With the advent of cloud computing and the age of reinventing productivity, Microsoft this week unveiled its commitment to digital transformation in the public sector at a workshop in Nairobi. This new generation of technology innovation seeks to deliver capabilities that promise new ways to expand access to economic opportunities, more streamlined services and better equipped customer centric systems in the public sector.
The initiative to inject digital transformation into the public sector addresses Microsoft’s mission to empower sectors like agriculture, health, justice, transport, public finance and shared services that will redefine the business landscape and shift the gears in the transformation of these verticals.
The Principal Secretary of the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Mr Sammy Itemere who officially opened the workshop on digital transformation said that the country is aiming to improve its competitiveness in the economic sector by adopting digital service delivery as well as incorporating the private sector in setting up IT infrastructure. He reiterated the importance of embracing cloud based solutions for better delivery of services and the critical role it would play in increasing Africa’s competitiveness on a global scale.
Microsoft Kenya country manager Kunle Awosika said that the firm is ready to provide solutions for challenges that touch on payment of taxes and bills, applying government services, registration of company names etc. he also expressed the pressing demand for more streamlined services in the continent and how the application of these new technologies would not only handle the continent’s burgeoning populations but also actively improve economic health and quality of life for citizens.
Here are a number of successful case studies from governments and public services throughout the world on the application of digital transformation in various public sectors:
Agriculture remains the main economic activity in Africa and with growing populations and food shortages; there’s an opportunity for Africa to make use of its uncultivated, arable land and become the world’s bread basket. There is, however, a persistent need for futuristic agriculture solutions that empower farmers with the capabilities to improve production outputs while minimizing cost and preserving resources.
Nour Shwaky, CEO of Agrar Smart Agricultural Solutions gave his smart solutions in this field which include comprehensive and integrated solutions are designed for agriculture commodity utilization, risk management, market analysis and forecasting.
This cloud solution has mobility capabilities to connect public authorities, field operations and farmers with the required tools to efficiently manage a securely productive national farming cycle.
Public transport in Africa is a nightmare and millions can attest to that. Hundreds of hours are wasted every week sitting in traffic which would have alternatively used elsewhere.
By adopting a single, cloud-based platform that can accept data in any format, for any mode of transport, WhereIsMyTransport provides an integrated approach to facilitating real-time communication and engagement between cities, transport operators and passengers. With all data in a single place, cities are able to leverage analytics and reports to optimize their systems.
Another successful digital transformation story is that of Botswana Postal Services (BotswanaPost). BotswanaPost upgraded its entire IT infrastructure with the help of Microsoft Services. In just 18 months, they deployed a private cloud infrastructure, upgraded core infrastructure software and deployed new communications solutions. This resulted in efficient, single-point access to broad expertise, improved employee productivity and a dramatic increase in revenue for BotswanaPost through new services.
Imagine what transformation would happen if such customer centric services were implemented in the country?
Through these examples and the already existing importance of technology and how it has transformed our society, it is no doubt that governments should harness the power of the cloud and digital disruption to ensure that Africa is not left behind.
Digital transformation represents the application of Microsoft’s ambitions – the opportunity for government organizations to think and operate like digital companies in the way they engage their citizens, empower their employees, optimize their operations and transform their products.