The COVID-19 Pandemic has dominated 2020 and seems to be poised to take over at least the first half of 2021.
But what have we learnt from the unprecedented health crisis of the past year? Have we gleaned enough to be well prepared for the next pandemic or natural disaster? Have governments and organisations gained adequate insights to be resilient and continue operations during future critical events?
These are some crucial questions that must be answered to know how well prepared you are for the next major critical event. OpenGov Asia delved into these important issues at its recent OpenGovLive! Virtual Insight with delegates from Singapore, Australia, India and Hong Kong.
Keeping with the OpenGov Asia track record, there was 100% attendance from delegates who were fully immersed in the interactive OpenGov Asia experience.
A collective and coordinated effort of different parts of an organisation is key to strengthen resilience
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia gave an overview of the session with the audience with his opening presentation.
Mohit recounted historically countries across the globe have been overcome different kinds of disasters individually or is clusters but never have they encountered such a situation where the whole world has been hit by a crisis of such magnitude.
This is part of the reason organisations and leaders were stopped dead in their tracks when the pandemic initially hit. There was a lot of panic in the general public as well as top leaders as at the most basic of the necessities seemed endangered at the start.
No one was prepared to run entire businesses with people locked up at home. Business continuity management plans did not take into consideration a critical event od such scope and depth.
The world is at a tipping point and will be quite unstable until there are concrete signs of an effective cure and vaccine. So, organisations must put together all their resources in a coordinated manner with sound planning to keep operations running without compromising the safety of people.
Mohit left the audience with advice to partner with experts in Critical Event Management space rather than trying to come up with a solution on their own.
Being prepared in advance is the secret to successful critical event management
After Mohit laid the foundation, Graeme Orsborn, Vice President – International CEM Business Unit, Everbridge shared his insights on the topic.
Graeme began by very simply explaining the meaning of critical event management. When things that people care about like our friends, family, staff, infrastructure, supply chain and reputation intersect with threats like physical disruption, threats, system failures etc., that leads to a critical event.
All organisations are undergoing a fundamental shift in the way they operate our businesses and the key is to be prepared in advance for the impending danger or critical event.
Graeme went on to acknowledge that while being prepared sounds very simple and easy, implementing it can be quite a challenge for organisations. Currently, the process of managing critical events is largely manual, disjointed and takes significantly longer to work through.
He enumerated the challenges to critical event management as follows:
- Problems in locating who and what is impacted
- The criticality of impact on the assets
- Taking the right action to protect endangered business assets
- Analysing the situation to assess the effectiveness of a plan
After highlighting the problems, Graeme proposed the solution or the correct approach for dealing with critical events. He suggested a four-step strategy:
- Assess the context and severity of the critical event
- Locate and identify stakeholders and assets
- Take action to inform, notify, rally, collaborate and recover
- Analyse own performance and improve
He also shared with the audience the wide range of CEM solutions offered by Everbridge to help organisations mitigate risk and accelerate resolution when events become critical.
Graeme concluded his presentation by sharing Everbridge’s strategy to deal with the most recent critical event, i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic. The three broad parts of this solution included: Know your risk, protect your people, recover and protect your operations.
Make resilience a part of organisational culture to tackle critical events effectively
After Graeme’s presentation, Arunabh Mitra, Chief Continuity Officer, HCL technologies spoke on the topic at hand.
Arunabh opined that as a result of globalisation today, organisations are faced with several interconnected challenges. While on one side, processes like globalisation and industrial revolution are indicators of progress, on the other, risks hovering around them also have a cascading impact on all industries and sectors. He alluded to the fact that our world today is no longer a simple linear structure, rather it’s a system of systems highly interdependent.
He then expounded about the shocks and stresses that disrupt the usual operations and test the resilience of governments and organisations time and again. He shared with the delegates the iceberg model of disruptive events: better preparedness for the events we have better visibility of as we can relate to those events better. However, he conceded that the recovery path for the different events in the iceberg model will vary.
