IT firms discuss eGovt concepts

DUBAI — Senior executives from the region's leading IT companies recently delved into the concept of eGovernment, how it is transforming services for citizens and businesses, and leading to greater adoption of technology by the region's populations.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 24 Jul 2005, 10:25 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:43 PM

At a recent vendor roundtable, companies including Sun Microsystems discussed in depth how Middle East authorities are implementing technology to deliver services through the Internet for improving the overall efficiency and functioning of the public sector.

"Many of the governments in the Middle East have been considering eGovernment initiatives, and they are looking toward the IT industry for the tools to enable a consistent approach to on-line service for both businesses and residents," said Samir Mirdad, regional business development manager-public sector, Sun Microsystems Middle East and North Africa.

Regionally, a number of governmental bodies have rolled out the initial stages of their eGovernment initiatives, including ministries in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. While Middle East authorities have made impressive headway in a number of areas, particularly for providing government-to-citizen services, senior executives at Sun claim that there is still much progress to be made in developing an eGovernment strategy that encompasses intra- and intergovernmental (government-to-government) and government-to-business initiatives.

"In many respects, the Middle East has set the standard for delivering services to the general public, but eGovernment is much more than this. It is about placing technology at the heart of how you regulate business and conduct affairs with other national bodies. The hurdles are considerable — the investment needed in both technology and training - but the benefits are more significant than most governments realise," he said.

"We recognise that every country has to set its own pace of development, depending on the levels of IT spending and adoption of technology.

"But the transformation of government into an instrument that serves both its citizens and businesses must be a region wide effort. More investment has to be made in technologies such as high-speed broadband links, for the Middle East to realise its potential of being an knowledge-based economy — eGovernment is a central platform for this goal," he added.

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