Government Integrated Data Center (GIDC
National Computing & Information Agency

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The national informatization initiative that started with digitization in the 1960s in Korea began to spread throughout the government sector but it was in the 1990s that E-government projects were implemented on a nationwide scale by individual government agencies. And the increase in IT system implemented in the public sector not only led to higher dependency on digital work process but also allowed a great deal of public service to be delivered through online means. By the early 2000, the number of various e-government services developed by individual government agencies reached over a thousand and necessary network to support such number of services were independently developed and implemented across Korea leading various issues and problems, especially when viewed from a national scale. ① E-government system developed independently by each government agency were prone to redundancy and agency oriented network implementation that ultimately made information sharing in the government sector a difficult endeavor at best and outright incompatibility at worst. Although work-around solutions were implemented, the process of such solutions required complicated authentication procedures and prompted the citizens to visit public offices frequently to turn in documentation already possessed by other government agencies. ② Independent implementation of IT system also meant that depending on the capacity of IT management and support, there existed serious disparity in not only implementation of IT system but also in their operation and management. Many government agencies did not possess adequate IT resource or human capacity leading to frequent system failures (67 minutes of average monthly system downtime and database backup ratio of 49%), which in turn caused inefficiency in the online work process for public service delivery, ultimately leading to unstable online service delivery. ③ Development of similar system that performed similar functions, mainly that of delivering public service, simultaneously in numerous government agencies meant redundant investment and budget expenditure. In addition, since physical co-use of system and data was not possible, all the H/W such as servers were installed separately for each e-government service no matter how small, causing incredible inefficiency with less than 30% CPU usage rate for each server. ④ Dependent on small budget for informatization of individual government agencies, security measures such as access control, disaster recovery system, integrated monitoring system and IT security experts were non-existent which meant that IT based government work was vulnerable to data leaks, hacking and other cyber threats. These issues adversely affected the government’s ability to provide non-stop online public service and led to implementation of the GIDC project by the Korean government.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In 2004, the Korean government drew up an initiative to consolidate IT resource of government agencies in order to build and operate a GIDC safe from system failures and cyber threats that could efficiently deliver stable online public service to the people; the plan was reported to the President and passed the Cabinet meeting. Strategies for this plan included building the foundation for open data by using the cloud technology and securing system stability. By developing a government cloud service platform, the ‘G-Cloud’, using latest technology such as big data, cloud computing and green IT technology, an ICT based infrastructure that integrate and connect data from various different government agencies was created. Through the ‘G-Cloud’, government officers can easily access IT services and information needed through the Internet to work efficiently and provide better public service. Such effort led to the GIDC of Korea or the National Computer and Information Agency (NCIA), to be selected as the best practice for government cloud use by the UN Trade Development Council in 2013. Various measures have been implemented to secure system stability. First, human capacity was strengthened by requiring all government officers working at the NCIA to receive advanced training and education for 80 hours or more annually. The NCIA not only directly provides training programs for its officers but also provides training run by specialized and dedicated training/education institutions. Moreover, to introduce the latest IT technology to the public sector, the NCIA runs active technology exchange programs with global IT companies such as Samsung, LG, SK, HP, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and more. Standardization and automation implemented for IT system also serve to guarantee interoperability of equipment and data between government agencies, allowing efficient, effective and stable e-government service delivery. Such efforts led to certification by international agencies such as the ISO and BSI and also raised credibility and trust in stable and efficient system management of the GIDC by government agencies that use the GIDC. Redundant government investment problem was solved because the NCIA comprehensively implements IT resource with budget savings of 30%. By integrating IT equipment using cloud technology and allowing government agencies to collectively use them, the use of government IT resource has become very efficient. In order to effectively deal with increased potential risk from physical system integration, disaster recovery and response plan was diversified. For physical security, strict access control, redundant system architecture, regular backup and other measures have been implemented to cope with possible disasters. For cyber security, system access control, 24/7 non-stop network monitoring and big data based analytics have been implemented. In particular, Business Continuity Plan(BCS) for 9 types of major disasters such as earthquake, floods, terrorism and cyber attacks was established and continuously updated to guarantee continuity of government work under any emergency. Today, the NCIA operates over 1,100 IT systems of 44 central government agencies and ‘K-net’, the government network for over 700 public institutions.