Ushering efficiency and transparency through technology

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Parag Amalnerkar,
Director- Marketing, India &

Governments and public sector organizations around the world are working to reform their public administration organizations and deliver more efficient and cost effective services, as well as better information and knowledge to their stakeholders.

A vision has been put forth by the Modi government – to digitally connect every Indian. What does this mean? The initiative focuses on ‘JAM’ – ‘Jan Dhan’ bank accounts for all, Aadhar unique identity card and Mobile Governance.

While creating a digital identity for every citizen or providing a secure bank account, ‘instantaneousaccess’ might be the broader aim of the initiative. However, e-governance is a high priority on the Government of India’s agenda India, as it is considered to be the only means of taking IT to the “Common man”.The developments in e-governance will provide opportunities to harness the power of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to make the business of governance inexpensive, qualitatively responsive, and truly all encompassing.

It can also be deduced that the push towards ‘Digital India’ is aimed at the end users. While the digital transformation will not only cost less and reducetime lag, it also aims to promote transparency, eliminate corruption and generate possibilities to ensure that benefits reach the last man in the farthest corner of India.It also aims to create an avenue for its citizens to communicate with toppoliticalleaders and local ministers through such tools as web-based channels and complaint cells.

The emergence of e-governance has already significantly changed the nature of the relationship between citizens and public servants. The e-governance movement not only promises higher quality and better delivery of services and a greater realization of entitlements, it also claims to offer stronger bonds between public servants and citizens based on transparency and accountability.

In the case of India, it is mostly the favourable view of e-governance that is echoed in various print and electronic media, especially government websites. In line with the common optimist picture of e-governance, it is pointed out that in India, compared to the previous citizen–administration relations characterized by bureaucratic rigidity, long delays, unnecessary complexity and public suffering, this relationship under e-governance is now characterized by higher speed, greater access, less cost and less public aggravation.

While all the above paints a positive picture, nothing is can be truly achieved without a strong IT infrastructure. The ICT infrastructure that needs to be created should be scalable and interoperable at the outset. In the long run, the infrastructure should be able to drive faster transactions, simplify processes and regulations, while cutting down the time needed for all these. The digital infrastructure created should ensure secure access and have the ability to scale to handle volumes as adoption grows. Which brings us to our first question – what technology will enable this?

The vision of providing governance services on demand, creating e-lockers and digital identities can best be achieved through the optimal use of a cloud platform. Moving what will be Zettabytes of data to the cloud can ensure continuous access and facilitate seamless and successful e-governance. In addition, mobile networks across the country should be upgraded to become 3G capable.

With the growing use of the internet through mobile devices, this will be a significant stepping stone to success. Apart from creating and building a strong broadband network to connect the huge expanse of geography, the government will also have to enable people – mainly the panchayat members – across these villages to become ‘digitally literate’, aiding the success of this program at the grass root level.

In order to manage this staggering amounts of structured and unstructured data, the storage architecture used by the government needs to be tiered. Tiered storage architecture can help organize data basis sensitivity of information, importance and accessibility. While some data requires real-time access, other might require occasional access. An efficient storage system can help in ensuring non-disruptive access to data, which is very critical for government functions.

Government departments can gain consistent and efficient management, transport, and access to data distributed across a hybrid cloud environment, resulting in increased efficiency, improved IT responsiveness and accelerated innovation. Hybrid cloud also provides government entities the ability to control, integrate and consistently manage data regardless of its location. Adding to this, another important reason to have a data storage system in place is to have back up to critical data.

Putting together all the cogs in the right place for ‘Digital India’ will go a long way in reaping benefits to millions of India’s Digital citizens.

– Parag Amalnerkar, Director- Marketing, India & SAARC, NetApp

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