SITA 'not institutionally ready' for IoT
While the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) acknowledges it is not institutionally ready to fully maximise the Internet of Things (IoT), government views IoT as a catalyst for smart service delivery. SITA, however, aims to improve the country's state of readiness to adopt, implement and roll out IoT technology.
This is according to SITA CEO, Setumo Mohapi, who was speaking at an IoT Industry Day organised by the agency in Pretoria yesterday. He said the organisation plans to roll out an IoT strategy in 2019 to 'leverage pockets of IoT development and innovation, harness available skills and implement an ecosystem based on open innovation'.
Mohapi said the organisation believes restructuring the current ecosystem and infrastructure is pivotal to the digital transformation of public service delivery.
He added government is looking to modernise application interfaces to make customer-facing public services accessible on mobile devices.
Mohapi said SITA is 'no longer a talk-shop' and its strategy is to talk and immediately act.
SITA will roll out IoT-based services and applications in the new financial year, starting in April 2019, as it progresses with the digital transformation of public service delivery, a journey it said began two years ago.
In 2016, SITA decided to collaborate with the industry and key stakeholders like government to consider the best ways to promote digital transformation and move the public service agenda forward.
The partners considered issues including infrastructure organisation, the cloud, e-government services and information security.
"Today, we'll be looking at the impact of the Internet of Things and how best to prepare government to harness, adopt and deploy these technologies in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution," said Lucky Mochalibane, head of department for CSR at SITA.
From 2019, the focus will be on low-risk IoT projects for quick wins - especially within the environmental and education sectors, and on analysing readiness limitations.
Mohapi said the intention is to modernise applications that are used extensively in service delivery (centralising land and environmental projects, for example)and leverage data generated through administration systems used for road and traffic management, as well as for land and water management.
The government wants to modernise and integrate the application layer itself so that there is flow through of applications that work in silos in order to extrapolate the value of public data and 'release economic and social value'.
"If we have all the sensors in place, we can now action on this data. The right people can go in with the right tools and solve issues. We are talking about augmented action, and we expect public service to be more agile and responsive," said Mohapi.