Measuring the Benefit of Interoperability: A Business Process Modelling Approach

Measuring the Benefit of Interoperability: A Business Process Modelling Approach

Eleni Zampou (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece), Stelios Eliakis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece) and Katerina Pramatari (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-887-6.ch017
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Abstract

Governments started e-government strategies to renew the public sector and eliminate existing bureaucracy and therefore reduce costs. Interoperability appears as the mean for accomplishing the interlinking of information systems, applications and ways of working not only within governments but also in their interaction with the administration, enterprises and public sector. The main source of administration costs is the traditional use of paper as the linkage element between public agencies. Integrated electronic processes between public agencies can be the solution to reduce these costs and create a more efficient public sector. This paper proposes an approach for measuring the benefit of incorporating interoperability in e-government. This approach is based on the identification and analysis of certain processes (business process modelling) and on the activity based costing method. In particular, this approach concerns the measuring of benefit of applying interoperability in e-government services.
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Introduction

E-Government (EG) aims at the modernization of Public Administration with the adoption of peak technologies and the development of digital connection among governmental information systems in order to achieve saving of resources and the qualitative upgrade of public services (IDABC, 2005). Another goal of EG is to enable the seamless information flow between organizations (IDA, 2003). That is the reason why the interoperability among Public Administration (PA) agencies has been identified as a major issue to be addressed by every e-government initiative (Guijarro, 2008) and as a critical prerequisite for the effective functioning of contemporary Public Administration systems (IDABC, 2005; Gottschalk, 2009; Pardo & Tayi, 2007; Wang, et al., 2007). Currently, there are several research efforts that try to address interoperability/integration issues in e-government (Guijarro, 2004; Klischewski, 2004; Peristeras, et al., 2007; Peristeras, et al., 2008; Ralyté, et al., 2008). Last years, different interoperability frameworks have been developed that aim at providing the basic standards to PA agencies in order to provide services to citizens and businesses in an integrated way (Cabinet Office, 2005; Guijarro, 2007; Information Society, 2008; Tambouris & Tarabanis, 2005).

Governments started e-government strategies to renew the public sector and eliminate existing bureaucracy and therefore reduce costs (Riedl, 2003; Tambouris, et al., 2001). Interoperability appears as the mean for accomplishing the interlinking of information, systems, applications and ways of working not only within governments but also in their interaction with the administration, enterprises and public sector (Laskaridis, et al., 2007). As public budgets are shrinking all over the world and society is increasingly calling for more accountable public administration, governments try to reduce administration costs. The main source of these costs is the traditional use of paper as the linkage element between public agencies. Integrated electronic processes between public agencies can be the solution to reduce these costs and create a more efficient public sector (Joia, 2004).

This chapter proposes an approach for measuring the benefit of incorporating interoperability in e-government. This approach is based on the identification and analysis of certain processes (business process modelling) and on the activity based costing method (Brimson, 1991; Ellis-Newman, 2003). In particular, this approach concerns the measuring of benefit of applying interoperability in services that public agencies provide through public offices called Centres of Service of Citizens (KEP). KEP has the role of an intermediary enabling communication among citizens and various public authorities. The citizen makes a request for a service to KEP and then KEP exchange information with relative public authorities in order to complete the transaction. However, at the submission of a request, citizens have to submit all the prerequisites documents so as the service that was requested to be fulfilled. In this point, the need of applying interoperability and of establishing communication among public authorities is emerged. The collection of prerequisites with the use of transparent processes would involve important savings for the public authorities and it would have as direct result the citizens’ satisfaction.

The chapter is organized as follows. Section II presents a literature review of the field of EG and interoperability. Section ΙΙΙ presents analytically the methodology for measuring the benefit of incorporating interoperability in e-government. Finally, section V summarizes the outcomes of the research, the basic conclusions and gives directions for future research.

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