Arunabh moved on the COVID- 19 crisis and how it impacted organisations globally. He reiterated that it was an event unprecedented in scale, complexity and velocity.
He talked about the 3R wave or pattern of organisations’ response to the pandemic::
- Response: This was the initial stage of the hit when organisations were occupied with keeping their people safe and continuing business.
- Return and Reimagine: This stage kept organisations busy with envisioning and implementing what the new workspace will look like
- Reform: This is the stage when organisations are contemplating how to enhance productivity in the hybrid workspace.
Arunabh explained that companies that made people a priority, who had invested in resilience and who had made it a part of their culture, did it better than others.
He concluded his presentation by highlighting that the key to being truly resilient is to embed it in the DNA of every layer of the organisation with certain design principles in place.
After the informative presentations, it was now time for the interactive polling session with the delegates.
On the first question regarding an organisation’s preparedness to respond quickly and decisively to critical events, a majority of the delegates voted that they are well prepared but there is room for improvement (72%).
To this, a deputy director from a media company in Singapore reflected that after dealing with the recent pandemic, they are confident that they are prepared to deal with a future crisis but at the same time there is a lot that they still don’t know and can learn, so cannot be complacent.
On the next question about the department/organisational division responsible for leading the response and preparedness efforts during a critical event, a major chunk of the delegates voted for other than operations, human resource, Information and Technology, or the CEO (47%).
On this issue, a delegate from a public sector organisation shared that they have a separate safety division responsible for coordinating actions and preparedness at the advent of a crisis or a critical event.
On the final question of instant access to critical information needed to evaluate risk and take action during emergency events, 57% of delegates voted that they have established systems to spot events that could endanger company assets.
The president of a major healthcare organisation from India shared that since they are responsible for the lives of not just their employees but also their patients, they have made sure that they have the correct systems in place that inform them of an impending disaster.
After the interesting insights and sessions, Graeme once again addressed the audience to conclude the session.
He felt that it would be interesting to see how culture in organisations will undergo a shift to adapt to the new norm of working. He was also convinced that big data and analytics would play a major role in helping organisations to be more predictive and better prepared for future critical events.
Graeme urged delegates and their organisations to move from having a reactive approach to being proactive in their response to managing critical events and to leverage technology in their efforts.
Two key UniSA research development projects that will add to the capacities of small satellites have won support in the latest round of South Australian Defence Innovation Partnership Cooperative Research Grants. UniSA secured two out of six of the grants and is a collaborator on three other grants awarded.
Research Fellow at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute (FII), Dr Kamil Zuber, says the development of freeform optics for small satellites will expand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capacity and capability for space satellites.
The emerging technology of freeform optics, where mirrors can be designed and manufactured to take on complex shapes, allows for the production large fields of view in smaller packages – which is a powerful adaptation for the new generation of small satellites that are in rapid development, Dr Zuber said.
Moreover, with the capacity to produce these mirrors via additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – this is a technology with the potential to transform the way space missions are designed.
UniSA researchers will also collaborate with DST, industry partners and the University of Adelaide to prototype and validate durable coatings for freeform optical components used for small space satellites.
Achieving a stable, durable coating in the harsh low earth orbit environment that is impervious to radiation and atomic oxygen is one of the challenges that this project aims to address, Dr Zuber noted.
The second project being led by FII Research Fellow, Associate Professor Craig Priest will address concerns in the Space Capabilities (Defence White Paper 2016) to develop satellite systems that can withstand and respond to adverse events. With several hundred small satellites launched every year, space is becoming crowded and hostile, Assoc Prof Priest said.
Satellites must be smaller, more agile, and more energy-efficient, with onboard thrust mechanisms that also have minimal hardware. Their research will be focussed on nanofluidic thrusters which can offer a solution to those challenges. And with the DST Group, the University of Adelaide, and industry partners work will focus on commercialising the devices for defence, including manufacturing and testing of prototypes.
