Digitalization and Personalization Are Main Trends in Development of Information Society

27 january 2017

It is the second day that the Analytical Center has been hosting the Best Information and Analysis Tools in Public Management conference. Today the winners of the Best Information Analytics Tools 2016 contest are presenting their solutions in an on-line broadcast. During yesterday's events the conference participants talked about the state policy for the development of information technologies.

"The country now has an e-government, we have a high degree of information technology penetration in the regional and federal authorities, we have more closely approached the needs of every citizens and reduced the gap between the public and the government," said Head of Department for Information Technologies and Communication of the Russian Government Vladislav Fedulov. "We keep up with all the global trends on developing our Digital Economy program."

According to Mr. Fedulov, the key digitization tasks include a transition to new production chain formats with the result that customers should be getting personalized final products. "Digitization is akin to industrialization," Mr. Fedulov drew a comparison, "We are going to help establish new world class Russian standards and develop a program aimed at creating favorable conditions for the emergence of new technologies."

"All our efforts must be in line with the needs of our citizens in general and in particular, the state must keep track of the public demands and strive to meet them," Oleg Pak, State Secretary and Deputy Minister for Communications and Mass Media, said in his address. "The smart phone today is practically an operating console for one's entire life; a lot of what one need is just a few clicks away. The main motive driving the creators of free services is that they want to learn more about their clients so they can better personalize the services they offer them."

Deputy Economic Development Minister Savva Shipov made special emphasis on the need to "get rid of paper in favor of digital records so that we can optimize our work." According to him, information today is especially important when it comes to the introduction of the risk oriented approach into the supervision and oversight function that is currently undergoing reforms (note that the Analytical Center is an important project management office managing the reform of the supervision and oversight function). "State supervision must strive to minimize losses, and to that end we need smart supervision that anticipates risks. And that is something that can not be achieved without big data," Mr. Shipov said. He is also of the opinion that an interdepartmental competencies center needs to be set up.

"The Federal Statistics Services is one of the most advanced government agencies in terms of information technologies, which we have been deploying since the early 1970s," said Deputy Head of Federal Statistics Service Constantine Laikam. "Today we publish huge amounts of data on our website and all that information is available completely free of charge (in some countries this is not available), and we regard that as a major breakthrough."

Deputy Chair of Executive Board of Pension Fund of Russia Nikolai Elistratov believes that "as information technologies are developing in leaps and bounds it is important that we maintain good quality and for that we need highly skilled professionals." Mr. Elistratov said that the Pension Fund of Russia had launched two major information systems, one of which is based on a foreign solution, while the other, the federal registry of persons with disabilities, is based on a Russian solution. "I personally like the domestic product better than the foreign one," Mr. Elistratov noted.

"We are keeping up with the smart cities trend, while continuing to give top priority to the development of social services," said Moscow government Minister Artem Ermolaev."We are transitioning to an e-learning system to allow every child to get personalized knowledge acquisition services. The same goes for health care, where your gadget will be reporting to your doctor on the state of your health, and should something go wrong, your doctor will come to you all by himself. It is a paradigm shift from passively responding to requests to a more pro-active model of anticipating needs."

Ilya Katchan, Head for Relations with state organizations at SAS Russia/CIS, noted that the main current global trend in information technologies is an increase in the share of analytics and comprehensive solutions. "Another development is the move towards cloud-based solutions where we are seeing an explosion in both the quantity and variety of offerings," Mr. Katchan said. "In addition, software companies are moving from selling software solutions to selling the results of deploying their software solutions." In Russia, IT companies have to solve far more complex problems because the lack of skilled labor means that quite often companies have to figure out what the task is before they can start delivering their product, he added.

Alexander Albychev, Director of IT Department of Government of Tumen Oblast, talked about his vision for the digitization of his region, which includes digital schools, digital hospitals, digital municipal organizations. At the same time, all the processes need to be standardized and then digitized; only then analytics algorithms can be run to analyze and optimize them. Speaking about the challenges of import substitution, Mr. Albychev said he was sure it was going to bear fruit eventually.

Deputy Prime Minister of Samara Oblast Stanislav Kazarin believes that information technologies are expensive and must be used prudently. "Tangible benefits only emerge when all interdepartmental barriers are removed at the IT level," Mr. Kazarin believes. "Very often the existing regulations are holding back regional development and so it is our earnest hope that the personalized approach is going to be used not just for the general public but also when it comes to public authorities."

 "We hope that information technologies will not only be a tool but will also serve as a good excuse to change the obsolete working methods that public authorities still rely on," summed up Vasily Pushkin, Deputy Head of Analytical Center.

The conference also included a round table on the best practices for the creation and use of analytics tools in public authorities, during which experts talked about how different organizations use information analytics tools. During the final panel discussion the experts talked about the current trends in the development and deployment of software solutions to support decision making.