IBM pushes industry framework for ‘smarter’ government

A full year into its ‘smarter planet’ initiative, IT behemoth IBM Corp. is now pushing nations to adopt its government industry framework, which seeks to translate the same streamlined processes found in most enterprises into the public sector.

The framework consists of implementing technologies that will read through various government data, extract pertinent information such as names and relations, and create structured information out of it.

The proposed framework can be applied to areas in government concerning safety and security, tax and revenue management, social services and security, metro, transport and roads, and in establishing an integrated urban infrastructure.

“The framework suggests that it’s not anymore about developing solutions,” said Sayaji Shinde, public sector solution sales executive for ASEAN, IBM software group, “but providing a common way for government to adopt existing models and projects.”

Shinde said the framework will act as a technology blueprint which will establish standards where governments can pick and choose which is applicable for their nations, and will provide a foundation to allow users to build on top of.

Annie Cheung, vice president for smarter planet initiatives — ASEAN, IBM, highlighted the example of a recent food safety incident in Japan, where contaminated products sourced from Vietnam penetrated the market.

“Thailand immediately picked up demand for the frozen shrimp, because they have a technology known as ‘traceability,’ Cheung explained, adding that implementing traceability has provided Thailand with a steep competitive advantage against neighboring countries.

Traceability, according to Cheung, is a means of tagging and identifying different kinds of products “from farm to folk.” This technology provides users the guarantee that they are getting quality products, because they can identify that they came from quality sources.

Locally, Shinde said, there are still a lot that needs to be done when it comes to having a smart government. “We are in coordination with agencies and the CICT when it comes to determining governance and ICT policies that push towards this direction,” he added.

Shinde likewise disclosed that the Philippine National Police is looking closely at crime data warehousing, a technology which houses all criminal data across all line agencies into a single system.

“Data by itself isn’t useful. In fact, it can be overwhelming–unless you can extract value from it. And now we can. With the right tools, we’re beginning to see patterns, correlations, and outliers,” Cheung quipped.

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