Assoc Prof Priest participated in the University’s business incubator program for space startups, Venture Catalyst Space in 2019 which helped define his business model and connect his team to the industry.
Another two recipients of the grants, Canadian start-up and a local start-up were also both past participants of the Venture Catalyst program run by UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre. Each research development project has received $150,000 to push the frontiers of scientific knowledge in the space sector.
UniSA is also a key partner in three other successful grants awarded in the latest round of funding, boosting the University’s contribution to innovation in the defence and national security research and development.
UniSA Director Defence and Space, Matt Opie says the outcomes from this round are a testament to the University’s capability in defence and space-related research.
He noted that these collaborations will give Australia a technology edge, creating new opportunities for partnership and industrial engagement to build knowledge in defence and space science. Support for these projects contributes to a strong research base, enabled by South Australia’s nationally significant infrastructure.
Designed to generate defence-related research and development activity in South Australia between industry, universities and government, the Defence Innovation Partnership is a collaborative venture between the South Australia Government, Defence Science and Technology Group, and South Australia’s three universities.
A press release has stated Vietnam will universalise 5G through producing 5G devices with quality and reasonable prices in 2021, as developing 5G networks is one of the key directions on improving the capacity of digital infrastructure for national digital transformation.
According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Manh Hung, the use of 5G handsets produced by Vietnam is a measure to help enhance network security and safety. To implement this, one of the solutions is to research and master the design and manufacture of 5G network equipment and chips.
State-run Viettel Group’s Viettel High-Tech Industries Corporation and Vingroup’s VinSmart Research and Manufacture JSC in October signed a cooperation agreement on the development of a 5G gNodeB base station system.
Earlier, the first device incorporating 5G technology produced by Vietnam was successfully tested. According to the Centre for Telecommunications Quality and Measurement under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Vsmart Aris 5G had been tested many times and gave positive results.
Through many technical tests, 5G speed on Vsmart smartphones using Sub6 band is nearly eight times higher than 4G and promises to continue to increase when VinSmart applies mmWave band in the coming time.
The successful development of the Vsmart Aris 5G smartphone shows that Vietnam is ready to master advanced technologies. This is the basis for asserting that the country can completely accelerate in the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
MIC and the Market Licensing Division of the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority also decided to shut down old-tech wavebands so that network operators can optimise operations and reserve frequency resources for new technologies.
As OpenGov reported earlier, MIC has recently allowed two mobile operators, Viettel and MobiFone, to test and commercialise 5G in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as it is a good foundation to bring Vietnam into the group of the leading countries in the world in deploying 5G.
Unlike the previous test, which was heavily technical, the target audience of this test was mobile subscribers. This is an important test to help local operators evaluate the technology and the market before officially implementing commercialization of 5G in Vietnam.
These are all concrete steps that show Vietnam’s approach to 5G development towards mass commercialisation by 2021. Mani Manimohan, head of Digital Infrastructure Policy and Regulations at GSMA, predicted that over the next 5 years, more than one billion people worldwide will use mobile data, the average consumption per month would be 4-5 times more than previously, and 5G is an effective technology to meet that need.
In addition to users, industries need 5G applications. This will be the key to the computing power and automation of factories. Also, Manihohan said that governments should see the mobile ecosystem with a scale of more than US$ 1 trillion as a driving force for development.
Meanwhile, an industry expert noted that 5G will change all industries. Manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare industries will change drastically thanks to the presence of robots and 5G information transmission systems. Vietnam possesses the essentials to develop science and information technology and is expected to become a developed economy by 2045.
At first glance, the 0.8-hectare site in Kampung Sijangkang in Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor, where red chillies grow from black polybags, looks like an ordinary vegetable farm. However, this is far from a conventional farm; it is, in reality, a “digital laboratory farm” where digital agriculture or precision farming practices are used to increase crop yields and profitability, as well as reduce fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide inputs.
