. To be able to jointly develop the vision with sectoral leaders and working together to make the transformational agenda happen, I am quite sure, the IT sector in India is ready to come forward and I look forward to seeing this participation as we go forward.

And now we have Mr. John Suffolk, CIO, UK Govt. Its going to be very interesting to know how the UK is evolving in engaging the catalysts.

I want to cover 3-4 things says John,

  1. I want to talk about India
  2. About the UK, UK Public Services
  3. The world is changing
  4. Catalyzing IT transformation, our strategy, priorities and challenges

Introducing the UK masterclass tomorrow starts John with, while introducing the same to the delegate(s). And we have John, giving fantastic examples of amazing business models of how Insurance and Banking were changed in the UK with Direct Line and First Direct.

It not just about scale, says John, while showcasing the Outstanding Indian ICT companies, which include some of the TOP IT companies from India and I feel proud of the same.

While introducing UK, John gives very interestingly, most citizens dont care who provides services, they expect similar services everywhere. And now we have two charts showing the UK comprehensive online services to Citizens and well, it is amazing to see that almost anything that could be done, online has been put online by the UK govt, which John says, most citizens prefer to do things online rather than doing it on foot. Vast internet and web based services are very important in the UK, says John.

ICT underpins every part of the public services and John shows amazing examples of how healthcare, education and other public services are changing in the UK, with IT being introduced. 41,717 crimes solved with DNA matched in 2006/07 states John as an example to show how IT is leading the change.

But the world is changing….and John presents some very interesting facts to the audience, while saying that in a changing world our strategy must change. The rate of change is so fast that it is hard for tthe education system to see what would be the new jobs and opportunities? According to BBC, a new blog is created every second says John.

The BIG Question: do you think the public sector can keep up with the changing demands of the world economy? Do we need a new model for the ICT?

Smarter – Cheaper and Greener says John should be the technology while talking about Catalyzing ICT transformation and how the UK is coping up with the needs of the citizens.

14 strands of work gives John while giving how the UK is dealing with technology, pulling them together into:

  • Common Infrastructure
  • Common Capability
  • Common Standards

We have a 130 data centers in Central Govt and many of them are owned by the Pvt Sector. Our objective is 100s’s, if not 1000′s of suppliers working with the Govt in raising the standards up mutually. We need to drive bigger innovations, moving more towards open source, open standards. Its good to know how the UK govt. is stressing upon the Greener technology.

To be honest, our biggest challenge is nothing to do with technology, our problem is culture, changing roles! You have to have a strong leadership. We dont want long locking contracts. Its about moving from software license deals to the cloud world.

John closes by saying: economies, businesses and organization are truly global and India is at the forefront of this globalization in all terms. Citizens demand more from their public services. there are dramatic, social and technological world events changing the agenda. The UK govt is fundamentally changing, we’r going smarter, greener and cheaper.

And John invites all to the UK day tomorrow at the NILF.

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