Information management is gathering and storing at one place, the information relating to the Government and Governing process. It is the systematic arrangement/classification of information. If the information of the Government is gathered at one place without any arrangement or management, it would prove difficult for the users to find the required information. Managing information is an important aspect of E-governance. Information management addresses the issues like – How to provide? What to provide? Whom to Provide? When to provide? Where to provide? Why to provide?
The process of information management may further be divided into three aspects – (1) Database Management, (2) Indicator Management, and (3) Knowledge Management. Database Management involves bare compilation and organisation of data and information at one place. Indicator Management involves storing with the information the catch words, labels, tags, meanings and context relating to the information. Knowledge Management involves managing the skills and know-how of the employees/experts of the Government for benefit of the Government.
Information management is an integral aspect of E-commerce. It also proves essential for E-Governance. It helps transform the governing process in a business-like efficient and cost-effective process. Information management aims at reducing cost, improving performance, differentiating of products and services of Government, specialised/customised information, and citizen focus.
Information management involves following stages –
- Gathering – gathering all the available information of the government
- Creating – creating information which is lost or not available
- Storing – storing the gathered information in one place
- Accessing – accessing of stored information by the people
- Distributing – distributing required information to the public
- Ignoring – ignoring the information not publicly important
- Discarding – discarding ignored and insignificant information
- Updating – continuous updating information
- Securing – securing the information with latest technology so as to give access to information to those who really require it.
2. Identity and Access Management
Identity management is a set of processes and infrastructure for the creation, maintenance and use of digital identities for the purpose of access to E-governance portals and the information on those portals. Well established Identity management system helps setup an Access management system. The object of Identity Management is to create scalable, extensible and secure standards based framework for identity data acquisition and storage.
Access management involves authentication of identity of the user and giving access to the Government and public information available online. Access management is necessary to give a secure access to information to the public. Securing of public information available online is very important due to recent online piracy and attacks on websites through hacking. E-governance would involve huge of sensitive public information up for grabs for the hackers of other countries. Further there are certain things which require to be accessed by only the Government officials. So online security of information is very necessary which can be done through Access management. Access management is only possible if there is an Identity Management system is already online and running successfully.
The identities can be classified as follows: (1) Citizens, (2) Employees, (3) Customers, (4) Organisations, (5) Agencies, (6) Partners, etc.
The process of Identity Management involves following stages
a) Citizen Request – The first stage is the Citizens’ requests for creation of identities. This may be done physically by submitting forms and documents.
b) Verification – The second stage is to physically verify the identities by crosschecking various documents, photo identities, etc.
c) Assignment of identifier – The Government has to assign a unique identifier which may be a number or a username and password to every citizen so as to eliminate multiplicity of identities. Today according to the emerging technologies the identifiers may also be in the form of biometrics, digital certificates, smart cards, etc.
d) Storage of Identities in ID stores/databases – Once an identifier is assigned/username and password is created, the identities are stored in the identity stores.
The process of Access Management involves following stages:
a) Authentication – Once a user wants to access online portal, he will need to access it through the unique identifier assigned after registration. After the user enters the username and passwords or through any other authentication process like biometrics, digital certificates, etc. his access to the portal is authenticated.
b) Authorisation – Authorisation of user depends on the type the user belongs. The user may be administrator, Manager, Author, Creator, user, etc. A user will only be authorised to access the information. The Administrator is authorised to change the information.
c) Access Control – Based on the authorisation of the user, his access of information in various areas will be controlled. This will be based on the type of user, i.e. Administrator, user, etc. d) Audit and Reporting – Audit and Reporting involves the monitoring the access of information by users, their authority and access rights. This helps in improving the access security and also the security of the information.
Advantages/Benefits of Identity and Access Management
a) Elimination of storage of duplicate identities
b) Interoperability of applications by enforcement of data standardisation
c) Single Sign in
d) Secure Access
e) Curbing unauthorised access
f) Increased Citizen participation
g) Improve performance of the Government Services
h) Improve Service Delivery
i) 24×7 availability of Government services
3. Content Management
Content management is the process of organising, distributing and tracking information/data through a website over the internet. It helps to make users more knowledgeable or informed by offering instant access to correct information online. It deals with providing right information, to right people at right time.
Contents of a website can be divided as follows: Text, Graphics, Audio, Video, Diagrams, Links, etc. Managing this various type of content is important. It is necessary to decide where to provide text and where images and graphics.
Content management further involves:
a) Web based publishing – publishing webpages, documents, charts, graphs, etc online on a website;
b) Format management – following practise of fixed formats for webpages, text, graphics, audio and video;
c) Revision – involves continuous updating of information;
d) Indexing – creating indexes of the topics and subjects of which information is available on the website;
e) Search – providing search facility to users to find out exact data that user wants.
Object of Content Management
a) To Communicate Right Data to Right People at Right Time
b) To ensure that the contents are need based, relevant, up to date and accurate
c) To avoid duplication of content
Essentials of Content Management
a) Centralised storage – information must be stored centrally, i.e. at one place to make access easy and avoid complications of networking and computing;
b) Reviewing and Authentication of Contents – The contents of the website must be continuously reviewed and authenticated so as to maintain the authenticity of the data available on the website. It must also be done for providing relevant content/information on the website;
c) Access of data by the end user – Unless the user access the data published on the website, the whole effort is in vain.
4. Standards Management
ICT provides many ways to achieve E-governance. There are multiple formats to deal with webpages, text, graphics, audio, and video. However, as seen currently, there is no uniformity in the e-governance websites as to the use of formats. There are also various levels of technologies, basic and advanced. For e-governance, basic technologies are not sufficient because of the security concerns of sensitive data/information. Therefore, e-governance websites have to maintain standards. Standards management involves further aspects as follows:
1. Network and information Security Standards
2. Meta data and data standards
3. Localisation and language technology
4. Quality and documentation standards
5. Technical standards
6. Web accessibility standards