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Because IT resource for e-government is consolidated, standardization and automation of all the IT system and work procedures can be realized at minimal cost compared to independent implementation and operation by numerous government agencies. The GIDC is a comprehensive platform that can easily upgrade the quality of public service delivery at a low cost. However, such physical integration did not happen quickly or easily as the vast number of IT system could not simply be consolidated into the GIDC in one step. Phased approach was taken and by 2008, in the first phase, independent and separate IT system operated and managed by numerous government agencies were simply co-located for consolidated management and operation. In the next phase in 2009, high performing servers were used to consolidate IT resource. From 2010, cloud technology was implemented to build a flexible IT infrastructure that would allow government agencies to use appropriate amount of IT resource and deal with unforseen needs coming from changes in the government organization or sudden increase in seasonal demand. The implementation of cloud computing maximized the efficiency of government-wide IT resource management which means budget savings, and increased energy efficiency such as reduced power consumption and greenhouse gas emission.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The action plan to implement the initiative outlined so far can be broken down to 3 phases: planning, implementation and operation. For the planning phase, the Business Process Re-engineering(BPR) process was started in October 2002 for 508 public organizations in order to survey and gather information on the state of IT based work process within the public sector. Based on the result of the BPR, including the GIDC project, a total of “31 E-government Roadmap Projects” were selected for implementation by a Presidential Committee for E-government. After making a full report to the President in August, 2004, the Roadmap also passed the Cabinet meeting next month in September 2004 and thus finalized for implementation. The first GIDC was completed in November, 2005, and e-government system from 24 central government agencies were moved into the first GIDC with the inauguration of the NCIA as the official government organization responsible for operation of the GIDC of Korea. And in November 2007, the second GIDC with backup function of the first GIDC was completed. At the same time, the e-government system of the remaining 24 central government agencies were moved into the second GIDC. Currently, a third GIDC with more advanced backup function is under construction. As for the operational aspect of the GIDC, from 2005 to 2008, NCIA simply took care of all the independent e-government system of the 48 central government agencies which were physically placed and co-located within the GIDC. But from 2009, the budget to purchase equipment for all of the e-government system of the central government agencies was delegated to the NCIA; the NCIA procured all the needed equipment (approximately 60 mil. USD for 2009). Specifically, high performance·highly efficient·energy saving IT resource is implemented physically and numerous government agencies are allotted for their needs thereby sharing IT resource. From 2010, virtualization technology was implemented by applying cloud computing to the GIDC in several steps allowing the NCIA to provide cloud service for civil servants to government agencies. This effort is not limited to physical resource and extends to data and information which is now being shared by the government agencies based on the cloud computing technology to build a solid IT infrastructure for the public sector. By 2017, the NCIA plans to convert 60% of government work to cloud based infrastructure and at the same time, strengthen the failure·cyber threat response system based on big data technology to deal with possible issues that can arise from implementation of such technology.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The GIDC project was first proposed by the ‘Special Committee for E-Government(SCEG)’ consisting of private sector experts to innovate the e-government in 2002 during the Kim Dae Jung administration. At the time the SCEG pointed out that e-government projects were being implement by each of the ministries independently making integration and information sharing a difficult feat at best causing poor public service delivery to the people as well as inefficiency in the public sector. The SCEG proposed the GIDC project named ‘Building an Integrated Digital Environment for the Government’ as the solution to solve these issues. The Participatory government which was inaugurated in 2003, inherited the e-government policies of the previous administration and developed a more detailed initiative, the ‘32 E-government Roadmap Projects’ and implemented this initiative with the strong support of the President. As part of the 31 Roadmap Projects, the GIDC project started off with the Dept. of Public Administration developing a masterplan for the project after carrying out an overall survey designed to understand the status of IT based work process in the whole of the government. The actual implementation of the GIDC project was carried out by the “Commission on Implementation of the GIDC” consisting of a Chairman from the private sector and experts from 9 relevant ministries and the National Information Society Agency(NIA). A separate committee made of experts from the academia, research institutes and the private sector called the “Committee on Implementation of the GIDC” was set up to review and support the implementation process by the Commission. The actual designing, construction of the GIDC as well as implementation of the base infrastructure including digital equipment installed and moving of the IT system possessed by each of the government ministries was carried out with the participation of over 180 IT companies in Korea.