| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Strategy has been implemented as a set of programs with timelines to achieve the key objectives of Bahrain ICT governance as stated above across the government:.
1- Integrated National Human Resource Management System (HRMS) and Financial Management system (FMIS): One key issue was the lack of a centralized and integrated government employee and financial management system. This led to improper resource and fund utilization on program and portfolio managements. Hence the Governance model emphasis and architect the framework to have an integrated HRMS and FMIS for nation.
2. Enterprise Architecture Maturity program: One of the core objective of governance is to raise the maturity of the government entities’ IT architecture and to streamline and standardize to exhibit a consolidated IT landscape that ensures the business IT alignment across the government entities through a set of process and mechanism which is a customized framework for Kingdom of Bahrain which in build utilize The Open Group Architecture Framework (ToGAF).
3. National Information Technology Plan: Bahrain’s ICT Governance executes a continuous program every 2 years to conceive and execute the government’s forthcoming ICT program / projects. This program assesses and examines the government IT plan to ensure ministries and agencies align their plans to the national strategy and VISION 2030. This plan also ensures the buy in of C-level Executives across government as well as the Supreme Committee.
4. Information Technology Investment Framework Model: Governance has realized there were no adequate systems in place to track the IT investment in the Kingdom. Hence it has designed a strategic architecture framework for transparent IT investment across government entities.
5. ICT Policy and Standards: ICT Governance emphases cross government ICT standards and compliance. This initiative drives the development and enforcement of policy and standards to ensure best–in-class services are provided to the citizen, government and business. The standards process is a continuously evolving program to provide a secure and integrated business environment in the Kingdom.
6. National Service Delivery Platform: The National Service Delivery Platform provides a ‘one stop shop’ for citizen and business to access services. The platform manages and monitors the integrated service delivery model through multiple initiatives across the government in the business and Information Technology arena.
7. Improve Government IT efficiency and effectives: This process ensures that the design and deployment of IT within the governance framework is efficient and effective. These standards are achieved through appropriate processes and systems at the national level to drive a “whole of government approach”.
8. ICT Shared Service Environment: This initiative stresses the importance of the shared service strategy and shared environment across government. This program developed a roadmap and approach mechanism to achieve the identified shared service IT program in the Kingdom to name few program are Shared Electronic Document Management System, Integrated HRMS and FMIS for the government, emphasis to have Shared service Center of Excellence and program management office for the government.
9.People and Process Capability Development : Its strategic important objective to ensure to have appropriate capability on resources, processes in the government to achieve this it has a set of activities to assess a cross government IT capability development plan and program which drove by ICT governance.
10. Enable Next generation environment: This initiative is to educate and propagate the importance of national and eGovernment strategic objectives and emphasize the C-executive leadership to drive their strategy towards the next generation environment.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The general stakeholders for the framework are principally the government C-Level Executives and decision-makers across all government entities, Heads of IT across all government departments and key vendors and suppliers in the Kingdom of Bahrain are also important stakeholders.
Each of the identified initiatives above have, in addition to the general stakeholders, specific stakeholders necessary to drive their objectives:
1- Integrated National Human Resource Management System (HRMS) and Financial Management system (FMIS): Key stakeholders include the Ministry of Finance, Civil Service Bureau, eGovernment Authority and Central Informatics Organization and other government entities which are utilizing the systems.
2. Enterprise Architecture Maturity program: This initiative is driven by eGovernment Authority to all government entities, currently the key stakeholders are Shura Council, Survey & Land Registration Bureau, Constitutional Court, and Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Urban Planning.
3. National Information Technology Plan: This initiative is driven by eGovernment Authority to all government entities.
4. Information Technology Investment Framework Model: This initiative is driven by eGovernment Authority to all government entities with the Key stakeholder are Ministry of Finance, eGovernment Authority and Central Informatics Organizations.
5. ICT Policy and Standards: Key stakeholders are all government entities.
6. National Service Delivery Platform: Stakeholders are all government entities
7. Improve Government IT efficiency and effectives: Stakeholders are all government entities
8. ICT Shared Service Environment: Stakeholders are all government entities, prime stakeholder are eGovernment Authority and Central Informatics Organization.
9.People and Process Capability Development Stakeholders are all government entities , Key Stakeholder are Civil Service Bureau , eGovernment Authority and Central Informatics Organization,
10. Enable Next generation environment: Stakeholders are all government entities
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The National Enterprise Architecture Framework has been implemented by an experienced team within the Bahrain eGovernment Authority (eGA) and key international consulting partners. The resource mobilization and advisory framework was implemented according to the following model: The Executor (eGA) drives and implements the initiatives along with international consulting partners for the Client (Government, Ministries and agencies) across the kingdom.
The executor implies has a group of C-Level executives, Technocrats, Architects and Directors drawn from eGA. One key resource is the project directors and advisors, who have 20 + years of experience in Strategy, Enterprise Architect, Financial Planning and Program Management. Another is the Chief IT Governance Architect who has around 18+ years’ experience on International and enterprise level Application, Data, Technology Architect and as well project management experience and IBM certified Architect and a Program and project manager who has a very strong experience with client management (Ministries and agencies), project management with around 12 + years’ experience on those and Quality Assurance and Security team are behind to support the executor.
