LG CNS, as one of the top IT companies in Korea, is doing its best to make the world a smarter place. Their efforts have resulted in various services around the globe, such as smart schools in Saudi Arabia, a travel card system in Colombia, a solar power plant in Bulgaria, and finally, electronic passport and registration data systems in Korea. This technology and these services help the people have more convenient lives and complete an ‘electronic government’. Today, I’d like to show you how IT services due to the development of the information and communication technology are changing our lives.
E-Government in Our Lives
According to the e-government Act, e-government means ‘a government which efficiently performs its administrative work through cooperation among multiple administrative institutions and for the citizens by digitizing the work of administrative/public institutions. In other words, e-government aims to ‘provide efficient administrative services’ by applying ‘IT’ to the ‘data’.
On the 24th of last month the UN presented its results on e-governments at the UN Public Service Forum. According to them, Korea has had the best e-government system for the last three evaluations including 2010 and 2012. Korea’s e-Government is now officially considered to be the best in the world. The government is planning to take this as a chance to change its paradigm.
What can e-government do to make our lives more convenient, then? Let’s say you’re moving. After moving, you have to change your official address. Before the beginning of the e-gov’t system, people had to visit their local town office, post office, tax office, the court, and other public offices to get such a job done. After the adaptation of the e-gov’t system, however, all we have to do in order to change our addresses on all government related institutions is fill in a form online. Thanks to this online system which only takes a few minutes, filling out dozens of registration forms and waiting for months to get the confirmation is no longer needed. Since the e-gov’t system transfers the information through a multi-use platform, it saves money and improves the quality of the services.
The postal logistics system is also a part of e-government. Postal services have multiple platforms for document registration such as the post office windows, websites, and automated postal windows. ‘VIVAPOST’, an integrated postal logistics system from LG CNS takes care of all the information that is needed in the postal logistics flow and is utilized in mailing, sorting, tracing, etc. VIVAPOST has been recognized for its excellence worldwide, and also exported an integrated postal logistics system to the Malaysian post office corporation in 2013. The fact that VIVAPOST is being recognized and expanding its stage to more countries around the world is important, because it means this system from Korea is being acknowledged as a global standard.
Last year, the 2013 E-Government Global Forum was held with the topic “Smart Government and Smart Society: Openness, Sharing, Communication and Collaboration”. Korea showed its deep interest in exporting the Korean e-gov’t system by entering an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Cote d’Ivoire and Guatemala. The ‘Korean administrative wave’ is now spreading to the world.
Information and Communication Technology(ICT) and the Advancement of
The impetus of the e-government is IT, although IT can’t single handedly complete an excellent e-gov’t system. The UN evaluates each country’s e-government based on these four development steps.
As we see from the figure above, the direction of the e-gov’t evolution is moving from process-based to content-based. By getting rid of the boundaries between institutions, services in both public and private sectors can be converged. As a result, it can now provide public data which is suited for the consumer instead of providing limited public data through a static process. By observing such change, we can see that the utility and the value of the data depend on an individual’s needs.
By utilizing the e-government, the citizens who used to be passive consumers turn into ‘prosumers’ who can actively express their ideas. The government also announced that they will open the public data, promote the usage of such data by the private sector, and provide tailored services to consumers. The future of e-governments can be summed up as public sharing and cooperation, and the real value of an e-government comes from respecting diversity and reducing the social gap.
In this process, ICT has to, and will do a critical job. As I mentioned earlier, it is because ICT can be applied to countless fields such as smart schools (which reduce educational gaps and improve the quality of education), the travel card system (which even decreases the crime rate), eco-friendly solar power plants, and convenient administrative services.
The e-government will be completed when ICT, the government constructing the services and the citizens using such services come together. One thing we have to remember here, though, is that the center of e-government should always be the people.
LG CNS has organized a support program that enables university students interested in IT to write news articles related to the field. This article is one that was written under the program.
 A compound word of ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’. It means the consumer who not only consumes, but also participates in production such as product development and distribution process. [back to the article]