The Future for e-Governance- Mobile First, Citizen Centric and Smart!

Digital India provides a new paradigm to what is possible and for us to envision a future that bears little semblance to the past and allow the next wave of e-Governance to really allow transformation of Governance. Today, technology is all pervasive and mobility provides a platform that allows almost every Indian access and interface without the need for “technical capacity” to participate in the Digital World. The telecom advancement (mobility) including future plan for rollout (reasonable price for data services), path breaking IT development platform, Analytics, IoT, Cloud, etc., together with success of key initiatives of the Government such as Unique ID, Jan Dhan accounts and Digital Locker provides us an opportunity to break from the past and envisage and deliver e-Governance solutions that are truly citizen centric in form and spirit.

Part 1 of the blog series focused on the hits and misses of e-Governance in the last decade. This one highlights the future of e-Governance in India.

Vision for the next five years!

In the  background of the  experience of the  last decade, global trends, recent announcements and the  vision the Government has set  for the  country for Good Governance, we  see the  next five years witnessing a paradigm shift in the  way  things work.

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Assisted Service to Mobile First, If not Mobile Only

To avail services, citizens have to travel all the way to Government offices or CSC, wherever possible. However with the penetration of mobile phones, increased use of smart phones and reasonable cost of data – citizens can access Government services from the comfort of their homes.  To really transform Governance, Government needs to set itself a goal of providing all services, including those that are transactional in nature, on mobile – this will force process transformation. We believe with JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile) together with Digital Locker, this is not only possible but the need of the hour for Transformational Governance.

Solutions for Departments/Ministries to Solutions for Citizens /Businesses

Most program designs have traditionally focused on digitization of internal processes of departments / ministries to improve citizen services. This approach has a basic flaw in terms of a) it does not  keep citizens/businesses at the  core of project design, b) limits integration and c) delivers incremental changes. It also perpetuates silos in government. The focus going forward needs to be to understand the need of citizens/ businesses and then converge various Government departments (digitally if not in the physical world) into a single unit with the aim to provide better service to citizens.

Management Driven Policy to Enabling Inclusive Decision Making

Worldwide, there has been an increasing involvement of citizens in policy and decision making both from traditional and social media. There has been a paradigm shift from leaders/managers deciding policy for everyone to everyone helping government design policy. The recent initiatives of the Government in the form of MyGov; Mann ki Baat, coupled with transparency brought in by RTI, CPGRAM, etc. provides a perfect platform to enable this change in paradigm. eParticipation should become an  inherent component of all e-Governance project designs.

Large and Stand-alone Systems to Smart and Integrated Systems

Large and stand-alone systems will pave way for smart and interconnected systems such as Cloud, Internet of Things, and Mobile Internet. In India, although technological advancement has drastically changed the way e-governance is perceived and carried out, now there is a need to move towards “Innovative solutions from Collaborative technologies”. Hence, the next phase should focus on the adoption of smarter technologies as compared to complex large systems, with Governance-IT alignment through simplified and standardized enterprise architecture.

Individual Initiatives to Institutional Initiatives

E-Governance Projects have often failed when there is a frequent change of project leadership and key stakeholders. It is important to segregate “leadership sponsorship” with “individual initiatives”. While leadership sponsorship provides strength to a project, individual initiative makes the project / change brittle. Thus, in projects driven by individual initiatives, change in project implementation teams results in change in requirements, understanding and scope which in turn delays or stalls the overall implementation of the project. It is critically important that we build institutional capacity to take up e-Governance projects spanning Ministries, Department and Centre-State.

Multiple download of Information to need fulfilment of G2C Services Online

Today projection and tracking of mere services online obfuscates the effectiveness of services online. We see example after example of citizens and businesses coming to government offices or availing information / services through online medium. This needs to change. The Government has increasingly all the data of the needy citizens to reach out to them and provide support rather than people reaching out to Government for support.

Outsourcing and Deferred Payment to Shared Services and PPP

The current model for delivering e-Governance solutions requires significant changes. Development of Government wide shared service centers will help build capacity and increase efficiency. At the same time, a win-win partnership with private players that is based on equality will help scale up e-Governance and make it all pervasive.

In conclusion, India has been recognized as a power house of IT services across the world. The private sector has been at the forefront of this growth. However, it is now the turn of the public sector in India, to forge a strategic partnership and realize the goal of Governance Transformation enabled by technology. In order to achieve this, Government will have to push past boundaries, set bold vision and take strong actions to conquer inherent challenges of the past. The time is right for the Government and Government must make full use of it.

Interested in the topic? Find out more- download the FREE NASSCOM-KPMG study- “Transforming Governance”- that captures the past decade of e-Governance and teases the next decade of reforms from here- http://www.nasscom.in/transforming-governance-decade-egovernance-and-next-wave-governance-reforms

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