Thursday, 5 February 2015


At present, government bodies as well as utilities are looking forward to the adoption of new technologies to achieve business goals more readily and cost effectively. They are focusing on strong broadband networks for supporting advanced applications and communication.  The announcement of the Digital India Initiative by the government reaffirms the government’s commitment to creating an enabling platform for the delivery of education, health care, entertainment and e-commerce services to citizens. Apart from connecting rural India through broadband services, the initiative will work towards building a digital governance framework to equip local governments to ensure improved administrative ability, as well as lend transparency to administrative work.

Information and Communication Technology has played a crucial role in speeding up the flow of information from the government to citizens, transforming the way the two parties interact and communicate. Government bodies have shifted or are in the process of shifting from a traditional paper-based system to a fully automated set-up, with the aim of enhancing transparency and accountability. Telecom tools are being increasingly used in the governance process, not only to perform key functions, but also to provide information in a structured manner. The most important aspect in this regard is e-governance, an IT-enabled route to achieve good governance, as it integrates people, processes, information and technology to enhance the delivery of basic services. For utilities, IT brings resource efficiency gains by managing information flows and analyzing data. Thus, utilities involved in the water, power, piped gas, liquefied natural gas and waste disposal segments are banking on telecom for the effective delivery of services.

The telecom networks for the government and utility agencies are generally based on IP-wide area network (WAN) connections. Their triple-play service ability makes them a suitable choice for government agencies and utilities, as they provide access to voice, data and broadband on a single platform. They facilitate information flow, support the use of spatial and geospatial technologies, and facilitate the use of remote sensing satellite images for inventory and mapping of resources. They also support technologies such as geographic informationsystems (GIS). Of late, government organisations have also started deploying ISDN, IP-VPN, Ethernet WAN and multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) services, aside from IP-WAN.

Further, many web-based applications, along with audio- and videoconferencing, are now being used by organisations. Various utilities depend on technologies like optic fibre cable and radio frequency in order to connect with their end-users. With the enhanced operation complexity of the utilities, the use of IT- and software-based applications has also increased. The most commonly used applications in public sector organisations include enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). 

Organization and government bodies are planning to expand or upgrade their IT infrastructure by investing in hardware and software applications. Many organisations have recently expanded their fleet of desktops and laptops, and many others plan to add to them in the near future. With most government organisations being based on the NIC, their decision to adopt IT is not independent. However, this has its upside, since their dependence on the NIC ensures continuous support from IT experts.

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