Future Focused – e-Government Portal 101

Go Lean Commentary

It is really important to transform the Caribbean for the future. It will require rebooting all societal engines: economics, security and governance.

In the course of this series of blog-commentaries on the Caribbean Future, we have addressed the economic issues, particularly related to education; we have addressed homeland security and we have addressed media (radio). This final submission is Part 5 of 5 in this series and it contemplates a preview of the future of government engagement. The full series is catalogued as follows:

  1. Future FocusedPersonal Development and the Internet
  2. Future FocusedCollege, Caribbean Style
  3. Future FocusedRadio is Dead
  4. Future FocusedPolicing the Police
  5. Future Focused – e-Government Portal 101

The Caribbean status quo is dire. But our future can be so much better. This is the power of hope!

The subject of hope has been a consistent subject for this movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free. In a previous commentary, it was related that “Hope and Change” is vital to engage the young people in society. Without change, young people will demand it! This is because a vital ingredient of youth is hope, if they see no hope, then they will just disengage and abandon their community. That blog included  this excerpt:

There are some protest movements – around the world  – in recent times where young people have engaged to get attention, to foment their prospects for Hope and Change:

  • Arab Spring – Young people in one Arab & North African country after another stood-up in protest of their status quo.
  • Occupy Wall Street – Young people in the US complained in enduring street protests outside Wall Street.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean … chronicled the rise of these protest movements. It showed how people at the grass-roots level are able to effect change on the policies and priorities of their country. This is the bottoms-up strategy for forging change; there is also the top-down strategy: getting the political leaders to propose new legislation. Both approaches could be effective in the quest to elevate the 30 member-states in the Caribbean region. The State of our Caribbean Union is that we are in need; we must reform and transform our region; it is not optional; it must be done in order to offer “Hope and Change” to the young people of the Caribbean. [Otherwise,] the book states in the opening (Page 3):

    Our youth, the next generation, may not be inspired to participate in the future workings of their country; they may measure success only by their exodus from their Caribbean homeland.

So without hope, we have no children – they will leave; without children, we have no future!

This is an important discussion. We must forge change in Caribbean society to dissuade our young people from leaving. This is what the Go Lean book presents, a workable roadmap to effect change in all societal engines. In fact, the roadmap features these 3 Future Focused prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

In each Caribbean member-state, the government is the largest employer! So we must engage governing processes in order to foster change. How can we improve Caribbean governance so as to bring change to our society?

Among the strategies, tactics and implementations in the Go Lean roadmap, is the deployment of e-Government services, systems and solutions. The Go Lean book explains how this implementation can streamline operations – lean, no heavy bureaucracy – for every level of government: municipal, state and the CU federal level. A type of computing implementation can leverage productivity against a very small level of staffing. See how a lean structure is portrayed in the book (Page 51):

A lot of office automation and data processing can be provided in-house by [for] member-state governments by [the CU] simply installing / supporting computer mainframe/midrange systems, servers, and client workstations; plus supplementing infrastructural needs like power and mobile communications. The CU’s delivery of ICT [(Internet & Communications Technologies)] systems, e-Government, contact center and in-source services (i.e. property tax systems [and www.myCaribbean.gov]) can put the burden on systems continuity at the federal level and not the member-states. (This is the model of Canada with the federal delivery of provincial systems and services – some Provincial / Territorial presence / governance is completely “virtual”).

The Go Lean book presents the plan to deploy many e-Government provisions so as to deliver on the ICT promise. This is what it means to be Lean – maximize value while minimizing waste. The book references the roles and responsibilities of these e-Government models in many iterations; this shows the Future Focus of the Go Lean roadmap; see a sample here:

