Here are Three Trends Presently Shaping GovTech Landscape
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the majority of countries around the world. While some of the solutions proposed by governments have varied, when it comes to providing social, economic, and medical assistance, those with developed GovTech—a whole-of-government approach to public sector digitization—have generally been more efficient.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of such systems, but as with any crisis, it has also left many pondering: how will GovTech evolve in the future?
Experts at NRD Companies, a global IT and consulting group of companies specializing in governance and economic digital infrastructure, have elaborated on how the landscape of GovTech might look like going forward.
The importance of developing e-government systems has not been overshadowed by the pandemic. In fact, the adverse conditions have only reinforced the need for GovTech solutions as countries seek to deliver their citizens an efficient way of accessing public services. With a deadly virus raging and travel restrictions in place, the crisis has opened up new opportunities for remote collaboration, which is no longer seen as an option, but rather as a necessary component for successful GovTech project implementation.
“As tools, processes, and software constantly improve, it has become possible to implement large-scale GovTech projects entirely remotely, regardless of location and time zones,” said Mindaugas Glodas, CEO at NRD Companies. “Of course, consulting and implementing projects remotely is significantly more complex than doing it the usual way, thus when choosing partners, countries should consider their experience in working with such projects. In any case, moving forward, remote work will stay with us even after the pandemic, as countries are becoming more aware of the benefits such methodology brings to the table.”
One such project involves Barbados, an island country in the Caribbean which has recently agreed, even amidst the pandemic, to take the first step toward digitizing the public sector. Working together with NRD Companies, the nation will implement a progressive e-services delivery platform entirely remotely, encouraging cooperation and data exchange between the public sector and the government by providing a Directory of Services and designated online spaces for citizens, businesses, and the government.
Shift to cloud
Multiple governments around the world still rely on physical, premise-based data centers. Such centers require careful management and are vulnerable to fire, smoke, moisture, flood, pollution, and data leakages. As governments receive more and more sensitive data, storing it in bare metal servers is becoming too risky to continue.
“The limitations of legacy systems are going to encourage a shift to cloud,” said Mr Glodas. “It is no longer safe and practical to store data on physical servers, especially when an increasing number of governments are choosing the digitization path. Going cloud is the next logical step as it provides more resilience, saves money and stimulates innovation.This has been happening for quite some time in the private sector, but the transition in the public sector is only accelerating.”
In particular, private clouds are now on the rise. In 2018, a study predicted that governments will shift to private cloud at twice the rate of public cloud through 2021. Since then, the German federal government, the French Ministry of the Interior and a few Swedish government agencies, among others, have transitioned to private cloud to ensure control and security.
Other countries choose similar cloud solutions. Partnering with NRD Companies, Anguilla, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, will have its electronic system for the Commercial Registry implemented on a hybrid cloud—a combination of on-premises infrastructure, private and public clouds—to ensure availability in a cost-effective way.
Positive influence of electronic business registries
The private sector is crucial in the country’s fight against poverty through investment and job creation. Where an effective private sector is lacking, business registration reform has been shown to be one of the essential first steps toward improving the business environment and fostering private sector growth. The easier, faster, and cheaper the business registration process becomes, the higher number of businesses are in an economy.
“When local businesses flourish, they create jobs and generate income that can be spent and invested domestically,” said Ieva Tarailienė, Head of Registry Practice at NRD Companies. “And for the businesses to flourish, favorable conditions must be ensured by the government. This is where digitization can help tremendously—online business registries streamline the whole process of formally registering one’s business and at the same time level the playing ground. As long as governments continue developing online business registration registries, it is a no brainer that their economic segments will only improve.”
The benefits of electronic business registries are reflected in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, which often acts as a guiding light for foreign investors. For example, Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, has moved up 36 places during the last three years and is now ranked first in the Sub-Saharan region and 13th overall in the latest Doing Business ranking. This is mostly thanks to its paperless e-registry system, recently developed by NRD Companies, which allows businesses and citizens to use over 30 registries completely remotely.
UK Imposed €132.7 Million of GDPR Fines, more than Germany and Italy Combined
UK Imposed €132.7 Million of GDPR Fines, more than Germany and Italy Combined
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues causing hefty fines and penalties for businesses and organizations across European countries even two years after coming into force.
According to data presented by Buy Shares, the United Kingdom tops the list of the most expensive data breach penalties with €132.7 million in total value of GDPR fines, more than German and Italy combined.
Cumulative Value of GDPR Fines Hit €344 Million, a €119 Million Increase in 2020
The primary reason for such a high cumulative value of GDPR fines in the United Kingdom is the data breach penalty imposed by the UK’s data protection authority, ICO, to Marriott International. In November 2018, the American multinational company was fined with €110.4 million after reporting a cyber incident that exposed nearly 340 million guest records.
