Electronic Government: Quiet Revolution

The internet is changing government more than politicians or civil servants can imagine. Being able to pay taxes, receive pensions or improve technical skills on the web will ultimately revolutionise democracy. But those who pay will ultimately want more say over what they get.

The World Today Updated 26 October 2020 Published 1 June 2001 6 minute READ

Simon Willis

European Head of e-government Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco Systems

The internet is a set of structures, rules and machines which together transport digitilised information – text, pictures, moving images, voice, software and financial transactions. In this respect it is a bit like television, except that it is interactive, global, unregulated – and the barriers to entry for the would-be broadcaster are close to zero.

Organisations that exist to manage information flow, like banks, schools and record companies are being transformed. Organisations that don’t are largely unaffected – but they are hard to find.

Transforming government

The more an organisation is in the business of information, the more profoundly it will ultimately be affected. Governments are pure information management organisations and should, therefore, be transformed by this information networking tool.

And to some extent they have been, but the impact is really only just beginning.

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