ICT Implementation Considerations for Public Service Delivery in the Digital Era

ICT Implementation Considerations for Public Service Delivery in the Digital Era

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9647-9.ch010

Abstract

The focus of this chapter is on various concepts that need to be carefully considered when defining an information systems strategic plan (ISSP) for enhancing public service delivery in the digital era. The first concept discussed is the critical success factors framework. This framework ensures that the ISSP strategic objectives are aligned with the corporate strategic objectives. The aim is to identify those critical success factors that ensure the successful implementation of the ISSP and to determine whether these factors are being achieved in the implementation process. Secondly, the chapter will consider the general implementation philosophy, including the IS application acquisition methods and the key IS features. This ensures the implementation of value for money IS applications. The third concept considered is related to the justification methods for undertaking IS applications. Finally, the chapter will discuss a number of ICT planning issues that may be applicable to the public sector.
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Introduction

Each customer contact is a moment of truth, a time when the relationship can be won or lost. Customers do business with organisations that consistently meet their expectations - that deliver explicitly on their promise. Effective systems ensure that nothing is left to chance and that customers get what they want and expect every time. Ron Carroll, Systems Thinker

The previous three chapters have continued to explore the logical framework for determining the ICT requirements of the organisation depicted at Chapter One, Figure 5.1. The focus throughout this text has been the application of technology to enhance Public Service delivery in the digital era. The fundamental philosophy in doing this is based upon three primary issues that have already been addressed in the three previous chapters, namely:

  • 1.

    Deciding the information that is required for the organisation to function effectively. This is purely a business issue that requires the input from the persons that are responsible for the operation and management of the particular organisational division.

  • 2.

    Deciding which IS application software are required to support the indentified informational needs. Although this phase may require some technical assistance, the focus should be the organisation’s operational functionality of the system. In other words, what business operational functions is the system to support. Therefore, once again, input from the persons that are responsible for the operation and management of the particular organisational division is required.

  • 3.

    Deciding the IT that is required to support the IS applications requirements (e.g. hardware, operating systems, and communications network management tools etc.). This phase requires extensive support from technical persons.

This fundamental philosophy is depicted by Figure 1, which illustrates how one issue is related to the other in a cascading manner. Therefore, having addressed the three fundamental organisational ICT requirements, this chapter will continue to address the contents of the logical framework at Figure 1 in Chapter 5 with the focus on a number of ICT implementation considerations, specifically, determining the critical success factors; determining the general implementation philosophy; justifying the proposed IS applications; and defining the ICT requirements implementation plan.

Figure 1.

Fundamental philosophy of enhancing public service delivery

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Background

When defining and implementing an ISSP a number of key ICT implementation issues have to be resolved. For instance, management must ensure that the ISSP strategic objectives support and are congruent with the corporate strategic objectives of the organisation. The affiliation of the ISSP strategic objectives with the corporate strategic objectives is indispensable. If this affiliation does not take place the outcome is the misuse of the organisation’s resources. Hence, it is important that an appropriate methodology is being applied that ensures that the ISSP strategic objectives are aligned with the corporate strategic objectives. The methodology applied in this chapter to ensure this strategic alignment is the Critical Success Factors (CSF) framework. In the context of aligning the corporate strategic objectives with those of the ISSP, the ultimate aim of the CSF framework is to identify those key factors that guarantee the successful execution of the ISSP, and to determine whether they are being achieved in the implementation process.

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