Tag: e-Governance


Mobility Adoption in Local and State Governments

Internet revolution has made governments around the world spend millions of dollars to initiate several e-governance initiatives. Now, mobility is again changing the way enterprises work. Private sector has been the frontrunner in adoption of mobility into their workplace environment and now Governments across the world are also fast moving towards imbibing this change. With mobile penetration being far more intense, when compared to the internet, it is imperative for smarter governments to adopt mobility in a big way and make E-Government initiatives more citizen-focused.

Mobility provides several opportunities to governments for improving the quality of services for its citizens/public. It enables citizens to get the desired service or information within seconds or minutes resulting in extremely fast turnaround times. Mobility has the potential to revolutionize the way local and state government agencies handle various processes such as issuance of permits, licenses registration certificates, etc.
Government budgets around the world are shrinking, and with the increased cost pressures they are forced to move towards a paperless work environment. Mobility is playing a key role in accomplishing this objective by redefining the process flows. Many of the local and state government operations involve tasks to be performed from multiple onsite and offsite locations. Field executives can collect citizen information from their door steps by capturing document images for address proofs, identity proofs etc. and attaching them to the application for a real time processing through the central system. It allows a seamless validation of documents and robust process monitoring right from the point of origination, thereby reducing the involvement of papers and resulting in faster rendering of citizen services. Post submission, citizens can also track their application status by just sending a sms to the concerned agency. The work inspections receipt, approval and tracking can be done using mobile apps. Moreover, with the use of geo-location capabilities the location of inspection visits can be easily verified.

Mobile technology has allowed agencies to provide information and extend their reach to people located in far off geographies, especially during disaster management and natural calamities, thus shortening the response time. It is making the field workforce more productive and better informed. The data collected by them is extremely accurate, with greatly improved customer services and enhanced operational efficiency. Agencies on the other hand can also cut down on paper use using mobile platform and thereby reduce the operational costs pertaining to printing, mailing, and filing of documents.

Leading Analysts like Gartner also view Mobility as one of the top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for Smart Government. (Source: Report for “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for Smart Government, 2013”). The advent of mobility will have significant impact on how businesses in both local and state government are designed and perform. The ultimate goal of this technology revolution will be to achieve higher levels of responsiveness, accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness in operations and services.

Name: Abhishek

Bio: Abhishek is responsible for conceptualization, design and marketing strategy for Government vertical . Additionally he is also responsible for analyst relationship for ECM & Case Management product suite.


Opportunities and Challenges for Cloud Adoption in India

Cloud computing in simple terms is a standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered through the Internet in a pay-per-use, self-service way.

In India all the sectors including Education, Healthcare, SME’s & Government will greatly benefit from Cloud adoption. At present there are roughly 300 million literate adults in India and the government’s goal is to increase literacy to more than 75% by the end of year 2020.

  • Education vertical cloud based services can be utilized for offering education through remote & virtual classrooms.
  • Health industry can utilize cloud to create national citizen health database. The cloud can also help to enable services like telemedicine so that healthcare services can be provided in remote areas of country where there are few resources.
  • Cloud can be used for collaborative working across geographically distributed offices.

Cloud infrastructure can be leveraged by Government agencies to quickly & effectively roll-out new services & schemes

Typical Characteristics of e-governance Applications make them suitable for Cloud are:

  • Large Distributed User Base
  • Well defined way of working across offices & locations
  • Software Deployment, Implementation & rollout to multiple offices are still massively time consuming and can be speeded up by Cloud based solutions
  • Opportunity for consolidating Best Practices
  • Sizing and Scaling can be done more cost-effectively and just-in-time
  • Provides a better way of managing security, infrastructure and resources

For making a comprehensive policy and strategy for “Indian Cloud”, ubiquitous approach should be adopted by building a composite platform with core components such as base infrastructure. The key software components can be ERP, ECM & BPM Platforms. The key non software components for setting up a cloud infrastructure are following:

  • Connectivity & Bandwidth- This involves connectivity between the application hosted on cloud infrastructure as well as the connectivity between the end customer and hosted applications. The connectivity is poor at remote location as well as the penetration of Internet is low.
  • Land & Real Estate- To set-up a large data centre you need multiple acres of land which is also a challenge as prices of properties in India is going up very fast.
  • Security – The security is also a concern area for cloud infrastructure.

So in order to reap the full benefits from Cloud adoption the Government needs to provide right infrastructure & policies in place so that challenges can be overcome.


KAIZEN way of Digitization: Automated Technologies for Scanning & Content Capture

Organizations are now more concerned about greater efficiency with low cost of operations, a great composition for win-win scenario. Every organization uses paper documents in some way to run their day to day business and is also putting its best efforts to reduce paper usage without affecting its business while trying to improve the efficiency at same time.  The best method to achieve the said goal is digitization and automation of the complete business process. Automation through BPM (Business Process Management) solution and digitization through DMS (Document Management System) solutions will improve the process time drastically and eliminate the use of paper documents respectively, a win-win situation.

