Government as a Service in Communities

Government as a Service in Communities

Vasileios Yfantis (Ionian University, Greece), Konstantina Vassilopoulou (Harokopio University, Greece) and Adamantia Pateli (Ionian University, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch318
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Introduction

The autonomous communities enjoy a degree of autonomy by being self funded and operating according to their local rules. At the political level, the autonomous communities still operate in countries such as Spain (Suksi, 2011). The most popular administrative and historical form of the autonomous community is the city state. City states (Held, 1992) are autonomous administrative entities that act as independent countries without being part of a larger country. A city state usually consists of a large city and a surrounding area of small villages that belong to the city state. The city states were glorified especially in the ancient Greece between 550 and 750 B.C. (Rhodes, 2007) when Athens and Sparta became the most powerful city states of Greece (Beck, 2013). Nowadays, there are several modern city states such as Monaco, Singapore, Vatican and Honk Kong (Parker, 2004).

The city states are usually governed by independent governments that have their own army and a unique way of delivering governance to the citizens. The interaction between the citizens and the government depends on the degree of political freedom that exists in the communities. The political freedom is measured by the political rights and the civil liberties (Manion, 2004). Civil liberties and law and order are the influential factors for the development of the e-government systems (Moon, 2005). In this case, the scope of the current work is the exploration of the community’s e-government system. The application of the electronic governance in the autonomous community, regardless of its size and structure derives from the fact that Government is an electronic service.

Government as a Service is a terminology that describes a governance model where cloud computing (Ostermann, 2002) is a serious element in the operation of the public sector. Modern society promotes the service oriented concepts as the fundamental principles for the future of the global economy. One very promising concept being implemented is the Software as a Service (SaaS). While SaaS is enjoying big success, the Service on Demand (Mathieson, 2010) business approach applies to several sectors as well. The platform that is being used for its implementation is cloud computing. Cloud computing as a shared-service computing approach allows the users to outsource the required application, platform and infrastructure to an external source provider.

The world of the political science recently welcomed Government as a Service. This is a concept that mainly targets the internal public of the public sector, the public servants. The servants gain access to several public documents without using any resources of a personal computer, everything is on the cloud. The main idea is that the access to the public documents is done by using any device from any place and any time. The cloud provides the staff with the sufficient resources such as computer memory, special software so as to access and work on the database that stores the public documents.

Despite the fact that Government as a Service is an innovative way to approach governance in the modern times, people are really conservative in the way they treat GaaS. Most people tend to focus only on the access and storage of public documents via cloud computing. On the contrary, governance in the virtual servers of cloud computing is a type of software and an analysis of SaaS principles will reveal new ways that GaaS could be applied.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web 2.0: The inclusion of social elements on the World Wide Web.

Cloud Computing: A platform for delivering computing services in which the resources are delivered from the Internet.

E-Government: The electronic transactions among the government and the citizens.

Software as a Service: A service platform in which both software and data are located on the cloud.

Online Community: A community that operates through public networks such as the Internet.

Community Cloud: Cloud computing, which is delivered by the members of a community.

Semantic Web: A conversion of the World Wide Web that stores information in webpages which is readable from other computers and will be used for the understanding of the webpage's content.

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