Electronic businesses await public infrastructure

Providing information technology-based services has been introduced around the country recently, However, we are witnessing the high growth of businesses in this area. In fact, information technology-based services in the country have created an ecosystem consisting of governmental institutions, private companies and people. This ecosystem is at the beginning of its growth path and each component is independently trying to form it. The performance of this ecosystem in developing and developed countries is such that governments are preparing the right infrastructure to provide their services to the people and, on the other hand, private companies, by exploiting the same infrastructure, bring their products and services to their customers. Iran’s ecosystem is not different from this. However, in our country, private companies are more likely to develop than governmental companies in this regard, and this high speed has created problems for them. Among these problems, it is possible to discuss the legal issues and even the issues of cultural development in the country.

Government and affiliated institutions
Government activities in the area of providing e-services to citizens are not limited to the creation of multi-site or internet-based content. The growth of the Internet users in Iran over the past five years is undeniable. The Iranian government has been almost successful in providing the necessary infrastructure for providing electronic services, and this success has led to the growing success of private companies in this sector. One of the most important infrastructure for providing electronic services to people is the Internet infrastructure. The emergence of the fourth-generation Internet in the country is one of the major achievements of the government in providing the necessary infrastructure for people’s access to electronic services.
But the Internet infrastructure alone is not enough. The government should also eliminate the barriers of private companies in providing people-related services. Unfortunately, the government has not made significant progress in this regard, and there are some legal problems that are sometimes astonishing for private companies active in this area. There are a lot of problems with FinTech and the provision of IT-based banking services and we often see the filtering of some service providers in this area by government and government institutions. This indicates that the government is outpacing private companies from the point of view of the speed of growth in the provision of IT-based services and the government must strive to adapt to such a high speed, and it will also be possible for other affiliated institutions to take on this difficult path. If the political instability is not controlled and guided, they can negatively affect the economy of the country, Cyberspace filtering can also hit the start-ups and virtual businesses, therefore, the government needs to keep pace with the technology in order to maintain a margin of safety and to distinguish between such businesses and other Internet spaces. On the other hand, the government must provide the necessary space for start-ups, by adopting appropriate rules before any action. Until the actions of this economic sector, with a higher degree of confidence, as well as with more influence, go all over the world. On the other hand, the government has serious weaknesses in providing the necessary infrastructure for the activities of private companies in this area. Private Iranian companies do not have adequate access to domestic data centers and there are no proper rules in this regard. This weakness of the government in the long term will cause many problems for these companies, especially people and the sovereignty. Of course, we are witnessing serious steps taken by the government in this area, one of the most promising ones being the establishment of the Pole Data Centres Committee with the private sector investment. Among other government measures in the IT sector, it is possible to approve the principles governing the development of the Internet of objects in the country. It is envisaged that all ministries will take six months to prepare their plans in this field. But the problem that matters here is the lack of completion of the intra-city fiber infrastructure; a project that has been half-finished and has long gone without progress.
The creation of intelligent identification cards and data integration systems were among other government initiatives in the IT sector. It was decided to provide a smart identification card to people and replace their old cards, such as national card, military service card, driving license, etc. the project is ongoing, but it is not well-integrated. Inappropriate culture, lack of proper infrastructure and lack of proper rules are among the reasons that can be cited as failure to implement this plan.
In the past years, the government has also tried to create a platform for active IT companies, there are relatively good projects and projects in place, but there are two basic problems.
Firstly, there are a lot of common names in the names of the companies and contractors involved in these projects. There are also some rigorous rules that will put companies at bay.
The second problem in this work is some collaborations and parallel work. It has been observed many times that a project has begun with the cooperation of two or more large companies, but has failed between the work or unsuccessful, or has contradicted the original design. On the other hand, companies try to have their own infrastructure. A plan that may look good at first, but it will have many problems and costs.
Also, create a comprehensive administrative management system and country services, creating an integrated system of executive services for employees, establishment and implementation of an integrated accounting and financial system of executive agencies and the establishment and deployment of a comprehensive government system, including the basic systems and infrastructure that the government has entrusted with the task of implementing it to relevant entities.
Among other governmental activities in this field, integration of the Electronic Information Exchange System and Inquiries, Establishment of Iran’s National Bookstore, establishment and operation of a comprehensive electronic banking system, establishment and operation of the Smuggling and Trafficking Identification and Traffic System, and the Comprehensive Transportation System, which were considered by the members of the government can be noted. These activities have been approved by various working groups and will be implemented shortly.
Electronic government services to the public are not limited to the topics mentioned, and there are other massive programs in this area being developed. These plans include, establishment of unique location-based address specific system, deploy smart identity, establishment and application of electronic signatures in all transactions and documents and organizing of office counters and 22 other infrastructure projects, each of which will play an important role in the development of its dependent services. Other projects approved in this area include the full utilization of the staffing system, the development and deployment of a comprehensive electronic health system, the operation of the electronic tax system, the establishment of an electronic insurance system, the use of the accreditation system of the official education documents of the country and the establishment of the treasury system of the country.
Finally, it can be noted that during this short period of time, government services are commendable to develop the infrastructure necessary to provide the modern-day sense of the smart citizen and smart city. Despite the many shortcomings in this area, the pace of growth and progress of the government in these areas is promising a clear future for Iran in this area.

Kamal Rezaiy, Director of ICT department of Arvand Free Zone Organization