With an estimated $1.3 Billion in IT spend earmarked for various projects between 2013 – 2017 the one question on the minds of many, is how we measure the return on investment. Many times we are presented by an economist’s perspective on the numbers and it hardly sinks in with at very abstract understanding of the real dividends by the citizens.
The key strategic programs as identified by the PDTG – Presidential Digital Transformation of Government are the National Digital Registry Services, Government Shared Services and One-stop shop for Public Service Services. Some of the projects covered here are – the Integrated National Data Warehouse and a Master Database Management Process linking all silo’s databases and data marts; National Service Bus and Middleware allowing integration within all government departments, external organizations; Geographic Information System, mapping all land parcels and national assets; national level 5 hospital automation and shared services platform, integrated one stop company registration – digital and though physical centers and an integrated investment portal and investor one stop shop. The realization of the projects under these programs will deliver financial, economic and social returns.
Financial return can be measured by value for money and time. Currently for a large section of the population productive time is lost daily in transit to and from accessing critical services from both government and private sector.
Economic return can be looked at from a government KPI perspectives, where going digital will raise Kenya’s ranking as a preferred investments destination attracting foreign direct investment across sectors at all levels by making it easier and more affordable to do business Kenya. An increase in revenue, from more efficient collections and a stemming of leakage will see government better equipped to meets its responsibility without resorting to development partner facilities.
Social has a multifaceted getup and one can look at reduced crime rates and access to higher quality intelligence that underpins national security as one. The second, from an income perspective, with better service delivery and equitable dissemination of national wealth, more cohesive and tolerant social structures will come as a result.
Understanding the deep benefits afforded by the masterplans will help us better appreciate and support where we can, their realization or better still be evangelists and break down the value for those to whom technology remains abstract.