The primary purpose of E government is the delivery of on line public services. In doing this, the way in which both central and local government can deliver services will be transformed.
It provides the opportunity for services and information to be centred on the needs of the customer.
E government has been made possible due to the emergence and commercial use of a number of key enabling technologies. The most common technologies that are used include internet, intranet, extranet, document imaging/management, workflow and mobile communications.
From a business and process improvement perspective, these enabling technologies provide the opportunity to redesign business processes and ultimately deliver more cost effective public services.
Advantages for the public include more responsive services, services that are accessible 24 hours each day and 7 days each week, portals through which easy access can be gained to other services leading to joined up government services.
However this does represent a number of challenges facing those organisations who are responsible for delivering the services. These include the organisation culture, skill sets and subsequent training requirements, working practices, management practices and the flexibility and responsiveness to change. If these issues are not addressed then it is possible that many of the service improvements and cost savings, which e government can deliver, will not be achieved.