Mobile Government Services: Challenges and Opportunities

Mobile Government Services: Challenges and Opportunities

Hassan Y. A. Abu Tair (Department of Computer Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) and Emad A. Abu-Shanab (Department of MIS, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/ijtd.2014010102

Abstract

The vast emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) lead governments to adopt the use of ICT to deliver services to their citizens, businesses, and government constituents. These services can be delivered via the Internet using web technology (e-government) in an interactive way like any other e-service. But with the advent and wide use of mobile technologies, governments transformed their mechanism in delivering service to utilize more the capabilities of mobile phones through the better employment of mobile government (m-government). M-government utilizes mobile technologies to better deliver services to citizens, but this enforces some challenges to both governments and the recipients of services. In this paper the authors addressed the challenges and opportunities of m-governments in terms of mobile services (m-services).
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1. Introduction

The evolution of ICT has influenced the way citizens interact with their government under the umbrella of e-government; furthermore e-government affects the processes of public sector, how a business conducts its operations, and even affects the culture and values by utilizing the potential capabilities of ICT (Mukherjee & Biswas, 2005). E-government benefits from using latest developments in mobile technologies such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile and smart phones, and laptops to facilitate communications with their citizens via wireless networks. Such strategy transforms governments from e-government to m-government. M-government is not a separate part of e-government; it is a value added channel of e-government that utilizes mobile technologies (Mengistu & Rho, 2009) to reach citizens, firms, or governmental agencies in different circumstances with regard to time and place. M-government usability and infrastructure low cost are two reasons that allow governments to adopt mobile technology to offer better service delivery (Fasanghari & Samimi, 2009). Thereby, m-government became inevitable to many governments all over the world (Kushchu & Kuscu 2003). Public sector can utilize m-government in different domains similar to e-government types of channels and as described in the work of Al-Thunibat, Zin and Ashaari (2010):

  • M-Communications: Enhancing communication between citizens and their government in both directions Citizen to Government (C2G) and Government to Citizen (G2C).

  • M-Services: Includes mobile transactions, mobile payments, and many other mobile services as mentioned in Table 1.

  • M-Democracy: Citizens participate in the political decision making process by voting using their mobile devices to vote through an m-government application (Haddad & Abu-Shanab, 2009).

  • M-Administration: Administrative operations to improve the internal public sector.

Governments use the m-government approach for better service delivery (Abdelghaffar & Magdy, 2012). In developing countries, the potential for adopting m-government remains largely unexploited (Mengistu & Rho, 2009). But in Europe, e-government is a main part in the eEurope action plan (Germanakos, Samaras & Christodoulou, 2005).

The rest of this paper is organized as follows: In section 2 we explore the m-government in terms of m-government implementations, need, and benefits. In section 3 we introduce the m-services in terms of type of m-services, user service requirements, and list of the most widely used m-services over the world. In section 4 we investigate the main opportunities and challenges of m-governments. Finally, conclusions and future work are depicted in Section 5.

2. Mobile Government

The most important characteristic of m-government applications is the ability of accessing information while on the move (Kushchu & Kuscu 2005). Thus mobility provides the ease of communication among parties in different conditions and in different places even in rural areas. Also, mobility bridges urgency through convenience and the 24/7 service, and location convenience (Sheng & Trimi, 2008; Wang, 2008) to public sector constituents in many ways especially in disaster and emergency conditions. The most important technology feature in this communication channel is mobility. It was deployed in many aspects of business and society applications including mobile information systems, mobile commerce, mobile payments, mobile television and mobile government (El-Kiki & Lawrence, 2007). So m-government is a complementary component and a new direction of e-government and can be defined as a new strategy, where its implementation leverages the delivery of services to citizens, businesses and all government agencies (Kushchu & Kuscu 2005; Al-Thunibat, Zin & Ashaari, 2010). Some researchers considered m-government as a sub-dimension of e-government application (Georgescu, 2010; Jahanshahi et al., 2011). Others did not, but argue that it is not a prerequisite of it (Goyal & Purohit, 2012).

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