The term e-government is of recent origin and there exists no standard definition since the conceptual understanding is still evolving. The generally accepted definition is:
"e-government" or electronic government refers to the use of ICTs by government agencies for any or all of the following reasons:
- Exchange of information with citizens, businesses or other government departments
- Speedier and more efficient delivery of public services
- Improving internal efficiency
- Reducing costs or increasing revenue
- Re-structuring of administrative processes.
In a nutshell, e-Government can be summarized as:
e-Government is not about ‘e'
But about Governments
e-Government is not about Computers and websites
But about Citizens and Businesses
e-Government is not about translating processes
But about transforming processes
The essence of e-Government can be summarized as: "The enhanced value for customers through transformation"
The full potential of e-Government can be realized only through a focused attention on people, process, technology and resources appropriately. Experiences in India and abroad reveal that e-Government is not concerned merely with purchasing of sophisticated technologies. .
Critical success factors for e-Government: Implementing the e-government projects over diverse geographical areas; across multiple departments and organisations with differing levels of IT and non-IT skills; having many different kinds of legacy processes; and governed by multiple sets of policies and procedures requires facing a set of challenges across the three dimensions of people, process and technology.
The collective experience of e-governance projects implemented so far in India or elsewhere shows that the varied challenges faced by the entire gamut of projects can be represented in the theoretical framework depicted below. The framework rests on four pillars: people, process, technology and resources.
PEOPLE: As e-government projects are rolled out across the country people within and outside the government play an increasingly important role in ensuring the success of these projects. The scale of transformation is huge and enormous resources not only in terms of money but also the expertise, skills and commitment of the people will be required. Hence, management of people is a biggest challenge to the success of the e-Government Program.
PROCESS: E-Government is not just about the automation of manual records and existing processes, with all their inefficiencies. Rather, it is about transforming government processes and creating new relationships between the government and its citizens and businesses. Hence, a fresh set of process parameters and related workflow should be created, without creating unmanageable and chaotic changes, to maintain the consistency and sustainability of the process.
TECHNOLOGY: ICT is a key element of reform efforts that can help dramatically reshape government to improve performance and reduce costs. Governments today are increasingly exploiting the tremendous opportunities provided by ICT to deliver services in a more efficient and effective manner, and mostly at lower costs than earlier. The realization of these opportunities, however, depends on the effective management and integration of the service delivery infrastructure. In particular, the government business processes, information resources, and the technology systems of multiple government agencies have to work in a coordinated and integrated manner.
This challenge in a sense boils down to one of creating an IT Governance structure for the e-Governance sector. The governance structure should take care of the requirements in the 5 areas namely,
- e-Gov Principles and Policies,
- e-Gov architecture,
- e-Gov infrastructure,
- e-Gov applications
- e-Gov investment and prioritization.
New technologies demand new types of implementation models. Budget constraints within government, barriers to entry of private investment in e-Government sector, lack of skills for program and project management, absence of frameworks that enable designing e-Gov projects on a self financing model are among the important challenges in the resource area.
However, the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with innovative business models have emerged as a viable solution to the issues of funding e-Government projects and has helped in mitigation of risks through sharing of risks between public sector and private sector.
In sum, there are a plethora of challenges to the successful implementation of large e-Government programs. If the e-Government market in India has to record significant growth rates, it is necessary for the Government and the Industry alike, to address these challenges frontally and design appropriate policies, frameworks and solutions
The knowledge material has been categorized into five different categories namely:
- e-Government: General Perspective
- People issues in e-Government
- Process issues in e-Government
- Technology issues in e-Government
- Resources issues in e-Government
Each of these categories will contain knowledge material in the form of presentations, concept papers, case studies, research reports, web-links etc. Browse these categories to increase your know-how of e-Government