The Managing Director of the company that operates the farm, is making use of an Internet of Things (IoT) smart farming application and system developed by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
The Managing Director, who has been involved in agriculture for 14 years, admitted that it was not easy for him to switch from conventional to digital farming applications but now he is convinced of its benefits. His “digital laboratory farm”, where some 6,000 red chilli plants are being cultivated using the fertigation technique, has now entered its third year of operation and the smart farming application has helped him to save time and manpower costs, as well as improve harvests.
He noted that anyone, even those in rural areas, can practice smart farming as long as they have a smartphone and Internet access. All they need to do is insert a SIM card in the sensor hub panel and monitor the cultivation process via their smartphone, he added.
IoT-based smart farming, also known as precision farming, helps farmers to optimise water, fertiliser and pesticide inputs and improve crop yield, quality and productivity by monitoring various factors such as humidity, temperature, soil conditions and fertiliser and pesticide levels on their farms or agricultural fields in real-time with the help of sensors and interconnectivity.
The Managing Director started his digital laboratory farm project by applying the smart farming application to the fertilisation system first. Its success spurred him to extend the application to pest control for which he used an automatic spraying system comprising a 137.16-meter-long railing.
His team this system effective and went on to integrate both the fertilisation and pesticide spraying systems which they controlled via the IoT application, he said, adding that the smart farming concept can benefit young agropreneurs involved in fertigation cultivations in terms of their farms’ maintenance, watering, fertilisation and pesticide application aspects.
With the use of emerging technologies such as satellites, drones, artificial intelligence and weather forecast software, farmers can determine crop types that are appropriate for cultivation on their land. This will avoid wastage and save time.
While he is still experimenting with this smart farming system, he noted that it has helped him save time and manpower costs and has given better yields too.
The IoT smart farming application, which can be downloaded on both Android and iOS smartphones, provides farm-related data that have nearly 100% accuracy. Among the data recorded by the sensors are readings pertaining to the volume of fertiliser or pesticide in the tanks, status of the irrigation pumps, humidity level and temperature, crop growth timeline, type of crop, date of cultivation and automatic harvesting and crop yield record.
The farm has 15 sensors and all the data collected from the field is stored in a cloud computing system. Data from the 15 sensors are sent to the cloud every 15 minutes. If the teams need any information on, for example, fertiliser, pesticide, temperature or humidity level, they just have to print out the required data from the list.
They can also download data from individual sensors. And, now they are developing a system that will enable access to all the data via email because it is quite time-consuming for them to download data from the cloud especially when there is too much data.
Technological collaborations with MDEC have also enabled them to activate the sensor control panel via voice commands, he added.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced this week that eligible non-bank financial institutions (NFIs) will have direct access to the banking system’s retail payments infrastructure from February 2021.
This applies to non-bank financial institutions that are licenced as major payment institutions under the Payment Services Act, they will be allowed to connect directly to Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST) and PayNow.
FAST is an electronic funds transfer service that enables customers of participating entities to transfer Singapore dollar funds from one entity to another instantly.
PayNow is an overlay central addressing service that runs on top of the FAST payment system. PayNow allows consumers and businesses to make instant payments across accounts using a proxy such as a mobile number, NRIC/FIN number, or Unique Entity Number (UEN). FAST and PayNow is also available 24/7, 365 days of the year.
Direct connection to FAST and PayNow will enable users of NFI e-wallets to make real-time funds transfers between bank accounts and e-wallets as well as across different e-wallets. Currently, most e-wallets require the use of debit or credit cards to top-up funds, and funds transfers between e-wallets are not possible.
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS said, “Direct access by NFIs to FAST and PayNow closes the last-mile gap in Singapore’s e-payments journey. Consumers who may not have ready access to debit or credit cards to fund their e-wallets will now have the option to do so directly through their bank accounts.”
