January 6, 2022
Years 2020 and 2021 have been disrupting in terms of technological changes. Many things that were normal earlier are seen as obsolete now. Workplaces went from in the office to WFH, meetings changed from in-person to virtual, and so on. Consumers, companies, and businesses have welcomed these ‘new-normal’ changes with open arms.
Governments across the globe aren’t far behind either. This fast-changing paradigm shift of post COVID era requires public sector entities that are willing to adapt to the rising digital needs of its citizens. These requirements range from simple ones, such as application tracking, to complex ones, such as applying for a virtual ID on the UIDAI website in India. There have been multiple ways in which public sector organizations and governments have adopted these changes, but the most crucial one, which might be called the backbone of the digital shift, is workflow reimagination through the eGovernance application.
Before understanding how eGovernance application has ramped up the digital infrastructure of public sector entities, a generic definition of ‘Workflow Applications’ must be understood.
In a nutshell, any software application that automates a repetitive task involved in a business process can be termed a workflow application. This usually happens with data being routed through a very sternly pre-defined path until the process is successfully completed.
These workflow applications can be part of an entire suite of applications or can be stand-alone as well. This means they can be integrated with other applications or act as a one-stop-solution point for repetitive tasks.
Even before the pandemic, workflow applications were already a huge part of private-sector organizations. A few of the observed advantages were:
With such already established improvements across the board, public sector entities, which are usually a little too cautious about adopting new changes, can no longer ignore these applications. With established credentials of workflow applications, they have now started demanding their place in the governance suite as well.
It’s to be noted that process re-designing in a public sector environment is always challenging as changes must jump through multiple hierarchies.
Still, information technology has become much more streamlined, making public sector entities more optimized and productive, leading to better usage of taxpayer money while delivering high-quality services.
With a push from the ‘Digital India’ initiative, many ministries, departments, states, and PSUs have also started rolling out their version of eGovernance-based workflow applications in India.
The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) recently reviewed these various eGovernance projects. There were multiple observations across, but the ones that stood out are:
Considering the recommendation from the National Knowledge Commission, the Government of India, in a blog post on their digital India website, set a few guidelines for such a reform to take place. A few of these guidelines are:
This shows that the Government of India is considering the reimagination of workflow very seriously and is on the right path to take action. Clearly, workflow applications will change how we interact with public services. With an increased adoption amongst citizens, these applications will surely upscale the ease of use and quality of services from the Government.