Gartner, IT research and advisory company, conducted the Gartner Viewpoint event on 7th March 2006, to present its e-Government viewpoint to the public sector. Senior bureaucrats from Ministries and Departments of Government of India as well as State Governments, besides CIOs and Directors from Government-owned Public Sector Undertakings participated. The objective of the meet was to present the Gartner insight and recommendation on the global best practices on Government Performance Management, Customer Services along with Enterprise Architecture. This was part of the Gartner’s public sector initiative to provide IT solutions that ensure the public is well served. Experts from Gartner, Richard Harris, Vice President, Research, and Deborah Weiss, Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies, put across the company’s viewpoints and highlighted the company’s expertise in Government research and advisory that spanned over all aspect of information technology and best practices recommendations to the governments worldwide.
Welcoming the delegates, Rajeev Banduni, Director-Sales, Gartner, told that Gartner uses the terms e-Government and e-Governance interchangeably while acknowledging the fact that the term ‘e-Governance’ gained currency in India. “Gartner has been in India for the past 4 years working in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC). Gartner understands the challenges in e-Governance in India and is capable of suggesting ways to overcome them,” said Banduni.
Prasanta Kr. Das, Director, Government Vertical, said, “Gartner has plans to reach out to Central Government Ministries, State Governments, Public Sector Undertakings and Defence with research and advisory offerings from Gartner.”
The entire event was structured in four sessions — Government Service Scenario, Enterprise Architecture Futures, Government Performance Management, and Pragmatic Enterprise Architecture.
Richard Harris gave a talk on the Government Service Scenario explaining as to how IT systems help to do things differently in government. Harris said, “e-Government has not been able to reach out to the vision of the government. Single financial system for management, single procurement system, integrated data management system and integrated data management, will go a long way towards seamless way of providing e-Government solutions. e-Governance is an agile government, it is beyond technology and beyond web.”
Speaking on the Enterprise Architecture (EA) Futures, Deborah Weiss stressed on indispensability of a sound EA. According to Deborah, change is the driving force behind EA. “We have to better manage change in our organisations to deal with complex IT environment. We have to look at IT planning – business response, government response- to manage change. One of the greatest challenges to EA is the impregnable wall of technological apathy- the mindset of senior management that technology rarely matters in ‘big offices’.”
Deborah further explained: “Enterprises that are managed end-to-end have the greatest potential for optimizing value. Thus, the value network becomes the design-viewpoint of EA. We need to look at the inter-operability issues. It is here that e-Government comes handy as it cuts across the boundaries of organisations. The emphasis should be on the service-oriented architecture and real-time enterprise. EA is not a stand-alone discipline. It is driven by technology and by the needs of the customers and business. Pursuing independent EA and IT investment management process improvements will not result in an optimized portfolio.”
Regarding Government Performance Management, Harris discussed in detail how performance management drives IT use. He discussed about how government CIOs and IT organisations use of scorecards approach to respond to business-centric performance drives, how scorecards be tailored to different needs of the different stakeholder groups and what are the common pitfalls to avoid while using them.
An interesting question-answer session followed the talks by Richard Harris and Deborah Weiss. Overall, the questions centered on scorecards, empirical study on measurement and implementation of EA, study on what it takes to implement e-Governance in India, what is the basis of integration of governance and compliance. The participants appreciated the useful insights provided by both the speakers.