Information Technology
    Published Date: 23-Dec-2019
Digital Economy 2019: Achievements and Challenges

Domestic digitalization processes are in full swing, and in terms of the number of Internet connections of socially significant objects, UAE is even ahead of the schedule, but there are still a lot of problems in the field of legislation.

Achievements and plans

The greatest successes were achieved in the direction of “Information Infrastructure”. By the end of the year, almost 18 thousand socially significant objects will be connected to the Internet: schools, stations and fire departments – this is three times more than it was connected last year. 

Initially, it was planned to provide socially significant objects of the country with Internet access by the end of 2024, but the use of auctions allowed adjustments to be made: all objects will be connected by the end of 2021, and the cost of the project fell from 140 billion dirhams. up to 50 billion AED. “The winners of the auctions were a dozen companies. Budget savings from auction procedures amounted to 90 billion dirhams.

Domestic digitalization processes have been launched: a unified technological architecture of information systems of executive authorities and a state unified cloud platform ( GEOP ) are being created.

Work is underway in the direction of Digital Government. The other day, a hundred millionth user has registered on the portal. The government services portal is one of the most visited portals of its kind in the world, and the service continues to develop. 

We need quality changes that will be implemented through super services, the first such super service, EZOnline, has already been launched in pilot mode in five regions, and 15 more prototypes have been posted on the portal for public comment. More than 80% of users approve of the emergence of new services. “We hope to cover about 90% of situations in which a citizen comes into contact with the emirate.

Health super service, launched next year, which is “aimed not at providing government services in electronic form, but at the result.” For example, to collect medical documentation for a child sent to a children’s recreation camp, confirm health certificates with an employer with medical certificates. Or replace a driver’s license – a medical certificate will be transmitted through SMEV directly to the base of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Data to the super service will come from both emirate and commercial organizations.

Last year, more than ten thousand senior health workers were trained under the patronage of the Digital Economy program. Specialists were able to learn about the work of digital technologies and understand the benefits of their use in healthcare. Among them are artificial intelligence technologies. Pilot projects with AI show good results, these services, can provide the so-called second opinion. Another area is telemedicine. It is assumed that online decoding of digital electrocardiograms will reduce mortality from cardiovascular diseases of villagers.

Another problematic issue is coordination with the military on the  use of the  radio frequency spectrum for 5G networks. Pilot projects of such networks were launched this year.

Responding to criticisms of the insufficient level of disbursement of funds allocated for the national program “Digital Economy”, that this situation is explained by the specifics of work in the IT sector. Currently, cash execution is about 90%, but by the end of 2019 it will reach 100%.

The discussion participants drew attention to other problems of the program implementation. In particular, the need for a special procedure for public procurement in the field of IT, which would make it possible to conclude long-term state contracts. The lack of flexibility of contracts also hinders. Sometimes the intermediate results show that some work is not needed, but they still have to be done. And the need for other work is identified in the process of project implementation, but it is difficult to include them in the plan, since they are not indicated in the technical task. In these conditions, it is difficult to apply modern development techniques such as DevOps and Agile.

The need was noted for the structuring of work, the allocation of system-wide approaches to ensure the reuse of components created by order of the state, the simplicity of modernization of already implemented systems, and continuity in development.

The rules that are clear to all participants will create a comfortable and transparent market for developing software systems. “Ultimately, we went on to set the objectives of a unified technological architecture, a unified development environment, to understand the problems associated with the national data management system, formulated concepts and basic conceptual issues on the state cloud platform. This is the basis for fast forward movement

This is useful not only for users whose code is dead weight, but also for developers who will take ready-made pieces of solutions from the library.

This is not only about programming, but also about the full cycle of creating information systems, including the development of documentation, a description of the business architecture, software development, implementation and maintenance. In fact, we are talking not only about the national data management system, but also about the national knowledge management system

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