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Digitising the public sector

Zafirah Salim | Feb. 10, 2015
Mao Gen Foo, Vice President Asia, OpenText, shares the benefits of adopting a digital first approach and pointers of crafting a clear, digital strategy, as well as advice on how CIOs can help businesses and their public sector agencies to remain relevant in this increasingly digital world.

This migration is important in order to maximise the potential of digitisation. With the use of digital technologies, public services are able to increase greater transparency, monitor performance as well as mitigate risk and foster. When information is harnessed and protected, the value of this information will allow greater efficiency and value while at the same time presenting a greater platform for progression.

In Singapore, government organisations already allow more and more of their data sets to be accessed online by the general public. The ongoing challenge however is how to set up management information systems that offer citizens the transparency and security and provide governments with the ability to mandate their information online. What are your thoughts on this?

Singapore is geared towards becoming a digitised nation by 2015. This includes the migration of information onto the cloud, which will allow the government to be more connected with the public. However, the transition to providing large volumes of data online does present challenges, just like any other organisation moving from legacy systems onto the cloud.

To address the significant increase of data, it is imperative that governments deploy a data management platform that is reliable, secure and one that provides a "single source of truth", this is important as it provides transparency. EIM platforms do not only provide a structured method of consolidating data, it also provides the platform for numerous government agencies to share information through numerous repositories.

Governments are also exploring the potential of social media sites to aid in government information sharing and outreach. What are some factors that hinder increased participation and collaboration within the society?

Governments around the world must rethink and reinvent themselves from the perspective of their citizens as a direct result of the growing role which social media holds. The main hindrance in increased participation and collaboration within the society are issues such as protecting privacy, ongoing silo mentality, risk and trust.

There is an entire new generation used to social media interactions, and is setting a higher expectation for the integration of social media in their day-to-day life. As a result, government agencies must ensure that security implications are in place to meet the security needed as more public information are being stored in the cloud. Without assurance of compliance and security, increased participation and collaboration within societies will face difficulties.

Social media may enrich communication channels and give citizens opportunities to engage in multi-directional interactions in real time.  At the same time, it has also created new challenges of data security and privacy. How can the government go about in addressing these issues? 

Social media has profoundly impacted not only the way of storing and sharing information but also the fundamental nature of social interaction. The value of social media exponentially increases based on the amount of information contributed by citizens. In the future, public services must manage information effectively and transparently. As a result, information security will be increasingly pressing as information is now digitally fragmented.


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