Delivery in day(s): 4
ICT E-Service Case Study
E-service/ online service/ internet service can be defined as the use of ICT by the government for the delivery of public services at national level. It can be also defined as the efforts, performances or deeds by the governments that are mediated by the use of information and communication technology. Although the concept can be defined in different ways by different scholars and organizations, the theme that commonly lies with these definitions is the use of ICT so as to enhance the service delivery to the public. Those public services that are provided by the government to the public using electronic means can be defined as e-services. The following pages first outline the key factors that are required for the effective online delivery of government services. In this regards the survey of the opinion of people regarding this issues is considered as a background. The second answer puts together service delivery infrastructure proposal for an e-government service.
Online delivery of the services provided by the government is expected to help in reduction of operating cost through the provision of information in a manner that is time-saving and accurate. This also likely enhances the availability of public services by allowing access to be made anywhere and anytime, while at the same time improving the transparency of the government and increase interactions that occurs between the government and stakeholders so that the citizens can be encouraged to participate in the activities of the government. While recognizing these benefits offered by the e-services, a number of developing and developed countries across the globe have invested resources so as to develop and build applications in the online platform. In the same line of reasoning the Australian government wants to ensure that the government processes are less complicated and at the same time less stressful for the people. As such the government acting as public servants have an ethical obligation for delivering the best quality service in the least possible time.
Through a survey that was conducted with 1200 people and 300 business regarding the presence of the government services in the online platform, it was found that most people and businesses were open to making a move towards digital government services. However, it was found that there is lot of areas in which the government services that are currently provided on the online platform can improve. The Australian government found that it has a long road to travel for ensuring that excellent e-services or government services in the online platform are delivered and the confidence of the community service is also built at the same time on the ability of the government to deliver this experience to the people (Australian government, 2015). In this regards the government aims to harness those people who are already comfortable with the use of technology in progressing the agenda of digital transformation that can lead to increase in the satisfaction of users over a period of time. However, there is another group of people who are currently not making use of the e-services and are also wary of shifting towards such services. In this regards the message of the government is that it is not trying to digitize the government provided services (Australian government, 2015). Rather it is the aim of the government to make the process of dealing with the government better whether the people try to reach the government through phone, online or in person.
In regards to the survey results mentioned above, it is important to mention and remember that the adoption of ICT is not straight forward. There is a complex process of multiple stages that is involved in the growth of e-services and might contain a huge amount of challenges and risks (Zhang, Guo and Chen, 2011). In this respect, it is seen many a times that the usage or acceptance of new ICT system might increase at first point due to mandatory requirement or strong promotions, but fall at a later stage as changes are encountered. It has been claimed by several researchers in this regards that most of the e-government projects that are undertaken by the government in different countries are unsuccessful. It has been found in this regards that after examination of 40 reports of e-government cases, only 15% of them could be considered a success (Nguyen, 2014). In this regards the failures of the e-government cases is caused due to the existence of three types of gaps and these are hard-soft gap, country-context gap and public-private gap. Although there have been number of improvements in the development of infrastructure of ICT, it is seen that the emerging and developing economies are still lagging behind when it comes to leveraging the ICT capacity for the migration policy development in economic and social spheres (Nguyen, 2014). It is seen that the by the year 2014, all nations that are member of the United Nations have a website of their own. However, until the year 2014, most of the countries remain at low or intermediate levels when it comes to the development of e-services in their countries. Even in case of those countries where there is availability of advanced ICT infrastructure, it is seen that the countries have to deal with number of issues while moving towards higher levels of e-services. These factors include availability of regulatory environment, leadership commitment, privacy and security, commitment of the top leaders in this regards etc.
In order for the countries to be able to overcome the challenges and barriers that have been identified in fulfilling the mission of electronic services, it is required to address the factors affecting the growth of the online services not only from the technical aspects but from perspectives of environment and organization. The factors that are responsible for the effective delivery of services are identified as optimization of management, regulatory environment of the country and the leadership provided by the government. In this regards the researchers suggest that the availability of ICT infrastructure does not play a significant role in contributing to the delivery of e-services. It has also been pointed to by the researchers in this regards that the development of e-services is dependent on the support of the government and adoption of the services by the citizens of the country (Al-Shboul, Rababah, Ghnemat and Al-Saqqa, 2014). Other factors that have been identified by the researchers to contribute towards the success of the e-government services are usefulness of the service, influences on the cultural and social grounds, degree of awareness, issues related to technology and ease of using the service (AlAwadhi and Morris, 2009).
The study of the literature reveals that the key factors that influence the successful delivery of e-services by the government are cost of the service, convenience, usefulness of the service, influence of society and culture etc (Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni and Sandhu, 2010). However, the top three factors that play the key role in this regards are commitment of the government, trust of the people on government and security.
