Impact of ICT Innovations at NG-CDF

1373 words (5 pages) Essay in Information Technology

27/07/17 Information Technology Reference this

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The Board acquired internet from two ISPs (internet service providers), Safaricom and Accesskenya, providing availability of reliable redundant global connectivity. Connectivity therefore has allowed access to internal systems such as email, ERP (Enterprise resource planning) and website at ease. Learning through research on the internet has improved.

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The Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless LAN has provided interconnectivity within the office. Resources can be shared among users and computers with minimum movement of staff. Wireless LAN on the other hand has also encouraged BYOD (bring your own device) culture in the organization and improve staff mobility.

Recently the Board implemented MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) to regional offices providing access to internet and telephony services at a minimum cost. MPLS is a multipoint connectivity system that allows regions and HQ to communicate to each other like they are in one office. The regional offices can now be reached by a telephone extension.

Connectivity through MPLS has also allowed the implementation of SIP telephone services whereby a pilot line is given which in turn allows for configuration of 999 parallel lines hence direct lines.

The firewall protects the organization from internal and external threats. These threats come in form of spam messages, phishing sites and viruses. Threats penetrate networks using services or ports that may be or may not be used in the organization.

The firewall therefore assists in filtering out those services that may allow threats into the network. In addition, internet bandwidth is a limited resource and therefore need to be controlled, services that consume a lot of bandwidth are then disabled so that users can have a fair usage of internet without affecting their duties.

The firewall also allows for scheduling and QOS to prioritize certain services at a certain time.

Kaspersky central Management allows the system administrator to monitor threats to the organization systems in form of computer viruses. The central management is an all in one portal where admins can perform certain tasks remotely from a server e.g. install, manage and license Kaspersky remotely, push updates remotely, manage devices, enable or disable e.g. USB

To secure the server room CCTV is installed to monitor physical access and intrusion of unauthorized staff members thereby improving on data security and management.

The CCTV system allows for live picture and playback options and to save/export a video for future reviews

The Board has a registered domain name, cdf.go.ke and subsequently each staff member is assigned an email address.

The email system, running on the latest version is accessible 24/7 anywhere anytime through a computer or supported mobile devices.

Guidelines and manuals to access the mail portal have been developed by the department to help staff members adapt to the system easily.

The Board has installed Spiceworks helpdesk system which is an open source helpdesk system that allows the department to have a bona fide support ticket-tracking system and generate reports of the same to gauge their performance.

Users raise tickets by email, telephone call or through the Spiceworks portal, the ICT department then are able to view and prioritize them accordingly. Once the case is solved, the ticket is closed.

The bulk SMS system is web based system which the Board uses to disseminate important information through short messages to staff members within the shortest time possible.

Within the system, targeted groups and individual contacts have been preloaded to the system; these groups are All Staff, FAMs, directors, HQ Staff etc.

The board has seen improvement in communicating matters relating to the board or staff on time without the need for lengthy and slow means of communication; this has improved the accuracy of the information passed and avoided speculations on sensitive Board matters.

The system provides information to the Board’s customers using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.

Information available is allocations and disbursements for each constituency from FY 2013/2014 to date. The USSD is integrated to the bulk sms system so that results can be sent to the end user.

The user queries by dialing *483*6# from their mobile phone, then select the constituency by a quick search, they will then choose whether they need allocations or disbursement information. Once confirmed, the results are then sent through SMS to the user’s phone via the bulk sms system implemented by the board.

100% of individual offices have been connected by a telephone extension, 70% of staff have an extension on their desks.

The Board maintains a PBX which interconnects these extensions and the regional office extensions. Staff can communicate within offices on 10th floor, 5th floor and regional offices conveniently and for free.

Trunk calls (external calls) can also be made and received by the board via providers like Orange Telkom and Safaricom. Orange provides the ‘landlines’ while Safaricom provides a SIP line which emulates a mobile number with 1000 lines which can then be configured as direct lines. The SIP trunk therefore allows for multiple calls to be made without engaging or congesting the lines.

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A unique number is assigned, for the Board, this is 0709894, and the last 3 digits have then been assigned to a specific extension Number for example 0709894000 is configured on the extension at the reception as a pilot line, any other extension has also an ‘incoming route’ creating a ‘direct line’ scenario.

Web portals are websites that maintain personalized information in a database in the background. Unlike any website, portals allow authorized users access to specific information meant for them specifically. They are even allowed to customize information they want to be displayed in their portal (space).

The Board’s web portal is integrated portal in that, the fund account managers can create their own websites within the portal by logging in to the system. The public can therefore access information on any constituency from one website www.ngcdf.go.ke by a click of a button.

CDFMIS stores, organizes and makes access to project and financial information easy. It not only stores all the information relating to current and past years’ projects, but also stores the approved budgets for these years, details on inflows and outflows of funds.

The CDFMIS Projects database is composed of four different functional aspects, each corresponding to a set of tasks the constituency must carry out as a part of its mission, these include project Information, bursaries Information, budget and Finance Information and Complaints Information.

Data and Applications Software are stored in servers at the computer center located at CDF Headquarters in Nairobi. Operations data are entered at the various user locations at the Constituencies and Head office.

Interconnectivity of the system is through Wide Area Network between the constituencies and the Servers; and through Local Area Network between the Servers and Head Office workstations.

CDFMIS is operated the basis of on-line real-time; that is to say that updates occur immediately a transaction is completed; thus making information as current as the last transaction.

Access to the system will be done via the internet/intranet through use of a web browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.). Unique user-names and passwords are given by System Administrator.

Microsoft Dynamics SL is a financial/accounting system used by the Board’s Finance and Accounts Department.

Microsoft Dynamics SL is one of Microsoft’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software products for project-driven small- and medium-sized enterprises. It is part of the Microsoft Dynamics product family.

The functionality includes finance, project accounting, manufacturing, field services, supply chain management, analytics, and electronic commerce.

The major module used by the Board is the finance module.

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