Kathy Gibson is at the SITA private cloud launch in Rosebank – The newly-launched private government cloud platform will enable government to use data more effectively to provide better citizen services.

But the big game ahead is data, and we need to ensure that the new platform doesn’t just enable the country’s leadership but mobilises society in realizing this goal.

This is the word from Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, minister of the merged department of communications (now including telecommunications and postal services), in her first appearance since her appointment yesterday.

Skills development is a huge part of this, she adds. “Our is to ask how we can build a knowledge society. How do we build that capable army, of people who can participate meaningfully in e services space.”

The fourth industrial revolution will be characterised by the provision of services, Ndabeni-Abrahams points out.

The availability of data will help government to plan effectively based on the firm knowledge, she adds.

“We believe this is the first phase. And if we do more in terms of providing connectivity to people this will grow and be an even bigger thing.

“This cloud today is giving us the opportunity to ask what more we can do to render efficient services to our people.”

The cloud will also help to drive other initiatives like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT), Ndabeni-Abrahams adds.