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Most of the financial burden for this project was supported by budget of the Korean government. According to ROI (Return On Investment) and TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis performed by an independent outside organization, the total investment made by 2010 (including construction cost, digital equipment, moving cost and maintenance) was approximately 900 bil. KRW where as the cumulative benefit gain (including security, disaster preparation, cost reduction, stable operation) was estimated at 1.14 tril. KRW, thus leaving a management profit of 228.8 bil. KRW. Technical and manpower support came from various government officers working in 40 central government agencies during the planning and implementation of the GIDC project. Currently, the NCIA is in charge of operation of the GIDC. However, it should be noted that in the process of implementation of this project starting from planning all the way to operation, experts from the academia, research institutes and private enterprises participated and supported the decision making process as well as implementation in unofficial capacity. Specifically, many IT companies supported the technical aspect of its implementation and over half of the operation of the GIDC is currently outsourced to the private sector. Private businesses participate in open bidding procurement and conclude contract for one or twe years with the NCIA. Moreover, in order to deal with and respond to physical threats, a system for collaboration with public agencies such as the police, military and fire stations was developed. For cyber threats, the NCIA works with various relevant organizations such as the National Intelligence Service, KISA(Korea Internet Security Agency) and KLID(Korea Local Information & Reserch & Development) and has concluded MOUs with security specialized companies. As for regional involvement, the NCIA has concluded MOU with nearby regional universities and research institutes to encourage employment and foster the regional IT industry.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Despite the increase of over 500% in number of equipment managed in comparison to pre-GIDC period, the average system failure time fell from 67 minutes in the pre-GIDC period to 4.5 minutes in 2013. Even during such system failure, with adequate redundancy of servers and the network that allows traffic to use other routes, actual service delivery to the people did not suffer at all. Since the implementation of the GIDC, there has not even been one single instance of power interruption with the complete uninterruptible system built in and the e-government system that were distributed in the two GIDC with real-time mutual backup system allow non-stop seamless service delivery all year around. The cost saving achieved by simplifying the procurement process by giving the NCIA the purchasing power for all of the IT resource of the government reaches around 30% for equipment purchase and 30% for maintenance. And by making use of the virtualization or clustering technology, it became possible to integrate the purchase of equipment for each work process and maximize efficiency of government resource through co-use of equipment by several government agencies. Cost and resource savings from such activities were then invested in other projects such as resolving the digital and security divide. Level of security has also been greatly augmented. Real-time monitoring and surveillance of the building and facilities of the GIDC as well as robust access control has strengthened physical security. As for cyber security, non-stop 24/7 integrated monitoring of all network and equipment, multi-layered defense system and big data based CERT (Cyber Emergency Response Team) allows immediate response to outside threats. Even with approximately 10,000 attempts of cyber attacks, there has never been one single instance of damage by major fatal attack on system within the GIDC. According to a report made by a private organization, the benefit accrued from such security measures was estimated at 704.8 bil. KRW by 2010. In other aspects, by outsourcing the implementation and operation of the GIDC to some 200 private Korean businesses, the Korean government helped to develop the IT industry and also helped the regional economy through more employment and economic benefits around the two GIDC in regional areas.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
In order to improve the E-government of Korea to the level of seamless integration, the Participatory Government (2003~2008, President ROH) prepared the ‘31 E-government Roadmap Projects’in 2003. The GIDC project was included as one of the innovative 31 Roadmap Projects to share information resource of the government. The result of such planning was reported to the President in August, 2004, and the President personally oversaw and managed the GIDC project from implementation to monitoring and post-evaluation. And the ‘GIDC Implementation Committee’ composed of experts from the academia, research institutes and private businesses reviewed the implementation strategies for the GIDC. During the operation phase, service satisfaction level of the 44 government agencies that receive services offered by the NCIA was evaluated to determine the level of service provided by the NCIA and gathered issues and opinion from the customers to improve services provided by