India needs to leverage the new, emerging technologies of cloud, social and mobile across government.
A combination of cloud computing, social media and mobile technologies promises to make technology implementations faster, better and cheaper, and at the same time more participative and real-time. Many implementations of this are now visible across the US. Some of the early adopters have been various transportation departments across the US. Given the key role of public transport, they are making available real-time data (that was deemed “proprietary” until just a few years ago) accessible via API to developers who are creating an exciting set of applications that provide extremely useful information to the travelling public.
Government in India needs to look at cloud computing quickly and seriously. This will help reduce implementation cost and also provide basic services to all government officials faster.
Something as basic as email must be made available to all government employees – on their own government domain ending in gov.in. Governments officials using gmail or yahoo for emails is not just embarrassing for a country that prides itself on its IT successes, it is also a matter of security. It is ironic that out of security concerns, they are trying to force Blackberry to install servers in India, but at the same time our government officials are publicly interacting on email platforms outside their control!
Social media will help increase interaction with citizens, while mobile technologies (SMS, mobile Internet, apps) will help drive more real-time data on-demand to people.