Five Ways Technology Could Fire up the Public Sector

Mobile technologies are poised to provide solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the South African public sector

South Africa has embarked on a long-term mission to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. In order to achieve the goals set by the National Development Policy, government services must evolve to meet the many needs of the South African populace.

Despite the numerous challenges hampering the public sector, there is a way forward. Embracing end-to-end cloud and mobile computing solutions, such as those offered by SAP, can effectively address the biggest issues facing public services today. Here are five ways in which implementing an integrated network infrastructure can radically transform public service for the better.

Transparency

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the public sector today is that of corruption. The 2013 Corruption Perception Index placed South Africa 72nd out of 177 countries, rating it only 43 on the transparency scale. The right technology allows for far greater compliance than can be currently achieved.

An integrated software infrastructure is an extremely effective way of weeding out corruption as it enables a more visible supply chain and increases accountability. Data and memory analysis tools can scan for red flags in spending or governance, identifying fraudulent behaviour and allowing for rapid reactions. There are simply fewer places for graft to hide thanks to the openness and speed of information.

Innovation

Collaboration is an important part of a healthy public service, whether between agencies, the private sector or the public itself. Cloud software empowers a social, multi-level approach to new ideas as it can manage everything from employee contributions to suggestions from citizens. The importance of collaborative networks in empowering innovation cannot be understated.

Integrated infrastructure gives management the speed, connections and energy it needs to implement these new ideas, while the real-time capabilities of the cloud allow for easy response should the execution not go as planned.

Service

Social welfare is at the heart of South Africa’s public sector objectives, yet increasingly common service delivery protests speak to a perception that these goals are not being met. Cloud and mobile technologies empower both customers to let management know what their needs are and public servants to be able to respond and address these needs with efficiency and grace.

In today’s connected world, the public values openness regarding the issues that affect them. With integrated solutions, an informed relationship between client and agency can be established.

Delivery

The other half of addressing the concerns of protestors is of course to deliver services in a timely and efficient manner. Integrated IT platforms allows for the streamlining of operations so that delivery runs smoothly.

By allowing organisations to access large amounts of relevant data easily and securely, any delay or breakdown of the supply chain can be identified and handled incredibly swiftly. Managers will always have the means of knowing exactly what is happening, where, and why.

Asset Management

Integrated networks offer unprecedented insight into the day-to-day operations of any organisation. Similarly, there is increased transparency on the macro level. Mismanagement of assets can greatly inhibit the ability of an agency to function, particularly when they are limited.

Solutions such as revenue management software can track assets so that they are used for their intended purpose, optimising performance while reducing inefficiency. This in turn reduces operational costs and maximises sustainability.

Laying out the ways in which new technologies could address current public sector challenges makes their potential benefits all the more groundbreaking. The impact of integrated computer solutions on public services could be the game-changer South Africa needs to achieve its NDP objectives.

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