It has been 23 years since the first Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Public/ Civil Service was held in Tangier. Since then there has been a lot of progress in the terms of public sector services on the continent, writes Vino Govender, executive: product innovation and marketing at DFA.
We need to celebrate the successes, reflect on the challenges, and really acknowledge the role that public services plays in advancing the socio-economic state of the African continent and its citizens.
Technology applications can play a significant role in reducing project risks and promoting the efficient execution of projects, resulting in projects that are delivered within the planned timelines, budgets, and objectives.
There are numerous private and public sector cases studies that reflect on how data analytics, collaboration and scenario planning tools have been used to formulate integrated strategies and implement them across business domains, regions, and even countries.
For example, they use ‘process-mapping’ and ‘process-re-engineering’ tools to contribute to more efficient service delivery and production methods. Applications, including material requirements planning (MRP), enterprise resource planning (ERP), project management software, and reporting tools can work in synergy to define, execute, manage, and report on tasks that result in achieving strategic public-service objectives.
Using these and emerging technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, and artificial intelligence platforms, to improve the quality and execution of public service projects is key in enabling public-service departments to up their game amid ever-increasing demands for service delivery under tight resource constraints.
The baseline infrastructure for connectivity and high-speed connectivity are the foundation on which these technology platforms are built and integrated with each other. High-speed fibre connectivity is a non-negotiable requirement for transmitting high volumes of data between platforms, service applications, and stakeholders to support improved service delivery.
Whether it is implementing smart electricity grids that use data-driven, multi-domain orchestration to dynamically manage generation, distribution, consumption, billing, and revenue collection in a municipality, or drones being used to inspect and assess the completion of projects and integrate this data into ERP systems to validate vendor payment approval and processing, high-speed, reliable data connectivity is a must.
Fibre-based connectivity speeds surpass that of any other connectivity medium, which is not surprising, and this is the appropriate technology for connecting private cloud data centres in the public service environments, enabling secure, reliable, and cost-efficient delivery platforms and applications for service delivery and management.
In addition to this, open-access models lower the cost barrier, since public-service departments can purchase the required connectivity in a scalable manner, rather than investing in lengthy, costly, resource-consuming infrastructure deployment projects of their own. This enables them to focus on their core activities – efficiently delivering public services to meet the needs of a growing population and more demanding stakeholders.