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Jaroslav Kmeť: Informatization is a Way, Not a Goal

We talked to the General Director of the Information Technology Section of the Public Administration, Jaroslav Kmeť. Mr. Kmeť, you will be talking about "Half-time development of Slovak informatization" at Jarna ITAPA 2019. Aren't we further from the half-time already? Shouldn’t we rather ask how to catch up what was belated or if it is possible to do so in the first place?

Informatization should be perceived as a journey, not a goal. The goal is the quality and affordable services for citizens and entrepreneurs and their satisfaction. Since joining, I have been advocating for this approach to informatization, either in the office or in meetings with my colleagues - IT directors of various ministries and offices. We could be crying over spilled milk forever, calculating how much money we have already poured into IT, but I think it wouldn’t make much sense. It is necessary to look at what has been accomplished in the past, and it wasn’t negligible. For example, we have built robust agendas, central components and basic registers. The state IT is moving to the central cloud, we have hundreds electronic services for citizens and so on.

It turned out that these investments have successfully returned their value to the state and citizens in saving time and money. Of course, not everything works as it should or could, as there is always room for improvement. Surely you have noticed a change in communication and perception of the citizen / entrepreneur as our client, to whom we want to adapt all our activities. Let's not make people to run around offices, let’s give data to people. These are not empty phrases, they are program names in which we want to bring new and improved electronic services to people, or even relief them to the extend, when services won’t be needed any longer. This would also safe considerable amount of time and finances. Today, peace, time to work and good ideas are needed the most.

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