the NCIA. Based on such evaluations, the NCIA has been continuously improving its services to the 44 government agencies. Evaluation in 25 index from 5 areas such as customer response, work capacity, system operation, communication and sharing were performed by external organization every year where an annual average of over 50 items for improvement were identified, reviewed and processed. And such effort led to confidence in the NCIA, raising the result of customer service satisfaction score from 60 points during the early implementation phase to over 90 points in 2013. Even now, the NCIA is evaluated on a regular basis by various government agencies such as the National Assembly, Office of the Prime Minister and the National Intelligence Service on work process and cyber response where the result of such evaluation are continuously reflected back into the operation performed by the NCIA leading to efficiency and improvement of the operation system. In addition to such external evaluation, the NCIA also analyzes various external elements such as cyber threats and system failures to identify areas for improvement. As cyber threats are becoming more advanced and system failures more broad in scope, the NCIA has implemented a big data based comprehensive log analysis system in 2013 to discover signs of cyber threats and system failures well in advance and respond to any problems in real-time.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
In the planning phase, the main problems encountered were the opposition to the implementation of the GIDC itself and conflict between competent government agencies on implementation of the project. Government agencies were afraid that integration of IT departments into a new organization would lead to downsizing of the agencies and loss of authority in IT. This issue was overcome by setting up a pan-government implementation system directly under the President that could coordinate and mediate various issues raised by government agencies about to be integrated into the GIDC. Conflict between competent government agencies was resolved by selecting one single competent agency to implement the project based on evaluation of capacity in IT technology by the President himself. During the implementation phase, the competition to host the site of the GIDC by local governments and differing opinions of the stakeholders were the main problems. To resolve the hosting competition by local governments, a ‘Site Selection Team’ was setup composed of experts from different fields and this Team made the final selection upon evaluation and onsite visits to candidate sites And consensus on the GIDC project was built through several public hearings and seminar on the issues for the stakeholders of the GIDC project which solved the conflicting issues raised by these stakeholders. During the operation phase, it was concerns by others on possible physical and cyber threats posed by integration that became the main issue. This issue was solved by gaining confidence of those concerned; business continuity plan was developed to deal with diverse possible emergencies and physical·cyber threats which was then internalized by those working at the NCIA.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
By linking data within IT system possessed by many government agencies and encouraging the sharing of data, efficiency and convenience of public service delivery was greatly increased. Civil servants could now access information from other agencies without having to verify the validity of this information and citizens could now receive various public service conveniently online channel without having to visit numerous government offices. And knowledge possessed by the government which has now been integrated by cloud computing technology, has formed the basis of the government IT infrastructure that can realize an open government providing public service quickly and accurately using diverse means. The Korean government plans to improve inter-government agency communcation and collaboration by making use of this cloud based infrastructure and remove barrier between different government agencies. In conclusion, comprehensive public service will be delivered to the citizen customized for each type of the people such as for the elderly, children or women. Also, by building a unified communication network, the ‘K-net’, which connects all government agencies including local governments and public institutions, knowledge of the government can be safely and quickly transmitted within Korea as well as vastly improving work efficiency of the government as a whole. The NCIA has been objectively evaluated by outside organization since 2011 on the impact of NCIA on innovative IT resource management based on 33 index developed in 6 different areas. According to such evaluations, investment made up to 2010 amounted to approximately 900 bil. KRW (including cost of construction, digital equipment, moving and maintenance) but the benefit accrued up to the end of 2010 reached 1.14 tril. KRW, meaning a net management profit of 228.8 bil. KRW. Detail of benefit gained compared to previous implementation and management of IT system individually by each government angecy includes strengthened security at 700 bil. KRW, reduction in operation·maintenance cost at 300 bil. KRW and integration of IT resource at 60 bil. KRW. Through annual evaluation of customer service satisfaction by the 44 government agencies, the NCIA has been steadily identifying areas of improvement and demand of its customers to improve its services leading to a massive improvement in the level of satisfaction. And the NCIA is continuously acquiring various certification by outside international and national organizations such as ISO22301 for business continuity and G-ISMS for information security. Such efforts have led to delivery of comprehensive public service to the people by the government through the core infrastructure of e-government provided by the NCIA. To measure the effect of such function, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration (MOSPA) together with the National Information Society Agency (NIA) carries out annual survey on the use of e-government services by the public. Based on detailed interviews of 2,000 homes from age group of 16 to 74, the score for satisfaction in e-government services has drastically risen from 60.2 in 2007 to 83.7 in 2013.