Governments have a responsibility larger than just keeping the lights on
By Thapelo Rapetswa, Government and Service Provider business Director at Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa
Today’s governments are facing the challenge of keeping the processes and services that citizens expect running smoothly, while also innovating in order to bring people these services the way they want them in the new digital and mobile world we live in.
But they are being held back by things like lengthy procurement processes, as well as vendor lock-in based on legacy technology that they already have in place, we are however seeing a lot of government agencies looking to digitalisation as a way to better reach and service customers.
Not only does digitalisation help governments achieve this, but it’s cheaper and removes the reliance on physical infrastructure, namely, buildings, people and IT infrastructure. In order for governments to become more agile, keep the lights on and become more innovative, they need to start looking at new technologies that offer them the flexibility to be able to change at a moment’s notice.
So if they have a software-defined data centre (SDDC) in place then they can hop to the cloud, while maintaining the security that safeguards citizens’ information but also enables them to better communicate with and serve customers.
In South Africa, we are seeing some digital initiatives from government agencies including things like EHomeAffairs, and more recently the launching of the second phase of free Tshwane Wi-Fi which aims to provide free Wi-Fi to all government educational institutions in Tshwane by the end of this year. The initiative also aims to embrace digital technologies for education and economic upliftment in the area.
These are the types of initiatives that showcase government’s ability to better its services in a world of Bimodal IT, where it has a responsibility to innovate, but at the same time ensure that citizen’s still have access to the services they need. I for one, look forward to seeing what’s next for digitisation in the South African government.
In other news:
Second phase of free Tshwane Wi-Fi launched
Tshwane’s big plans for free WiFi access