This Digital Life

Paperless & Wireless Society: Systems Overdose

This week has been a busy than usual week. I have not been updating my blog so it shows. I am suffering from Systems Overdose. With the elections in Sarawak looming and the preparation for the Ninth Malaysia Plan in Sarawak I think work is up to the nose. For the 9MP after the Prime Minister's announcement, its the Chief Minister's turn now come this 20th April 2006. I also discover myself drowning in using IT applications used by our State administrative machinery for the planning, budgetting and monitoring of the projects. Some samples include:

The Development Project Submission System
The New Budgeting System

Sarawak Monitor

Sarawak Rural Projects Monitoring System

Being at the Headquarters level, we have to access and monitor all these systems. This includes:

- Recieving the agencies Project Descriptions & Details
- Double checking it in the Development projects Submission Systems
- Ensuring the Budget is available in the New Budget System
- Monitoring the Projects in the Sarawak Monitor & Rural Monitor

I think I am suffering from brain fatigue trying to understand the project concepts and also eye fatigue for trying to verify the details regarding the System. Apart from these we have many other Systems like the E-Dewan Undangan Negeri System, the Leave Management System and so on. Its quite irritating sometimes jumping from one system to the next keying in the same things over and over again. Ideally IT systems are supposed to make people's job easier. There is this objective that that we are heading towards forming a Paperless Government. Indeed in the olden days there was this fear that government servants like us would one day drown in our own bulky paper workloads. Thus there was so much harping about of having a paperless working environment. And it almost came true with the birth of Bill Gates.... or was it the introduction of the Information Technology (IT) - I can't differentiate the two. Now IT has evolved into ICT (with 'C' representing 'Communication' as we see the introduction of the networks, intranets and the Internet - its all a communication merry go round). Enough to say that we live in a highly wired and connected world now. And from then the SYSTEMs evolved - emails, chats, digital gossips and blogs were born, handphones became a boom and the mutants called the Short Messaging Systems (SMS) became an essential part of our daily lives.

The fun part about IT in work was that when you have 'unfinished' assignments, there's always a good explanation - 'Kena virus, boss'. Back then the Head of Departments accepted these highly complicated technical terms like- The Michalengo Virus, Friday The 13th Virus, Minum Teh Tarek time Virus were common names. Even if that excuse gets 'outdated' we would use the famous 'Printer or Computer Rosak' sign. Now the IT Age has made our bosses go high tech - maybe too high tech sometimes. One asked me to, quote '..... save the file in a 1GB Handydrive' or '...Burn it on a 700 MB CD'......even if the file is just 20KB in size. Yeap..... they have become truely 'canggih'! I would not want to argue with them... after all they are Da Boss.

Somehow that is to remain a dream I guess - a Digital Dream, sort of like the Windows Screensaver. Why do I say this? Simply put, I have not really seen the change that I had hoped for. The ultimate Utopia for a Connected and Borderless World would be that everything is at a click of the 'mouse' (... or through the SMS on our handphones or portable Pocket PC). My yardstick for measuring success in computerization is simple - that one day I would be able to work from home, spending quality time with my family while at the same time putting in the same quality in my work. Everything is done online in a wireless environment - even the shopping. The smart refrigerator at home will inform me that we are running out of beer soon.......

Well, I guess it will not be like that during my time in this world. With the improved 'connectivity' and the speed of communications, the workload has also increases tenfold. People faxing their queries today, expect a reply by tomorrow. And similiarly with instant messaging. I stress the word 'instant' - they want an 'instant' reply! This evolving digital culture is truly scary. I come from a time when its okay to send a letter to someone and expect a reply within two weeks. Now I am suffering from System Overdose.

The only System keeping me sane now is the Malaysia Airline System and at times I wish Idris Jala would call me over to operate it :)

However I cannot say no one is feeling the benefit of having some kind of system. At the moment there is just too many systems running around on different platforms and languages....the amount of investment put into these technologies, equipment and training is overwhelming that I am surprised they still can't design THE ONE System which could integrate all the Systems yet. Yeah... I am waiting for that ONE SYSTEM. I keep my fingers crossed.

It is my hope that the ONE SYSTEM can take off one without a glitch one day and make this world a better place to live in.


Wilson Chin said…
I love the Information Technology, you can do anything with it. It help us a lot in our daily life.
As I'm in the I.T line, my boss cannot accept the excuess like 'Kena virus, boss'..hehehe
I also hope to see that "One System" to make my work easier :P said…
one system? hehe sounds like "the matrix" to me ...
Miriguy said…
I think one system is not gonna be a good thing.
We wait and see.
Uchu Keling said…
It's far better than handling a DDOS Attack like mine last week..

It burn a 4k hole in my pocket!
haha, you would be so lucky if Idris Jala calls you to work on his system!

I thought gov't dept computers are supposed to be able to "talk" to each other .. no need to input same data for different systems?

Don't know if M'sian govt will ever let it's employees to telecommute! I have friends here in the US who telecommute .. some days of the week they work at home .. cuts down on the traffic jam ...