IT Knowledge Can Boost Govt. Sector ?
It has been observed in the past that Information Technology (IT) companies with influence in the government usually win government deals, and most IT projects in the government sector do not usually work up to the mark.
Because of this practice, there is no room for startups to compete. Empirical data also suggests that almost every major IT Projects in the government sector is delayed.
The bigger question then is why IT projects in the government sector are delayed or are not functionally compliant with the specification?
There are two parts of any IT projects- the functional and technical side.
Private sector projects are successful because they have a sense of their business process as well as have a plan for change management. But the governments sector is not able to perform up to the mark in want of IT improvisation.
Functional side includes business processes which we have to implement. Let me cite one example to corroborate my statement. Public Service Units (PSUs) providing electricity to its consumer wants to implement IT system. For it, the stakeholders must be capable enough to write down business processes so that their technical team is able to understand the system during its implementation. Now, it is here where the problem begins: The government sector people fail to write down their functional specification due to lack of domain expertise.
To a large extent, the technical side depends on the functional side. So if domain expert fails to provide an exact specification at the time of the project study, the project is bound to fail or get delayed.
These are two biggest hurdles for any e-governance project. Now let us analyze why startups fail to win government projects.
Problem: Turnover. You need a turnover in crores in-order to bid for any government project.
Solution: Scrap this rule as soon as possible. Introduce new policies on how to award projects to startups or big IT firms. It must not be dependent on turnover but on the capacity to execute the project. Look at IRCTC / Railways IT system — best IT firms in the world are providing IT services to it but still it is not functioning as per the expectations.
Problem: Zero domain expert within the government system.
Solution: Create your own IT Company with only one goal — to create domain expert within the government system. India is producing engineering graduates in masses. Hire them, setup a domain academy to create domain expert. Divide government domain academy in various horizontal as well as verticals in order to train and provide services to government stakeholders.
Let me cite one example for the same. Let us divide domain academy in following parts.
- e-procurement system in government sector.
- Interaction between: Government and citizens, Central and State Governments, and between Central government and foreign nations.
These are few examples based on which we can expand make the system more robust. We can hire engineering graduates in large numbers. Train and deploy tem in various government sectors to work on functional specifications, and this if implemented can help reduce the gap between functional and technical process.
Problem: Small size government projects like web portals, government web portals are not at all user friendly.
Solution: New policies should be made so that small size projects can be awarded to startups.
A shrinking talent pool in our country is largely affecting the IT sector. The number of employable graduates in the business sector is as low as 10% to 15% while that of qualified and employable engineers is 26% only. There is a need to revamp the old ways and build skill based professionals. It is these people who will help achieve the goal “United India, Developed India, Corruption Free India”.