“Our vision to enable complete real-time payments interoperability will now become a reality. Adoption of e-payments will become even more simple for individuals and businesses. MAS thanks the members of the DFWG for their spirit of partnership that brought to fruition this major milestone for e-payments in Singapore.”
Businesses that partner any of the 23 FAST or 9 PayNow banks, or e-wallets that have traditionally been closed-loop ecosystems will soon be able to receive real-time payments from other users of e-wallets or mobile banking applications that will be joining FAST or PayNow. This will enable businesses to access a larger market of consumers than before for receiving e-payments instantly and seamlessly.
NFIs will be able to connect directly through a new Application Programming Interface (API) payment gateway developed by the Direct FAST Working Group (DFWG), with guidance from the Singapore Clearing House Association (SCHA) and The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), which govern FAST and PayNow respectively.
The API payment gateway is better geared to the technology architecture of banks and NFIs, and can also be used by other banks and NFIs in future.
The Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, has launched the Green Charcoal Hackathon, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and nurture technology solutions in India.
To fast-track technology development, NVVN (NTPC VidyutVyapar Nigam), in partnership with EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), organised this technology challenge. The purpose of which is to leverage technology and innovation to develop solutions that will lead to clean air by eliminating farm fire and producing renewable energy out of the agro residue.
According to a press release, the hackathon also aims to promote local entrepreneurship and increase the income of the country’s farmers. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister explained, “The Hackathon displays the spirit of innovation, which pervades NTPC. Any organisation has to have this spirit of innovation to grow and prosper or otherwise, it would fade away. I am sure that the NTPC management has told all young engineers that innovation and new ideas are encouraged.”
He added, “This [hackathon] is also innovation in the pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint. From that point of view, all competitors in the Hackathon should keep in mind that the process of converting this (agro residue) to charcoal should not lead to emissions. Another key thing is the commercial model, which will depend on the cost of both the machine and charcoal production. I am sure we will come out with a machine which is economical. I am happy to see the orientation of NTPC towards reducing the carbon footprint.”
Ashish Upadhyay, Additional Secretary of Power said, “The NTPC Group needs to focus on integrated and smart solutions to manage a carbon-neutral economy. I am confident that NTPC will be able to successfully implement and commercialise the technology which will benefit farmers, the environment as well as society”.
An industry expert noted that power plants are the biggest consumers of coal. Typically, a 1,000 MW plant consumes about 5 million tonnes of coal annually. India’s total coal-based power generation capacity is about 200,000 MW, which theoretically can consume approximately 1,000 million tonnes of coal annually. Even 10% of that, if replaced with green charcoal will amount to 100 million tonnes of this fuel. This will require approximately 160 million tonnes of agro residue and municipal waste (considering 60% yield), sufficient to wipe out the entire unused agro residue in the country. Thus, eliminating the farm fires and producing around 20,000 MW of renewable power.
Increasing air pollution due to the burning of stubble and agro residue by local farmers has become a major concern for the country. As a result, NVVN is looking for technologies to convert agricultural waste to a form that can be used in power plants. One such option is torrefaction, which converts the agro residue to green charcoal.
The technology to produce torrefied fuel using agro residue biomass is not easily accessible to small entrepreneurs due to the high costs of imported machines and lack of sufficient manufacturers. The technology to produce torrefied fuel using agro residue biomass, once developed in India, will be made accessible to small entrepreneurs.
To cater to the needs of the elderly in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) is developing a smart companion pet dog which can chat in Cantonese and Mandarin and can even remind the elderly to take their medicine when the Bluetooth function is enabled.
The smart pet dog is expected to be launched in phases next year and is expected to sell for less than HKD 1,500 each. Eligible local elderly and rehabilitation service units can apply to the Social Welfare Department for the “Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care” and get subsidies for their purchase.