These executors have identified and executed the program with the partnership of international consulting service partners. The consulting team had mobilized a 10 members group of technocrat who are well experienced with international exposure on Enterprise Architecture practice and Architecture cum project management certificate resource with hands on around 10 + years over the domain. Which consist of Enterprise Architecture Global head, Project director, Project manager, Chief Architect, Enterprise Architects from the consulting group.
Cost associated to the governance is around 1.5 Million US dollars in the span of last two years.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
There was no appropriate framework in place which defined guidelines, standards and reference models for governance. The framework governance which could streamline eGovernment strategy, Vision 2030 and the Policy framework for data sharing, system interoperability, adoption of standards has not been defined before year 2011.
The value realized by forming and executing an initiative called Bahrain Enterprise architecture and governance which is driven by a set of Standards, Governance, Reference model and Guidelines.
Blue Print of Information Technology:
Before the Governance Initiative was implemented, the Kingdom did not of a consistent framework in place which reflects business IT alignment and isolated IT blueprints by ministries none reflection of vision 2030. Due to this there is sub-optimal utilization of national infrastructure as such as National Gateway Infrastructure (NGI), National Portal, National contact center and National payment gateway.
The value has been realized by forming and executing an initiative called National Bahrain Enterprise architecture based on service delivery framework. Currently the government has a national level Service delivery based IT Blue Print.
Snapshot of IT Investment :
The government does not have an appropriate IT investment snapshot before the ICT Governance initiative initiated. To overcome and mitigate the issues we exercised an initiative to collect and analysis the IT Plan across government entities in the year (2011-2014). It aims to deliver the following for government:
• To ensure alignment of IT investment with eGovernment vision, strategy and objectives
• To avail a holistic national level view of IT investments and associated business benefits
• To identify redundancy / duplication in IT investment across entities
• To Identify IT investment optimization / rationalization opportunity
o Common IT solution catering similar need across entities
o Increased use of IT investment towards functional capability development
o Enable easier integration & interoperability across government ICT environment
• Identify new National initiatives based on common requirements across entities
• Provide high level guidance on IT budgetary requirement.
Based on the National IT plan year 2012-2014 exercise by enterprise architecture governance council collected and analyzed around one hundred and ninety eight (198) initiatives and projects across thirty two (32) government entities in Bahrain, it prioritized high, medium, low projects in the government and highlight to supreme committee the potential 21 million USD cost avoidance on IT investment
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
There is a formal committee which has a set of C-level Executive members, directors, chief who are involved to drive and monitor & evaluate the implementation of the governance program which defined by the vision, the mandate and the sponsorship of the Bahrain ICT Governance program and it has been endorsed by Supreme Committee of Information Communication Technology (SCICT) of Kingdom of Bahrain.
This governance committee was established in year 2011 to oversee and act as an advisory board in respect to Information Communication Technology related activities. It consist of the key members from different government entities like eGovernment Authority (eGA), Chief Informatics Organization (CIO), Ministry of Education (MOE), Deputy Prime Minister Office (DPMO), Economic Development Board (EDB), Ministry Of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), Ministry of Finance (MOF) those member are under secretariat and above cater level in the government of Bahrain and also an academic advisor from University of Bahrain (UOB). In respect of the governance drive in the Kingdom each members of committee has individual role to play according their Line of Business (LOB). The key responsibilities of the governance committee are as follows:
• Establish and communicate vision, charter and strategic directions for Enterprise Architecture based on Vision 2030
• Direct, oversee and support the vision, direction, and adoption/implementation of Enterprise Architecture based on Vision 2030
• Evangelizes Enterprise Architecture and obtains buy-in from Senior Business Leadership
• Decide and guide on adoption of technology advances
• Review, Approve annual prioritized planned initiatives, projects.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Historically, different entities with different businesses and supporting IT faced several challenges to communicate internally with their counterparts in other ministries. Most of the time these challenges were handled in the name of One Technology, One Vendor Solution (preferably) on a common platform to ensure interoperability and seamless integration. There were also cases of deploying point-to- point integration between different entities and even from ministry to ministry. This solution worked as a short-term patch, but stored up greater challenges for the future because of the ad-hoc implementation.
Business-IT alignment is another debatable area, where organizations tend to either ignore this completely, or adopt after numerous investments in IT, to support the businesses. Even business owners tend to ignore the fact that some of the IT initiatives, can really bring down their cost of providing necessary business services. Governance and Compliance were never seen as show stoppers for these organizations, because business would still continue and IT would still be able to support these businesses. Mostly the compliance validations are adopted on ad-hoc basis which ensures that nothing stops. Even if there are critical issues, Quick Fix patches are ready to be used.
Another key obstacle is commitment from individual ministries to implement recommendations from the framework. The eGovernment Authority had overcome resistance by addressing the concerns of ministries through constant communication, clear monitoring of the impact of initiatives and consistent Change Management.
White Paper publications are Testimonial evidence:
-Paper on Bahrain EA Governance Framework, for Journal of Inspiration Economy @2014: Scientific Publishing Center, University of Bahrain, J. Ins. Econ. 1, No.1, (Sept-2014).
-Paper on Policy Making and Assessment: Case Study of Bahrain Enterprise Architecture’s Policy & Standards in IT, for Middle East North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR)