E-governance – benefits and challenges
E-governance is rapidly finding favor with governments across the world and the US government is in the forefront of e-governance initiatives. By using the internet and other modern communication technology, governments can hope to reach out to the populace in larger numbers.
The internet is a powerful medium for customer relationship management and it enables governments to extend service more effectively to the people. E-governance models are built around objectives that include better use of information, quicker dissemination of information, transparency in government-people transactions, and creating services that cover as broad a spectrum of society as possible.
E-governance also allows governments to participate in business transactions in a more profitable manner. For the government, the benefits of CRM include better service to the citizens, reduced transaction costs, reduction in paperwork and paper records as well as better utilization of space that would otherwise be used for storing documents.
Communication between the various government departments improves, information sharing is much better which aids governance, business transactions, and stimulates the growth of a new economy. The overall reduction in transaction costs can be up to 45%. Companies that deal with government organizations too stand to benefit by the implementation of e-governance measures. They can customize their bids and their offerings to government requirements more quickly.
They have constant access to relevant government information and the stimulus provided by increased business opportunities can lead to all-round infrastructural development. The taxpaying citizens, who are in a way customers of the government, benefit from 24 x 7 access to information via 3G, call centers, the internet, etc. The response time of the government improves and an aware citizen can make better use of government services.
Also, a citizen can avail multiple government services from a single point. With respect to managing its relationship with the citizen/customer, the government has to strategize in terms of the various delivery channels that it can use for E-governance. These channels include internet, digital TV, handheld PCs, and mobile phones. As with every new enterprise, initiating and sustaining E-governance ventures has its own set of challenges.
Government organizations need administrative support and a go ahead from state and federal departments; in order to obtain this they need to first convince the bureaucracy of the benefits of E-governance. Legacy systems need to be incorporated into the E-governance infrastructure. Information needs to be dispensed almost in real time to the government, business partners, and citizens.
A government department’s work processes will have to be altered to accommodate CRM and E-governance; this will require educating employees in facets such as human resources, customer management, information technology, risk management, etc. A government with an online presence is in a position to tap emerging markets for its requirements, have its finger on the pulse of the populace, and address citizen needs according to demographics.
E-governance requires support from the private sector which can share its experience and know how with the government. Some US govt E-governance links here, http://188.8.131.52/unclesam?q=cache:nQc1M0oAdygJ:www.cio.gov/fpkipa/documents/EGovCA-CP.pdf+e+governance&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3here>here, and here.