The study at hand assesses the applicability of new technologies like digital television (DTV) and mobile phone for providing public services in Estonia. In recent years, the state of Estonia has made a considerable effort to develop e-services for computers with internet access. As mobile phones and televisions are getting smarter, assessing their applicability in providing e-services is more relevant than ever and can help the state to reach its citizens in a more convenient and efficient way.
Some general recommendations:
- The state has to analyse the needs of the service users. Citizens’ choice of medium to communicate with the state depends on their habits, expectations, and technological capabilities. Additionally, the peculiarities of the problems to be solved and the expenses related to the mediums need to be taken into account.
- The state has to maintain the traditional means of accessing the services. Basic rights and needs have to be taken into consideration when making the final decision of which mediums to use.
- The development of virtual (internet, mobile, DTV) services should be approached as a whole. The state should be an easily recognizable and trustworthy environment of communication mediated through different channels.
- The legal environment should support the development of public services and the implementation of new technologies. Regulations should favour solutions with smarter and more effective processes, instead of forcing the technological developments of services to imitate the processes of paperwork.
- Although the development and introduction of new mediums comes at a cost, the direct savings from providing the service and the general social benefit including the total cost of the service and the savings from the perspective of the citizen (time, money, fuel etc.) have to be kept in mind when assessing the profitability of the activity
- Making open data accessible and promoting its use contributes to the widespread implementation of new technologies. This would favour innovation and the creation of services based on actual need.
- A support mechanism in the form of a resource and support centre (money for development and administering, counselling, the assembling of information, and mediation of knowledge) is necessary for the creation of new useful mobile and DTV services.