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Already, work of the government in most of the countries in the world are based on IT infrastructure and the living pattern of the people are based on various mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Therefore, the need and demand for e-government services can only increase and the people will want mostly public services to be delivered in an integrated manner. It is certain that the GIDC model established by Korea will keep on adaping and improve to meet such demands and play the role of an integrated service platform for IT infrastructure, data and services of the e-government. Through the GIDC, the government can standardize and automate all system and proccess of e-government to realize the goal of data connectivity and service integration. Basically, in place of individual government agency implementing e-government system, when the integrated platform, i.e., the GIDC, is utilized, e-government of any nation can be easily disseminated and achieve maximum economic gain to secure the most competitiveness. In the information security area, the NCIA possesses the G-ISMS certification which is based on the ISO27000 and in the disaster management area, the NCIA possesses the ISO22301, allowing the NCIA to disseminate established process and knowhow it has acquired on an international level. And objective evaluation by accolades such as the Best Data Center Award at the 2010 Asia Pacific FutureGov, Best Organization Award for 2011 ITSM(IT Servcie Management) and the award for Best Practice for Government Cloud by the 2013 UN Trade Development Conference clearly attest the merits of the Korean GIDC model. It is the reason why 584 high level government officials from 117 countries such as Mongolia, Nepal, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Paraguay, Peru and more, have visited the GIDC of Korea for benchmarking in the last 5 years. Such visits did not simple end as an introduction to the Korean GIDC model but led to ODA projects for establishing a concrete masterplan or help to implement the GIDC with financial and technical support. For example, countries such as Mongolia, Nepal and Vietnam have already been using ODA to implement their own GIDC and many other countries are now in the process of carrying out feasibility studies or working on their e-government masterplan to implement the GIDC. The Korean GIDC model is a model that ingrate all e-government system from all government agencies for massive operation. But depending on the maturity of e-government in each country, this model can be modified to be implemented in stages. Government agencies with the passion and the will to lead such efforts can be the first wave of agencies for integration into the GIDC and other agencies can follow at a later time. Or a GIDC already established by a government agency can be used as a base for expansion.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
By integrating IT resource such as H/W, S/W, N/W and database of the government into a GIDC allowing government agencies to provide integrated public service, the GIDC helped to complete a world best e-government in transparency, productivity and convenience. To basis of such success came from sustained and strong national leadership. Also, strategy for better communication to resolve the conflicts and differences in opinion of various stakeholders helped a lot. Partnership with the private sector is necessary as well. To overcome the limited expertise in IT possesses by civil servants, private businesses were actively included in all stages of the implementation of the GIDC project from planning and construction to operation. Such policy allowed the creation of synergy for the next level in technology. The stages approach taken by the Korean government also allowed efficient public financing through dispersed installation of the e-government system. This strategy meant that the 2 GIDC centers were constructed with time interval and experience from operation of the first center was fully utilized for the construction of an improved and better second GIDC center. The application of new technology is an aspect that is extremely important in the IT area and the NCIA has stood in the front of such efforts to implement the latest technology such as cloud computing, mobile computing and green IT. As the first country to implement a national GIDC, Korea has been sharing its knowledge and knowhow accumulated from trial-and-error approach in the implementation and operation of the GIDC to many developing countries. The Korean government strongly believes that the Korean GIDC model is not only viable but is an effective total solution to effectively develop the e-government. Also, the Korean government hopes to provide its knowledge to the world to contribute to the resolution of the Digital Divide and prosperity. The Korean government hereby promises to actively help and support all nations in there efforts to better implement the e-government.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   National Computing & Information Agency
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Hyeji Kim
Title:   Manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   82422505272
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Yuseon-gu, 755 Daedeok Daero
Postal Code:   305718
City:   Daejeon
State/Province:   Daejeon

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