Govt Rolls Out ‘Smart Workplace™’ Virtual Platform
The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communications and its implementing agency, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), is dispatching its Smart Workplace™ solution to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The piloting of the Smart Workplace™ solution began in 2018. However, the Government sped up its deployment amongst public agencies in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is to enable public sector workers to work remotely and online in order to minimise personal contacts, curtail the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that public sector workers are safe.
The rollout of the Smart Workplace™ is being carried out by NITA in partnership with eSolutions Consulting, the firm contracted to design and implement the Smart Workplace™ platform. So far, almost 300 government agencies including the Ghana Health Service have been connected to the solution, trained on its usage and are working with it.
The Smart Workplace™ solution has over 19 features and several benefits. It offers Staff with a highly efficient work environment by providing a single access point to all resources employees will need for their daily tasks. These include; Enterprise Email, Calendar, Microsoft Teams (video conferencing), Document Management, Correspondence Management, Electronic Memos, Corporate News/Announcements, Enterprise Search, Task Management, Knowledge Management, and Workflow Automation. The rest is Business Intelligence and Analytics, Timesheet, Project Monitoring, Business Application Access, Notifications, Survey, Media Gallery and Mobile Access.
Smart Workplace™ also helps to automate manual business processes such as Leave, Vehicle and Payment requests, as well as Stores Requisitions.
The Acting Director-General, Mr Richard Okyere-Fosu said, “the Smart Workplace™ is the government-endorsed secured platform for MDAs and MMDAs, and it is mandatory for all of them to be on board”.
He continued by saying, “as we are all aware, we are now in what we call the “new normal” and the greater majority of employees all over the country and other parts of the world including government employees need to work from different locations. The best way to promote efficiency and safety is to arm them with tools and resources which will enable them to work remotely and digitally”.
Mr. Okyere-Fosu said, NITA has the expertise and resources needed to connect and offer the necessary training for government agencies on the use of the Smart Workplace. All government agencies which have not yet been enrolled on to the Smart Workplace™ should, therefore, follow the processes put in place to enable them to get on board.
Sharing her thoughts about the new platform, the Honourable Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said, “the Smart Workplace™ is a useful tool for all users, but to derive maximum benefit from it, constant practice is required”. She said, “we need these virtual assistants now more than ever in this pandemic for they allow us to work remotely and safely, without sacrificing speed and efficiency”.
She encouraged all public workers to get conversant with the new normal and the new way of working in order to improve productivity. The Honourable Minister, continued by saying, “changing our way of doing things is not easy but with practice, we will become more comfortable using these digital tools. Smart Workplace™ will help with the transition”. She again urged all user agencies to give NITA the necessary feedback and support to ensure a successful implementation of the project.
NITA has already sent forms to agencies for them to fill. The forms are also available at NITA’s website on www.nita.gov.gh.
NITA is the Government of Ghana’s agency established under the Ministry of Communications by an Act of Parliament (Act 771), and mandated with the primary objective to regulate the provision of Information Communications Technology (ICT), ensure the provision of quality information communications technology, promote standards of efficiency and to ensure high quality of service.
NITA is fully dedicated to providing the highest quality of service to its clients and create safe systems for them to work.