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Donnerstag, 29.10.2020
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Growing up in the 1980s, I used to hear a lot of talk about a paperless office, especially with the advent of the Personal Computer. Subsequently it seemed like a pipe dream. Most key digital data was scanned or converted from its offline form, the latter which was never disposed of. Alternatively digital data was duplicated in the offline world and sometimes even came in triplicates.

The paper just piled up in the offices, godowns and landfills. The initial success of the Web also didn’t make that must of a difference towards this particular goal. But there has been a great deal of digitization in the 2010s now further accelerated by the Covid crisis. A look at progress on the paperless scene…

  • Money: The financial system involved a lot of paperwork: Ledgers for the bankers and cheques for the customers, among other things. Online banking was a big step forward in that direction. In fact, many physical banks are shutting down all over the world. Then we had mobile money. That was the game changer because both the middle-class and the rural masses adopted it. Indeed there are many zones in the world today which have done away with paper money for their day to day sales. Banks also want to deal less and less with paper money. Some banks have tellers with handheld tablets conducting business. The future also looks paperless with the advent of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

  • Identification: In the past there were so many documents related to identification. So many forms to fill to get them too! Now already the mobile is taking care of that. You can have your Aadhaar card and a host of other government documents on your mobile. The mobile also has been a big hit with things like cinema and train tickets along with airplane boarding passes. Going forward even that may not be required as further forms of identification include your fingerprints, iris scan and of course facial recognition is really catching on.

  • Mobile workforce: In the pre-Corona era the mobile workforce crossed 1 billion and now will cross 2 billion. Most importantly, now the data collection is happening at the digital level with mobiles. You no longer have to fill forms when you go in for say a new internet connection or take insurance. The data can be collected directly online and sent to the servers. Even when it comes to claims, the agent can come and record things with a mobile.

  • Governance: Government offices were the biggest source of red tapism and triplicatism. With government offices getting computerized, digitized and e-governance expanding, the need for paper is also coming down. That also applies to all the citizens, companies and organizations dealing with them.

  • EdTech: Education was another area of paper overload with books, exams, records, forms and the like. Thanks to Covid now every school and college in the world has been forced online, even if it is temporary. (But a lot of that will become permanent). This will give a big fillip to online education and soon your syllabus will be mostly online and exams-tests can be given online too. Virtual Reality will be another great tool here. This also applies to the training world in companies and government offices.

  • Cloud-bandwidth-multi devices: This is the most important thing. To go totally paperless, you needed a huge, secure and reliable cloud. That has finally happened. The world has more than 500 Hyperscale data centers and millions of all types. Then there’s the bandwidth issue to view all of your data on a regular basis. Bandwidth has been increasingly steadily further boosted by the Covid crisis. Finally there’s the issue of viewing data conveniently. Now all of us have multiple devices to do the same. It’s all seamless now.

Whether its collaboration or OTT or virtual sports. Whether its drones or robots. Whether its digital transformation of small or big companies. The focus is totally on the virtual. Even when it comes to war, hacking seems to be the first line of attack. Finally there’s Artificial Intelligence to stitch that all together.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Sunil Rajguru

Quelle/Source: Ciol, 30.09.2020

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