  • 10 Ways to Close the Digital Divide (Page 31)
    #9 – Smart Phones & Mobile Apps
    There are business drivers for the further development of mobile applications. With the proliferation of smart-phones, consumers have a computer in their pocket that is more powerful than mainframe computers from the 1970’s. Mobile applications allow for the coordination of “time and place” to convert internet browsing to real-time purchasing. The CU will capitalize on this growth and even deploy mobile apps of our own (i.e. appointments processing, bar codes) for myCaribbean.gov portal and e-government deliveries.
  • 10 Ways to Improve Sharing (Page 35)
    #2 – Data / Social Network
    The CU will deploy a MyCaribbean.gov web portal (including mobile) to allow every citizen access to e-Delivery of government services. The CU … will thereafter spearhead the effort to capture as much raw data as possible from the portal and other e-Government data repositories throughout the region. This will allow the sharing of economic, census, trade, consumption, macro performance and sociological data.
  • Separation of Powers (Page 74)
    A3 – Treasury Department: Union Revenue Administration
    The CU deployment of e-Government services for federal and member-state government functionality will allow economies of scale for all stakeholders. This is envisioned for property records-tax assessment-collections, income taxes, auto registrations, vital records, human resources-payroll, back-office (accounting), and regulatory-compliance-audit functionality. In addition, a lot of government services will be delivered electronically: email, cash disbursements on a card-based benefits card, ACH and electronic funds transfer measure for expenditures and revenue collections.
  • 10 Ways to Improve Mail Service (Page 108)
    #10 – Post Office Buildings with e-Government Kiosks
    Post Office (PO) facilities will have kiosks and access booths so that citizens can interact with different CU and State governmental agencies. (Similar to processing passports at US Post Offices). Time slots will have to be reserved or rationed. All CU e-Government interactions can be delivered via the web (e-Delivery) or at PO …
  • 10 Ways to Deliver (Page 109)
    #9 – Big Data Analysis
    The CU’s embrace of e-Government and e-Delivery models allows for a lot of data to be collected and analyzed so as to measure many aspects of Caribbean life, including: trade, economic, consumption, societal values and macro-performance, and media consumption. This way, “course adjustments” can be made to strategic and tactical pursuits.
  • 10 Ways to Impact Social Media (Page 111)
    #6 – Contact Center for e-Government Services
    The CU will deliver government services with the embrace of Internet & Communication Technologies (ICT). Caribbean stakeholders can interact with CU government (plus CU-enabled member-states) via web, social media and phone portals. When in-personal attention is needed, video conferencing options (Skype, Google+) will be a supplemental tool.
  • 10 Ways to Impact Elections (Page 116)
    #6 – e-Government – Registration
    The CU will allow for economies-of-scale with local government by deploying e-Government services. This is envisioned for voter registration and vital records system processing. While the CU does not have responsibility for local elections, the member-states can in-source the processing to the CU to enjoy the cost savings, & service optimizations.
  • 10 Big Ideas (Page 127)
    #8 – Cyber Caribbean
    Forge electronic commerce industries so that the internet communications technology (ICT) can be a great equalizer in economic battles of global trade. This includes e-Government (outsourcing and in-sourcing for member-states systems) and e-Delivery, Postal Electronic Last Leg mail, e-Learning and wireline/wireless/satellite initiatives.
  • 10 Ways to Measure Progress (Page 146)
    #7 – myCaribbean.gov Portal
    The www.myCaribbean.gov web/mobile portal will allow every citizen access to e-Delivery of government services. The Commerce Department will thereafter spearhead the effort to capture as much raw data as possible from the portal and other e-Government data repositories throughout the region. This allows for more consumption and sociological data.

The future – with the deployments of electronic government systems – is now! See the sample example of the US State of Florida here; most interactions with that government can be consumed via their http://www.myflorida.com/ portal:

< Click to Enlarge >

The technology is ready and the need is acute, so Caribbean people must get ready and deploy e-Government now.

It is easier than one may think – see a sample VIDEO demonstration here; instead of software, imagine this Perceptive Customer Portal for Government Services:

VIDEO – A Guide to Using the New Perceptive Software Customer Portal – https://youtu.be/40WDRhoQ6fY

Lexmark Enterprise Software

Published on Feb 16, 2015 – The new Perceptive Software Customer Portal is a single sign-on, one-stop shop for the Community, Cases, Knowledgebase, Product Documentation, Technical Overviews and more. This handy demo demonstrates how to navigate the new portal and its features to maximize your Perceptive experience and investment.

