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      Is India's eGoverance vision right on track? Gartner doesn't think so

      Posted AtZDNetIndia.com

      The Indian government's vision towards eGovernance might be slowly becoming a reality, however, it lacks in several areas of its implementation strategy, according to Gartner. The research agency outlined some of these areas and offered suggestions for improvement at the Gartner 2005 summit held in Mumbai, recently.

      The government might have its hope hooked on eGovernance for a brighter and more productive India. But is it looking in the right direction? Gartner's analysts aren't quite convinced. "Though technology has significantly advanced, the government is still using technology the same way it was doing in the past," remarked Richard Harris, vice president, Gartner - Asia Pacific. "If technology is used in the same way as before instead of being more efficient it becomes very risky," he said.

      The senior analyst also added that despite the current state of affairs, it was encouraging for him to learn, after meetings with several senior government officials that they were at least willing to look at technology in a different way.

      "One of the most basic problems that currently exists in the current infrastructure is that since there are several departments, all of these departments were implementing technology in their own separate way. There are no standardized techniques being used," he said, while also suggesting that the government could assign a body or a person to monitor the implementation of technology across all the departments.

      He also pointed out that people were resistant to change. While implementation, there could be resistance from top officials, for fear of the impact that technology could have on them, their jobs and career, which needed to be addressed that it is not true.

      For better eGovernance implementation, Harris said that it was important for the government to identify the main 'pain-points' or real areas of needs, ensure that employed officials have the required expertise and skill sets and also be able to work with limited resources.

      The analyst also suggested that the government could take the help of private organizations, and work seamlessly, locating common problems and work for mutual benefit.

      "As far as emerging technologies are concerned, several of these technologies are focused at a specific niche areas, for example RFID - which would be valuable for supply-chain management, pharmaceuticals etc. Hence it would be wise not to invest in huge amounts in such technologies, but start of small and extend it further. It is more important for the government to gets the basic infrastructure in place first," he said.

      September 02, 2005


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