In what should provide much needed security and reliability, a government data centre has been established.

Currently, each agency stores its data on its own servers, which is both costly in terms of initial set up, and operation and maintenance. On top of this, a competent IT team would have to be on site at all times to trouble shoot when needed. Given the lack of having enough IT personnel, one of the common terms we hear today in most agencies is “system down”.

By consolidating information in one data centre, the government can concentrate its best IT personnel into one team to focus on ensuring the centre is running at all times. The government will also spend less on purchasing new servers. Efficiency will be improved.

Today, we have more public services moving online and more personal data being digitalised. Without secure systems, any skilled hacker can wreak havoc by stealing or editing data, among others.

By having data consolidated in one area, security is enhanced.

Another advantage of having data housed in the IT park is that it is relatively safer in the event of a natural disaster like an earthquake. It is hoped that the data in the centre is further back up in another centre elsewhere.

The government must now concentrate on further improving connectivity. The two telecommunication companies continue to enhance their services but problems still occur when you use online services like online banking. Electricity can also fluctuate from time to time.

Without reliability in these two areas, any achievements in e-governance will be limited.

There is also a need to further raise awareness of public services moving online and speed up efforts to make paying for services using the internet easier.

Undoubtedly, another significant milestone has been made in a journey of many more milestones.