Last week, the ICO fined British Airways €22 million for failing to protect the personal and financial details of more than 400,000 of its customers, the second-largest GDPR fine in the United Kingdom. The penalty is considerably smaller than the €204.6 million that the ICO initially said it intended to issue back in 2019 after the Magecart group used card skimming to collect the personal and payment information of British Airways` customers.
Far below the United Kingdom, Germany ranked as the second-leading country in Europe with €61.6 million in the cumulative value of GDPR fines, revealed the GDPR Enforcement Tracker data. On October 1st, 2020, H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop was fined with €35.2 million for the insufficient legal basis for data processing, the severest GDPR penalty in the country.
Italian data protection authority (Garante) imposed €57.3 million worth of GDPR fines so far, ranking in third place among European countries. On January 15th, 2020, telecommunications operator TIM was fined €27.8 million for unlawful data processing, non-compliant aggressive marketing strategy, and invalid collection of consents, the steepest penalty in Italy.
France ranked fourth among the European countries with €51.3 million worth of GDPR fines. Austria, Sweden, and Spain follow, with, €18 million, €7million, and €3.9 million, respectively.
Statistics indicate the cumulative value of GDPR fines and penalties hit over €344 million in October, with almost €119 million worth of new fines imposed in 2020.
Top Five GDPR Penalties Account for 70% of Cumulative Fine Value
Behind Marriott’s €110.4 million worth GDPR fine, Google holds second place on the list of the highest data breach penalties. The US tech giant was fined €50 million by France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, for not providing enough information to users about its data consent policies and control in using their data.
H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop ranked third on this list with €35.2 million worth GDPR fine. Italian telecommunications operator TIM and British Airways round the top five list with €27.8 million and €22 million, respectively.
Statistics show the five biggest data breach penalties cost more than €245 million, or 70% of cumulative GDPR fine value.
Japan Accounts for 22% Mobile Game Revenue Share Globally from Q1 to Q3 2020
Japan Mobile Game Revenue Accounts for 22% of Global Revenue in the First Three Quarters
According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting, Japan accounted for 22% of worldwide mobile game revenue during the first nine months of 2020. Between 2014 and 2018, it was the top country globally in terms of mobile game revenue. However, in 2019, the US took over and is still in the lead in 2020.
Based on a report from Statista, revenue from mobile games in Japan is projected to reach $6.85 billion in 2020. While revenue is expected to grow at 4.9% year-over-year (YoY), the number of gamers is set to rise by 5.9% to 34.4 million.
Japanese Publishers Make Up 25% of the Top 20 Revenue Generating Game Publishers Worldwide
During the first nine months of 2020, two of the top 10 publishers worldwide in terms of revenue generation came from Japan. These were Bandai Namco, generating $1.5 billion, and Square Enix with 1.2 billion.
Other Japanese giants were featured among the top 20 grossing mobile game publishers included Sony, Konami and Mixi. They accounted for 25% of the top 20 grossers globally. Japanese publishers were particularly popular at home. In fact, eight of the top 10 revenue generating games from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2020 came from these publishers.
From Q1 to Q3 2020, the US was the leading country globally in terms of mobile game revenue. It accounted for a 28% share. China was third behind Japan with an 18% market share while South Korea was fourth with 6%.
In terms of international performance, China is taking the limelight with titles like PUBG Mobile. According to Sensor Tower, PUBG Mobile was the top grossing title globally raking in $1.3 billion in H1 2020. The US is, however, expected to maintain its lead up to the end of the year. According to Statista, mobile game revenue in the US is projected to reach $10.73 billion in 2020.
Again, IBM Revenue Plunges for Third Consecutive Quarter
IBM Revenue Declined for a Third Straight Quarter in the Third Second Quarter
IBM revenue plunged for a third-straight quarter in the period ended September 30, 2020, according to the latest financial results of the company.
The company’s revenue declined by 2.6 percent year-on-year to $17.6 billion in the quarter, while revenue from IBM Global Business Service declined by 5 percent to $4 billion with Global Technology Services unit recording a 4 percent decline in revenue to $6.5 billion.
Again, the Systems segment that includes mainframe hardware and software experienced a 15 percent decline in revenue to $1.3 billion. The company’s global financing revenue plunged by 20 percent to $273 million.
However, revenue from Cloud and Cognitive Software segment that includes Red Hat rose by 7 percent to $5.6 billion.
“The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement. “Separating the managed infrastructure services business creates a market-leading standalone company and further sharpens our focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. This will accelerate our growth strategy and better position IBM to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.”
The decline in earnings was in line with the company’s pre-announcement that COVID-19 would impact its overall performance this year.
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