In order to deliver the service that is currently offered by the government of India to its citizen with respect to health services in the online platform, the following pages would develop a service delivery infrastructure proposal for the same. Suggestions would also be provided into the way in which three needs of the users can be integrated into the design of services.
In respect to the putting of health care services offered to the public by the government of India in online domain, an important factor that has to be kept in mind is that most of the new projects in e-service delivery that have taken place have been unsuccessful. Out of 40 projects of e-services, it can be seen only 15% of the projects have been successful.
In a study that was conducted by UN in this regards for understanding the progress made by different governments in e-services context, a 5 stage model was made so as to quantify the progress. The development of the e-government in a particular country is based on the content that is being delivered through the initiatives and the level of interaction that is allowed on these platforms between the public and the government. The steps of the progress are defined as
Stage 1: Emerging
In this stage the online presence of the government is established through a number of sites where the information provided is basic, limited and static (Alshehri and Drew, 2010).
Stage 2: Enhanced
There is an increase in the number of government sites and the information that is available on these sites is more dynamic in nature. It is also important to note that there is regular updating of information and content on these sites.
Stage 3: Interactive
In this stage of e-government, it is possible for the people to e-mail the officials of the government, interact with them through the website and also make requests and arrange appointments with the officials (Alshehri and Drew, 2010).
Stage 4: Transactional
In this stage of the e-government, it is possible for the users to actually pay for the services also conduct the financial transactions through the online platform.
Stage 5: Seamless
This stage marks the integration of the different government services across the boundaries of the administration. This stage marks the totality in integration of services and e-functions across the department and administrative boundaries.
For delivering on the customer promise, PWC suggests 5 different key enablers. The association of the key enablers is given in the following figure
In order to ensure that the e-services that is being delivered or developed is effective, it is very important at first understand the wants and needs of the customers. Understanding the wants and needs of customers is as well important for the government as it is for the private sector. However, the provision of service that is customer centric is not an easy task for the government. In this regards it is required by the government to overcome a number of challenges. In this regards it is required to deliver the e-services being developed on a large scale. The journey of the customer interfaces with a number of public sector agencies. In this regards, it is also important for the government to address the diverse needs and issues of the customers. In this regards the government must take into account the unique attributes and preferences of channels of the customers.
In case of public sector organization a common feature is steep hierarchies that exist in the IT organization. There are steep bureaucracies in the organizations and this hinders free flow of information which is required to ensure a seamless experience for the customers. In order to ensure efficiency in the e-government services, it is required that there is an alignment of the vision and outcomes that are customer centric across different departments of the government. There should be alignment in process flow so as to ensure that the customer has a seamless experience while dealing with the e-government.
In order to deliver, effective public level service it is required to have a multi level transformation and thus change the way in which these organizations act, view their roles and share the information between agencies. This would require empowering of the organization and ensure that there is capacity building in the organization.
There are three essential deliverables for a service that is delivered through the online media. These are quality of service, cost of service and segmentation of the customers. The service developed should provide these three deliverables to the customer.
Lastly it is required to continuously improve the service that is being provided to the customers. This can be done through going in for a feedback process wherein the customer feedback regarding the service is noted and appropriate actions are taken so as to improve the quality of service.
In order to integrate the needs of the users into the service design the following steps needs to be taken
Understanding wants and needs of the customers: As said before the most important factor in delivering a service that suits the needs of customers is to understand the wants and needs of the customers. This can be done through conducting a systematic review of the customers and the variations in customer demographics before developing the service.
Customer feedback: The customers should be allowed to provide the feedback regarding the service that they are experiencing from the government (Baig, Dua and Riefberg, 2014). The sore points in their review should be taken note of so as to further bring improvements in the service provided. This would ensure a continuous process of innovation and development for the service so as to bring in improvements where the same is required.
Operations review: In order to address the needs and wants of the customers in a way that improves on a regular basis, it is important to perform an operations review of the operations so as to understand the areas in which there are scopes for further improvement in the operations. The operation review takes place so as to update the service that is provided to the customer through the e-government initiative.
AlAwadhi, S. and Morris, A., 2009. Factors influencing the adoption of e-government services. Journal of Software, 4(6), pp.584-590.
Al-Ghaith, W., Sanzogni, L. and Sandhu, K., 2010. Factors influencing the adoption and usage of online services in Saudi Arabia. EJISDC: The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries, 40(1), pp.1-32.
Al-Shboul, M., Rababah, O., Ghnemat, R. and Al-Saqqa, S., 2014. Challenges and Factors Affecting the Implementation of E-Government in Jordan. Journal of Software Engineering and Applications, 7(13), pp.1111-1127.