There would be no need to engage advanced computer programmers to launch the www.myCaribbean.gov portal. Complete software packages can be bought “off the shelf”; see an article on software package options in the Appendix below.

e-Government had been discussed in previous blog-commentaries, depicting the Future Focus of the CU/Go Lean roadmap:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13321 ICT Model: Making a Pluralistic Democracy and Multilingual Society
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7991 Transformations: Caribbean Postal Union – Delivering the Future
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=888 How to Re-invent Government in a Digital Image – Book Review

Let’s do this; this e-Governmental transformation! Let’s do all of these Future Focused activities detailed in this 5-part series:

  1. Future FocusedPersonal Development and the Internet
  2. Future FocusedCollege, Caribbean Style
  3. Future FocusedRadio is Dead
  4. Future FocusedPolicing the Police
  5. Future Focused – e-Government Portal 101

This is the kind of Future Focused efforts that are needed to reform and transform Caribbean governments and society in general. We must transform our governments, and create the new CU Trade Federation – a federal government – now. We urge all stakeholders to lean-in to this CU/Go Lean roadmap to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – What is Portal Software?
By: Cathy Reisenwitz in IT Management

Y’all know what a portal looks like.

A portal provides selective access to information and people. It features, at a minimum, built-in content management functionality including document management and search.

Here are some things you might want to put behind your portal:

  • E-mail
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
  • Company/organization information/news
  • Workgroups
  • Electronic bulletin boards
  • Group chat
  • Calendars

Here is an overview of what portal software is, what it does, where it’s going, and what to ask your vendors.

Portal software vs alternative kinds of software
Some people use intranet software for portal functionality. But portal software often offers more options, automation functionality, organization help, and interactivity, according to SearchCIO.

Many IT departments are looking accomplish their portal goals without using traditional portal software.  Similarly, vendors are abandoning the “portal” terminology. “The term ‘portal’ is outdated and holds negative associations for the many organizations where the portal initiatives have failed, or grown old or stale,” according to Gartner researchers Jim Murphy and Gene Phifer, writing in Elevate Your Horizontal Portal to a Digital Experience Platform.

“In addition, ‘portal’ lacks any appeal to an increasingly business- (versus IT-)savvy audience.” In Build an Enduring Portal Strategy for a Wave of Change on the Web Murphy points out that a “portal” doesn’t offer any inherent business value itself. Plus, many vendors don’t want to compete with established portal players.

More and more portal software vendors are using qualitative terms such as “experience” and “engagement” to describe their products, according to Murphy and Phifer.

Some organizations use web content management systems (WCMs), social platforms, and e-commerce platforms to create portals. “A WCM product is often a better choice as the anchor technology for an enterprise portal,” Murphy and Phifer write. Others use and extend other software, including ERP or CRM. The rest build their portal platforms using a multiple open-source tools and components. Murphy and Phifer recommend a digital experience platform.

Gartner no longer includes portal software in its Hype Cycles. The Hype Cycle for Human-Machine Interface, 2016 includes digital experience platform (DXP) frameworks, which evolved from portals and WCM. The change from portal to DXP began in 2009, when software vendors began to offer platforms for creating the digital experience because “traditional approaches for creating web, portal and mobile assets were not meeting end-user or IT needs.”

Whatever you want to call it, there’s still demand for an easy, reliable, authoritative, and accessible way to store and access relevant information to support decisions and activities.

Who’s buying portal software?
Many “digital experience” and “engagement” vendors are reaching out to chief marketing officers, heavily promoting the marketing use case because digital marketing is making the investments in digital experience.

The two types of portal software
Gartner categorizes portal software into “lean” and “robust.”

Murphy and Phifer contrast lean portals with comprehensive, robust suites. Lean portals can often pay for themselves with increased efficiencies faster than portal products from larger, more-established vendors. “While organizations adopting traditional, heavyweight portals or emerging UXPs may take years to avail themselves of even 20% of the full range of capabilities, organizations adopting lean portals employ 80% of the functionality they need within months,” Murphy and Phifer write.

However, if you’ve got complex, legacy systems in place that must integrate with your portal, you may not be able to go lean.

Popular portal software vendors

According to SearchCIO, Corechange, Epicentric, Hummingbird, and Plumtree are leading portal softwares.

The Hype Cycle for Human-Machine Interface, 2016 lists Adobe, Backbase, IBM, Liferay, Microsoft, Oracle, Oxcyon, Salesforce, SAP, and Sitecore as sample vendors in the DXP space.

Source: Posted December 14, 2016; retrieved November 14, 2017 from: https://blog.capterra.com/what-is-portal-software/

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