Developing E-Government Integrated Infrastructures: A Case Study
The Public Domain (PD) always serves as an agent to provide better and reliable services and information to citizens. Recent advancements in technology, citizen-demand and new public management initiatives, have all contributed to the advent of Electronic Government (eGov). Much emphasis has been given in achieving this objective through the development of Electronic Government Information Systems (eGov-IS). The authors support that an eGov platform should not been seen as a stand-alone system but as a solution that communicates with back office applications through an integrated infrastructure. An integrated eGov-IS can efficiently automate the business processes of the public domain and increase citizens' satisfaction. However, to achieve such a solution, PD and Local Governments (LG) need to bridge together their disparate systems to provide a common and shared view of their information and services. Many LGs have encountered difficulties in incorporating their systems, and have turned to the adoption of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software packages to improve their services. Nonetheless, many legacy systems have not been replaced and thus, the need for integrating their eGov applications with their front desk and back office systems still exists. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) can be used to piece together eGov applications with packaged and legacy systems. Although, the application of EAI is flouring in the private sector, its adoption by the public domain is underutilised. The authors investigate EAI and demonstrate, through a case study, how EAI can be used to develop an integrated eGov infrastructure. In doing so, allowing others to relate their experiences to those reported herein as well as to aid public sector organisations on how they can integrate their disparate systems more efficiently and extend their lifecycles.