Basic input for any automation or digitization process is to scan the documents (to eliminate the dependency on paper documents) and capturing of contents on paper documents (to run the process based on the contents mentioned on the paper documents), but the cost of operations and wrong selection of software/ hardware results in dropping the great idea of progress through automation in about 60%-70% of the cases.

In my earlier articles like “Document Quality Analyzer: Automated Quality Checking without Operators “, “DIGITIZATION OUTPUT: Operator, Not Scanner, Defines Production”, “SaaS (Software as a Service) – Software on Subscription Based Model”, “DIGITIZATION – King Without Crown of Business Universe”, “DIGITIZATION REDEFINED – Digital Camera as Book Scanner”, “Data Capture/Entry without Operators (ICR Technology)”, we have shown the methods to bring down digitization cost, but the cost of content capture is still a cause of concern. The simple reason for this is the lack of awareness about great technologies such as ICR (for automated capturing of hand written contents), OMR (automated capturing of bubbles, check marks etc) and OCR (automated capturing of machine printed contents).

Availability of ICR technology has helped to capture content from documents for many years, but the basic requirement of this technology is, documents in structured format (fixed position of text on the documents), whereas about 90% of the documents are semi structured or unstructured, but the advancement in ICR technology has now shown the way to cater even semi/unstructured documents, now even running handwriting can also to captured by the software and saved as digital content. ICR technology is now so flexible that even floating text (if the position of text varies in every document) can also be captured and saved as structured digital content.

Now the full cycle of digitization i.e. “Scanning” and “Content Capture” is completely automated and completed with minimal expenditure, while resulting in huge improvements in efficiency of business processes. A true example of the “KAIZEN” method.

Name: Hemant

Web Site: http://www.newgensoft.com

Bio: Hemant is Senior Manager - Processing Services with Newgen Software Technologies Limited


E-Governance and Office Automation Solutions using ECM and BPM

In an era in which businesses are competing globally, government organizations seek more agility and efficiency, while being able to drive down costs and strictly follow the established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). In addition, the omnipresent requirement of better responsiveness to citizens’ needs is spurring governments all over the world to seek IT-based solutions to effectively address such myriad issues. As a consequence there has been observed a growing trend among Government departments at all levels to go for automation of paper based processes for faster decision making and improved efficiency.

The Indian government’s National e-Governance plan comprising of 27 mission mode projects aims at creating a framework for, and promoting long-term growth of, e-Governance within the country. The plan seeks to create a citizen-centric and business-centric environment for governance. The objective of this plan is to use the latest technologies and tools to enhance internal efficiency in the administration and provide better services for citizens, specifically in the areas of eServices, e-Courts, e-District, Land records, e-Office, e-Municipalities, Police, Transport etc.

Enterprise Content Management and Business Process Management are key technologies which provide immense value to the e-governance projects. Office automation solutions like File Movement and Tracking, Correspondence Management, Grievance Management etc allow Governments to enhance citizen services by reducing cycle time of query handling, increase coordination with various departments, reduce errors and improve responsiveness to citizens.

Key benefits of using ECM and BPM based solution for Office Automation are:

  • Structured work environment
  • Efficient & transparent administration
  • Efficient monitoring & control through dashboards
  • Building knowledge base
  • Effective Change Management to support Government Process Re-engineering (GPR) initiatives
  • Improved intra and inter departmental communication and collaboration
  • Secure archival of content for long term
  • Quick Rollout of new Citizen Services

Achieving Effective Citizen Services through Workflow & Business Process Management

Achieving effective citizen services is the single most important objective of all e-Governance initiatives. Several major initiatives such as online registration, e-filing of returns, building approvals, waste management in municipalities, certificate issuance, etc. have been taken by governments to meet this objective.

These processes need to be monitored and controlled, rolled out quickly and changed for delivering new and better services to citizens.   Thus it becomes imperative to implement an effective Business Process Management system for delivering citizen centric services.

BPM addresses the challenges faced in delivering effective citizen services

  • Efficient Tracking and Monitoring of Citizen Service Requests

    To provide effective citizen services, it is imperative to ensure that service requests are responded to in the defined timelines. For achieving this, a system should be put in place for monitoring and tracking of requests.  Strong exception handling and escalation capability is also required. BPM brings increased visibility through dashboards and monitoring, resulting in faster response times to citizen requests, leading to better adoption of the system and project success.

    For e.g. If time frame of 10 days is defined for issuance of Identity Proof  then adherence  to the time line would require real time tracking & monitoring of requests. If any exception is found such as ‘Date of birth not filled’ or “Photograph not clear”, it can be routed for taking appropriate action. Such exceptions can be isolated and tracked to closure to ensure the services are delivered to citizens.

  • Flexible workflow for cross department functioning

    Delivering Citizen-centric services requires multiple approvals, workflow, processing etc. These workflows involve lots of human decision-making and are document & form-intensive. These workflows require flexibility and cross-department functioning. This requires forms to be made available online for citizens to avail the services. These forms need to have the provision of attaching documents and triggering a route for respective departments to process this request.

