In the past couple of years, the rise of e-governance has redefined the delivery approach of government services. The impact of e-governance has been greatly enhanced by the advancement in technology in developed countries of the world. In fact, developing countries are beginning to see that a country cannot grow beyond its’ exposure and ability to adapt to the rising trend in technology usage.
E-governance is an essential requirement to any nation for providing better citizens participation and intergovernmental relationship. The primary aim of e-governance is to establish strong and transparent relationship between citizens, government organization and business organization so that a synergy could be developed among these different facets.
Although e-governance is undoubtedly government’s best hope to reduce costs, whilst promoting economic development, increasing government’s transparency and accountability, improving service delivery and public administration, and facilitating the advancement of an information society, the implementation and adoption of E-governance in developing countries have suffered some setbacks. According to Heeks (2003), “only 30 percent of e-government projects manage to sustain the actual delivery stage”.
The major issues for e-governance failure, spans from poverty, the lack of adequate ICT infrastructure, unawareness, e-government service delivery channels, to impediments for the re-engineering process and other factors that typically affect the implementation and adoption of technology for process improvement.
Now, the question is how can some of these challenges be mitigated against in order for e-governance to achieve some of its objective? One of the solutions is the adoption of a cloud-based e-governance framework as seen in many developed and developing countries of the world.
Cloud computing is simply a “distributed computing environment that enables the users to access and exchange their resources (applications and data) remotely and provides services that use the remote hardware and software within a network without the knowledge of technological infrastructure” (Satyabrata & Subhendu, 2016).
Cloud-based e-governance systems have great advantages such as flexibility, elasticity, scalability of infrastructure, broad network access, location independence among others. Cloud-based e- governance can help reduce IT labour costs, improve capital by significantly reducing license cost, provide the much-needed scalability. The process and system performance in terms of processing capacity and storage allows for scalability; the cloud helps to increase the number of resources dynamically to maintain quality of service intact even at the times of high load, which generally happens in e-governance.
Several international governments such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, China, India are at various stages of the adoption of cloud-based e-governance. One of the reasons is that they see “cloud services as an opportunity to improve business outcomes through eliminating redundancy, increasing agility and providing information and communication technology (ICT) services at a potentially cheaper cost”.
The United States, cloud adoption in the public service is helping the government to improve business flexibility despite their back-end silo systems. The U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, DOJ, USDA, Department of Education and more have been early cloud adopters, setting the trend and direction for others to follow. https://www.wired.com/insights/2013/09/why-the-u-s-government-is-moving-to-cloud-computing/.
Now, let us consider different cloud-based e-governance models adopted by different countries of the world.