November 17, 2009Doug Hadden
This is section 3.1.4 of a series of blog entries creating a Government IFMIS Technology Evaluation Guide. This includes information to assist in evaluating IFMIS options and the technology requirements for FreeBalance IFMIS implementations. These series will be combined with feedback to produce a comprehensive Technology Evaluation Guide to be published on our web site
Mobile phones have become the tool of choice in many countries. Wireless device adoption continues to grow. Computers are downsizing to netbooks. Smart phones are becoming smarter. Many experts see mobile technology closing the digital divide. In fact, wireless technology is helping countries leap frog by avoiding the expense of wired connections.
GRP software vendors need to adapt to the wireless reality through the support of simple communications methods, such as SMS, to enable notification and approvals on inexpensive mobile phones. Smart phones will enable richer applications, but competition among multiple platforms means that it is too early for widespread adoption in emerging countries. Nevertheless, GRP software vendors need to support open interface standards so that government data can be mashed up in commercial applications.
Economic Value Add
The mobile phone is ubiquitous. It was once thought that these devices were luxuries, supporting little value add. Yet, consider the plight of a teacher in rural Africa. The teacher may takes hours out of her time to go to the nearest educational depot to get supplies she ordered – only to find that they have not arrived. The cost of a single SMS message to alert her that items have been received saves time. It enables her to spend more time teaching and less time travelling.
FreeBalance and wireless government
Wireless is enabled. The FreeBalance Accountability Suite support SMS and e-mail integration. We provide a mobile application that enables notifications, alerts and approvals. The Suite supports open standards to enable exposing government data for mashup applications. The infrastructure was designed to support different presentation layers to enable smart phone support.
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