ASTRI introduced the smart pet dog during the four-day Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit 2020 from 19 – 22 November 2020. ASTRI has been applying its cutting-edge technology and innovation to address societal pain points. This smart pet dog can support elderly care as Hong Kong faces challenges associated with an ageing population.
The project coordinator and Associate Principal Engineer at ASTRI stated that through the subsidy of Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care provided by the Social Welfare Department, ASTRI introduced the smart pet dog which originally had Japanese language capabilities to Hong Kong intending to enhance and localise it to suit the needs of the elderly here.
About 200 to 300 sets of Cantonese and Putonghua dialogues will be added to the smart pet dog so that it can “listen” to the elderly in Hong Kong and the Mainland and respond accordingly. Such a response can include caring and greeting the host, as well as greeting and talking endearingly.
At the beginning of next year, the team will collaborate with the Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service to arrange smart pet dogs to be companions for hundreds of elderly people who live alone and stay in daycare centres, community centres and elderly homes to better understand the needs of the elderly in Hong Kong and optimise their conversations.
The project coordinator said that a company has already indicated an interest in commercialising the smart pet dog. It is expected to be sold in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and other parts of China in phases from mid-2021 onwards, he added.
ASTRI will further incorporate Bluetooth functions for the smart pet dog to enhance its functionality. The caregiver will only need to enter the medication time for the elderly through a mobile app, then the smart pet dog will remind the elderly to take the medication on time and will also ask if they have taken them, and finally report back to the caregiver through the app, he said.
He also said that other organisations can develop more applications in the future based on ASTRI’s application programming interface. And through Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), one can further enhance the functions of the smart pet dog, such as continuously monitoring and analysing the responses and the speed of speech of the elderly while chatting, thus enabling social workers and family members to better understand the elderly’s health status.
Recent research shows that the global robotic pet dogs market 2019-2023 is expected to post a CAGR of close to 21% during the forecast period.
Robotic pet dogs have recently emerged as an effective way to alleviate depression, anxiety, distress, and loneliness, especially among the geriatric population. It has been observed that the regular interaction with robotic pet dogs at least thrice a week can decrease stress and anxiety. These robotic dogs are designed in such a way that they mimic most of the activities that live dogs do, such as they can wink their eyes, wag their tail, bark and many more. Thus, the adoption of robotic pet dogs is expected to increase significantly, which will drive the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed lifestyles and thought processes across the world. There is a paradigm shift in the way people now interact with each other. With social distancing becoming the new norm, citizens are increasingly becoming dependent on technology to communicate and interact among themselves.
From food delivery to shopping to banking, people are using apps on their mobile phones to get things done. And with it, people are getting used to the rapid and seamless service delivery businesses offer; to the point that they now expect governments to provide a similar experience.
However, delivering on such expectations can be quite challenging for the public sector as they must strike an intricate balance between the speed/experience of service delivery versus data security.
In order to help public sector utilise digital applications and APIs to enhance service delivery and get digital transformation right, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight with delegates from various public sector organisations in Indonesia.
Governments need to strike the balance between the speed of service delivery and security
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director, and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia laid the foundation for the discussions at hand.
He highlighted the fact that public services have never been under such pressure as they have been over the past few months. Further, he pointed out that due to the deeply ingrained legacy systems and lack of proper infrastructure, governments often struggle to provide the digital experience that customers have come to expect.
All of this has brought forward renewed demand for digital government services where they not only have to deliver at a certain speed but also ensure the security of data. On the same note, Mohit emphasised that security must be thought of as an intrinsic feature of applications rather than as a barrier.
Many agencies across local and central government are collaborating through open APIs to meet the ever-increasing need for data and connectivity. He acknowledged that APIs have become the foundational building block and a crucial element for any organisation undergoing digital transformation.
In conclusion, Mohit advised all the delegates to find partners who are smart, stable and reliable who will help strengthen their digital transformation and applications while ensuring the safety of their data.
