THE STORY OF APPS & WAR ROOMS…

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THE STORY OF APPS & WAR ROOMS…

The story of apps, management software, helplines and war rooms handling big operations, emergency situations and disasters have become pretty old by now. Very rarely we give it a thought as to how it all functions, how it is created and what goes behind its creation. The general perception is the once an app is ready or helpline is flaunted or an URL is dedicated to the nation, the services will take a quantum leap and the magic wand will take us to a different level. The successes of railway reservation or income tax however humongous happens to be a  single peace time transaction operation. In case of income tax the payee is legally mandated to do so, the onus is on him.

Digital maturity happens over a long period of time, it is an organic growth. The same success does not happen in a variety of the other areas, the simplest of services of the municipal corporation does not improve with the same technology and equally sound app. What is not understood is the  brick and mortar complexity of it. The infrastructure, the people manning it, the quality of the management process, the backend connects with all the stakeholders and robustness of the core technology being used. What is the organizational culture and how much resistance will they have to face? If all what is described above happens as desired, then might be there is a slim chance to get into an App/helpline/war room level with reasonable success.

What makes it so difficult? We can see people struggling with these digital services only to be dejected in the second Corona Surge /purge. The challenge is to take it to a dynamic real time level and be correct every single time. When the systems are not in place, how does it move to the level of smart seamless operations? Have all the stakeholders been brought to the same page, has it been a shared vision? Have they been trained into it,  after testing the system for endless number of times? Apps and War Rooms of the last COVID-19 fumbled miserably to come back to life again. When ground level delivery does not happen, then these are cosmetic changes, turn out to be  congenitally flawed.

There were loads of digital heros who gave us deliverance from COVID-19 last time, models after models of success lasting till the awards function. If even one were to work fine, the scenes would have been little less ghastly this time,  the information would have flowed smoothly, that in itself would have brought down the stress considerably in this existential crisis. Unpredictability is killing, that these systems were to dispense with. If you get stuck in wrong digital systems, you will end up getting the worst of both the worlds. Technology comes at a cost and so does the expertise which runs it and the  business logic which the experts deliver into it, on a seamless physical operation. This type of data regime is still a world away. Till then, we suffer.

THE DIGITAL SERVICE REGIME CAN ONLY HAVE AN ORGANIC GROWTH, NOT IN THE MANNER OF KNEE JERK REACTION OF THE DAY.

Sanjay Sahay

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