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The 20th GCC eGovernment and eServices Conference continues on its 2nd Day

With a strong emphasis on the smart cities’ framework and citizens’ knowledge capability development, the 20th GCC eGovernment and eServices Conference progressed towards its second day. Day 2 incorporated global case studies from Singapore, Azerbaijan, and Estonia.

Dr. Ahmed Tahlak, President of LEVENBRET opened the conference and welcomed all the participants to the second day of the 20th GCC eGovernment and eServices Conference.

The day began with the presentation of Dr. Saeed K. Al Dhaheri, Advisor- Minister of Foreign Affairs in Information Systems, UAE on Cities Strategic Framework for Transition to Smart Cities and Government. His presentation revolved around reinventing cities through citizen innovation, community involvement and co-creation efforts that can deliver promising results to improve the standard of living for citizens. He also explored how the combination of passion, talent and technology can pave the way for civic innovation and how countries and large communities around the world are consolidating their data and combining and integrating their government systems and applications under one platform to deliver an excellent one stop shopping eServices to their citizens and business.

He also discussed the evolution of smart government, its concept and definition, smart government maturity model, enabling technologies and efforts in the GCC region to embrace smart government. He elaborated on the World Bank definition of the smartGovernment and the focus on mobile as an integral part of the smart government. He stressed on the fact that customer experience is the prime most concern for any smart government that functions on 3 levels; Functional, Accessible, Emotional.

He compared smart city and smart government on multiple domains based on the geographical and vertical focus and technology coverage. He explained in brief the various stages of transition from eGovernment to smartGovernment that involves information availability and purposeful action.

He concluded his presentation by presenting a comparative analysis of m-Government across GCC, its functions and operations based on regional requirements and portals.

The Q and A session that followed discussed the overuse of the term ‘smart’ that has increasingly become meaningless; smart technologies leading to over consumption of resources; resolving over consumption by increased awareness; notion of cooperating and not competing;

It was followed by a Singaporean case study on ‘Singapore’s smart city imperatives’ and The Road to a Smart Nation: Scenarios for Capability Development presented by Mr. Chan Meng Khoong, Chief, IT Strategy & Management Practice / Evangelist, e-Government Leadership, National University of Singapore. His case study emphasized on the smart city success criteria and imperatives and the 2020 global megatrends that are reshaping the societies and economies around the world.

He elaborated on the definition of smart city based on various country perspectives that stresses on its hyper connection, information, efficiency, sustainability, and life satisfaction parameters. He discussed the six megatrends, which he coined as ‘MOSAIC’ that stands for Mobile computing, Open innovation, Social media, Big data analytics, Internet of things and Cloud computing. These trends are bringing disruptive innovations in the working pattern of smart government.

He discussed the pilot innovation trial scheduled for 2014-15 and the critical imperatives for developing a smart city. He stressed on the fact that CIOs must be ready for the ‘MOSAIC’ world with leadership alignment and collaboration.

He presented a brief history of Singapore’s eGovernment journey and concluded his presentation by emphasizing on Singapore’s IT leadership development pattern that requires augmentation with the advancement of technologies and resources.

Mr. Adil Kassabi, CEO of TADAFUR Consulting Services spoke on ‘Investing in GCC Citizens Knowledge Capabilities Development’ that dealt with the necessity of knowledge based nations in the age of smart city and government. He elaborated on change management success stories. He stressed on the changes in society that pushed public administration to change the way it works that was deeply influenced by industrialization, bureaucracy, new public management, information age and smart society.

He discussed Birmingham state council’s transformation goals that included step-change in service quality and improved process efficiency. He explained in detail the means and methods that the council used in order to realize the objectives and goals of this transition to smart government with fully integrated solutions for the business area and world-class ICT implementation.

He then proceeded towards the eTransformation in Oman that embellishes 84 ministries and agencies with around 120,000 government staff. He discussed how the ministry has smartly formed a transformative team in each ministry that handles Business analyses, eService innovation, eContent Management etc…… he discussed the key divisions and missions of the transformative infrastructure and the need for emotional intelligence in acquiring knowledge and developing skills.

He concluded his presentation by stressing on the service transformation journey and presented a very unique ‘map’ that showcased islands and areas named upon change management that acted as motivators. He also showcased an interesting video clip that showed how to use emotional intelligence for eTransformation.  

The coffee break and networking session was followed by a global best practices session on ICT Changes' Impact on cities Transition- presented by Mr. Zaur Hasanov, Director, Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway” (TASIM) Secretariat, Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, Republic of Azerbaijan.

He emphasized on the global localization of digital content based on Azerbaijan demographics and data center research. The first half of his presentation highly dwelt on stats and figures of Azerbaijan IT traffic drivers and international internet bandwidth.

He further elaborated TASIM’s mission to improve regional and global relations, improve disaster resiliency, and bridging digital divide. He also stressed on the various strides of Azerbaijan in underlining their ICT ventures.

He concluded his presentation by highlighting the EURACA structure of strategy council and secretariat implementation.  

It was followed by yet another presentation on global best practices in smart cities, governments and knowledge based nations by Mr. Siim Sikkut, ICT Policy Adviser, Government Office of Estonia.

He elaborated on innovative governments and their strategies in building a digital society. He introduced the Estonian government and briefed about their old legacy systems that have been hindered and the new systems that are completely digitalized ranging from digital signatures to online tax files. He summarized the digital life of e-Estonia with a handful of interesting slides and examples

He further spoke on digital skills foundations in Estonia, the eCabinet paperless government, national eID and data exchange layer. He showcased a real life example of the eServices of Estonia through his device that gave out a detailed profile of Mr. Sikkut with all his personal, legal, and medical details.

He concluded his presentation with the eResidents initiative that will soon be introduced to citizens out of Estonia to become e-Estonians.

Q and A sessions discussed the existence of no-legacy policy; post independent Estonia, the great digital divide; information security level of Estonia;

The day concluded with the presentation of Dr. Hend Suliman Al-Khalifa, Information Technology Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia on Smart Cities and Government Portals Contents Development Strategies- Case Study : Usability Evaluation of Saudi E-Government Services.

She discussed the Saudi government portals web traffic management systems and emphasized on strategies that can leverage the revenue profits of the websites. She also discussed the Heat maps and scan maps strategy that identifies the most focused zones by eye scanning that can identify the most looked and overlooked parts of the website.

The conference is sponsored by: Future Group, Brother International, Dubai Courts, DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority), Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Naseej, Tawasol, General Information Authority of Libya, Umm Al Suqueim Model School  Majid bin Mohammad Learning Center, University of Hail, Sejel, Saudi Post, Ministry of Hajj, Arab Planning Institute, Sure, Qatar Airways Holidays, Emirates Auction, Digital Flow, ]init[, Middle East Aura Portal, Almarai, Carlsbad Mineral Water, Al Riyadh Newspaper, Capital Business, Al Shabiba, Al Ain TV and Al Anba.

For more information on the event, please contact;

Datamatix Group
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