The world is becoming more and more digital in its interactions
After Mohit’s opening presentation, Scott Van Kalken, DevOps Solution Architect, F5, shared his insights with the delegates.
Scott began by highlighting how the way people interact with each other has changed in today’s digital world. The primary mode of their interaction is through multiple apps on their mobile phones. Be it for food or transportation, everything is just a click away.
He underscored this proposition with the recent example of COVID-19 apps that have helped citizens remain informed and safe during the pandemic.
Today’s digital citizens are getting so used to the convenience of the apps that they are increasingly demanding a similar experience in their interactions with the government. Enabling such a seamless digital experience can be quite challenging for governments as they not only need to share the relevant data with the public but have to ensure that it is protected in a secure manner.
He backed his opinion by sharing some numbers from a recent report that confirmed, through surveys, that security is the top concern for organisations across the board.
Moreover, governments understand that building an app is not enough and delivering the experience is equally important. In the same vein, he also explained how governments around the world are starting to embrace digital transformation to enhance citizen experience. The Indonesian COVID-19 app and digital medicare card in Australia are excellent examples of the convenience of interacting with the government.
Scoot went on to share another challenge faced by the governments i.e., which of the available technologies should they use to serve their citizens in a safe environment. The right strategy and choice would need to secure all the right components to deliver effectively.
The four important pillars that determine the API design in an organisation
After Scott’s informative presentation, Sabine Deloffre, Principal Product Manager at Service NSW shared her perspectives with the delegates.
After briefly introducing her organisation, Sabine shared that they are focused on accelerating digital transformation using APIs to make services more effective, seamless and intuitive.
She explained that they began on this journey with strong endorsements from the advocates of APIs intending to synchronise information scattered across different departments.
Sabine spoke about the 6 major drivers behind using APIs:
- Be an agile organisation
- Expose functionalities
- Share data easily
- Be more observable
- Defend and secure
- Scale and expand services
After expounding about the major drivers, she talked about the 4 pillars that become important considerations for an organisation’s API design:
- Autonomous: This pillar stands to ensure that the API design lets the organisation operate with agility as an independent body
- Enablement: Once the API design has been done, the next important thing is to ensure that there are dedicated teams to support, coach, and share the knowledge for smooth implementation of the API design
- Support: Ensuring that there is enough environment, platform, and security support for the applications to enable seamless delivery
- Governance: A centralised governance to maintain consistency and security for API practices across all teams
Sabine concluded her presentation by emphasising the criticality of the 4 pillars and the need for them to align for an organisation to deliver effectively to the citizens.
After the presentations, it was time to interact with the virtual audience through an insightful polling session.
On the first question about the main challenge in moving towards application deployment, the majority of the delegates voted for culture (32%) and ageing infrastructure (32%).
A delegate reflected that while developing applications, organisations consider technology, people and processes, but often processes get overlooked making deployment of application very complicated. This becomes a major challenge.
On the next question about the current application development infrastructure to address a seamless user experience, most of the audience voted for modern with containerised environments and agile workflows with security on all layers (65%).
Another senior delegate reflected that they are using modern applications at a micro-level in their organisation but cannot call themselves a fully digital organisation, as there are still some legacy systems in place which will transform over time.
On the final question about their organisation’s level of API security, half of the room voted that they are 75% on track with missing components on visibility and monitoring (50%).
A participant opined that it is very difficult to address the issue of security and to say with certainty that they are 100% secure. But because his organisation has the right protection and precautions in place, he voted for the above option.
After the interactive polling session, Surung Sinamo, Country Manager for F5 Indonesia addressed the audience with closing remarks.
Surung reiterated that the world today has gone digital and consequently the public sector is facing two main challenges: meeting the demands of the digital citizens seamlessly and ensuring the security of the data they harbour.
He shared that at F5, they believe in ingraining security in all solutions and make the right tools available to monitor security. In conclusion, Surung urged the delegates to reach out to him and his team in Indonesia who would be happy to partner with them.