  • Effective Change Management to support Government Process Re-engineering (GPR) initiatives

    Implementation of these processes involves a lot of reengineering. The solution for any large e-governance initiative cannot be rigid and should be built for change. To effectively support reengineering of such government processes there is a strong need for having a business process management framework that gives control to the process owner for quick and effective change management. This also facilitates quick roll out of any new sub-processes.

  • Quick Rollout of new Citizen Services

    E-Governance services are accessed by citizens through online portals, kiosks etc. Once these services are available and being used by citizens, the need to add more and more services becomes meaningful. A strong BPM framework used at the back office to deliver these services can facilitate quick deployment and rollout of new services.

  • Leveraging existing investments – New Solution co-existence with Legacy Systems

    Over a period of time, government departments have put-in a lot of time and effort on automation of various individual functions. Many of these applications are fulfilling their objectives but running in silos. One of the critical success factors for the Mission Mode Projects would be the ability for the new solution to co-exist with and leverage the existing IT investments and legacy applications. The BPM platform provides a framework to integrate these services together and deliver the advantage to citizens quickly without the time consuming process of re-building all applications from scratch.

Using Business Process Management as platform for building such services will effectively meet the needs of government process reengineering, human centric workflows, monitoring dashboards, quick building and rollout of new services, change management etc.


Electronic document management – A key technology underpinning e-Governance

In an information-intensive society, efficient information management is especially critical for e-governance and implementation of better services for the citizens. Good governance demands reduced duplication of work, reduced communication costs, increased transparency in functioning of various departments, and faster government services. With a large portion of information management in the public sector comprising of document management, implementation of an efficient document management solution has become a strategic imperative for government organizations. Effective e-governance requires implementation of a robust document  management solution which can help governments streamline operations to deliver value through improved productivity, and empower Government Staff to respond rapidly and collaboratively to meet the needs of constituents.

 Key Drivers for DMS in e-governance

  • A very large number of stakeholders, and the need to maintain and make accessible the documents that form the evidence for every single transaction
  • Need to maintain transparent processes
  • Anytime, anywhere accessibility and availability of information, to enable delivery of Government services to a large base of people across different segments and geographical locations
  • Need to streamline operations to deliver value through cost-effectiveness and improved productivity
  • Facilitate user experience and ensure timely release of documents and information in response to citizen requests
  • Security of information resources and adherence to regulations and security policies

With advanced file approval, management, tracking and intelligent search capabilities, DMS allows government agencies to expand the reach of their services, improve and facilitate user experience and convenience and improve transparency while at the same time reduce costs. Also, the automation of manual and paper-based processes in government administration will generate electronic records which may later serve as evidence in policy-making, casework and service delivery areas.


Document Management System for e-Governance: Ensuring Strategic Control through Effective Archival

Putting in place an Enterprise Document Management System will ensure that government retains strategic control over the archival and management of critical documents by addressing the key requirements stated below.

  • Long Term Centralized Archival of Documents used in Citizen Centric Services: Citizen centric processes like Driving License issuance process, Property Registration processes, Issue of Trade License etc. involve intensive handling of citizen documents. Being a critical component of service processing, these documents need to be available electronically. More importantly, they should be accessible even after the service delivery, so they can even be used 5-10 years later, if the need arises. 
  • Ensuring document quality in digitization of historical documents: Digitization of historical documents is an integral part of many large archiving initiatives such as High Court & Lower courts case files, land records, criminal records / documentary evidence etc. These records need to be archived with proper attributes case type, title, petitioner, date etc. This facilitates quick retrieval of required documents in future. Special attention needs to be given to the accuracy of the attributes, as these documents will primarily be used for future reference purposes. Any errors identified at that time will be tough to rectify and can have disastrous consequences.     
  • Preventing the loss of valuable documents by enforcing Record Management Policies: Documents need to be archived based on a proper classification structure, well defined metadata and record management rules. This ensures compliance with governance guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs). It is essential to keep track of these documents to prevent any loss/misplacement during their physical movement for processing, digitization and transit to the Record Room.
  • Compliance with Open standards for long term archival: Open standards such as PDF/A should be used to ensure standardization and consistency. Long-term archival of documents should ensure that the documents can be retrieved and rendered with a consistent and predictable result in the future.
  • Secure & Scalable management of billions of documents: The Repository for storing documents should be capable of handling storage and retrieval of billions of documents in a high-performance environment. Short term solutions like local disk or storing in databases cannot act as a substitute as they are highly unsecure and not scalable. 

Using an Enterprise Document Management System for archival of Government documents provides the following benefits:

  • Long term archival of documents in a proper structure
  • Prevents loss of physical documents
  • Maintains the quality of scanned documents
  • Ensures strategic control over documents while providing highly secure and scalable infrastructure for managing documents.


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