The Journey to Digital Government

Patrick Shields, CTO at Software AG, believes that digitization is the way forward for government. The concept of digital government is very similar to the “paperless office” concept but goes much further. As South Africa becomes increasingly digital, the governments’ relationships with businesses, citizens and other agencies must also evolve and transform.

South Africa’s “millennial” generation are “digital natives”. These are young adults who grew up in a high-tech world. They demand digital participation not only in private life, but also from the organizations that provide them with public services.

On the contrary, “digital citizens” represents the older generations, who grew up without digital technologies, but adopted them later in life. They also demand digital access to government services, not waiting in government agency queues.

To keep up with these new demands in public service; local, provincial and national governments must digitize. So how does a public sector organization digitize itself?

Let’s look at the basic building blocks of a digital government organization. The building blocks are actually business capabilities; and include application integration, business process management, complex event processing, dashboards and mobile.

The first building block is application integration. With integration, government organizations can leverage the investments that they’ve already made on application technology. Integration enables software from different vendors, in different technologies, to talk to one another and share data.

Sharing application data and business logic enables government agencies to reuse their existing software investment in new ways to solve departmental ICT challenges. Integration is also the foundation for the other business capabilities that enable government to become digital. In the next article of the series we’ll cover business process management. Stay tuned.

About Patrick Shields

Patrick Shields is the Chief Technology Officer serving the continent of Africa at Software AG. He focuses on solving business challenges and creating competitive advantage for his customers. Patrick has 31 years of experience managing the delivery of technology solutions, with 17 of those years managing the delivery of Software AG technology solutions. He relocated from Atlanta in the USA, to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2009 where he is helping grow Software AG's African business. As CTO, Patrick is responsible for Strategic Account Management, Thought Leadership, Market Evangelism, Localized Product Management, Sales Support and Sales Enablement.
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