Up for the IT Era
contributed by ICT unit, CMD
Information Technology (IT) is and will continuously to be an important supporting
tool in the organizations' business and operation as well as in decision making.
In today's competitive world, information is being viewed as an important asset
as well as a critical element for success in any organization. Information without
the necessary supporting technology to deliver it to the right place at the right
time will quickly become valueless. Likewise, technology without the information
will become an empty talk. The challenge has always been to balance between the
collection and consolidation of information and the investment on the technology
so that the information can be made available and affordable to anyone at the
right time and the right place.
|The State government strives to make a quantum leap into the IT era
|Currently, there are more than 80 local area networks at divisional
and district levels
With the clear foresight and commitment of the State Government to make a quantum
leap for the State Civil Service into the age of Information Technology, various
projects were implemented. Among which were two important phases; the Local
Area Network (LAN) and the Wide Area Network (WAN) projects. These phases become
the significant direction towards a succesful IT development in Sarawak, as
what have been targeted in the State Government compu-terization plan in 1994.
The LAN has been implemented to cater to the increasing necessity for the State
Agency to put up such an infrastructure to enable more viable electronic communi-cations
and resources sharing among the users located in different floors in their premises.
The LAN enables the users to communicate, exchange data and share information
with one another.
In 1997, the FIRST and the only one State WAN in Malaysia was built and commissioned
to pull the agencies at the divisional level closely to their headquarters as
well as to the main State Government administration center at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.
Implementing and operating this sole WAN combines and connects all the LANs
which are becoming a state-wide Information Super-Highway. This opens the doors
of commu-nications not only among the users in different depart-ments, State
Mi-nistries and key agencies, but also allows them to connect to the whole world,
which we call as Internet. The success of planning, designing and developing
LANs and State WAN comprehensively built up such infrastructure defined as SarawakNet.
|SarawakNet deploys a blend of innovative technologies
SarawakNet has mainly become the centralized platform for data communications,
electronic mailing and resources sharing among the users in State Agencies throughout
SarawakNet offers information publishing, information searching, web-messaging,
application hosting ranging from office automation, customized applications,
intranets to workgroups applications.
SarawakNet is also a gateway for the users to "hop" into the
SarawakNet deploys a blend of innovative technologies. From the core to
the edges, SarawakNet deploys copper cabling, fiber optics, infrared,
microwave and satellite with various speed and bandwith to support its online
information transmissions in the form of textual data, voice, image and video
format. The infrastructure of SarawakNet or also known as the Sarawak
Government Data Network, will gradually be upgraded and the services will be
enhanced progressively. Currently more than 80 local area networks (LAN) at
divisional and district levels have linked up to the WAN to form part of SarawakNet.
By the year 2002, the coverage of SarawakNet is targeted to extend further
to rural and subdistrict areas throughout the State.
The Sarawak Government Intranet services enable effective and efficient data
processing and disseminating of Government information. It is a focal point
for data collection and submission, sharing input and exchange queries. Users
will be able to communicate, send messages, interact and trigger work activity
across agencies regardless of geographical location. It is the operating environment
for the overall government generic office computing in State Public Sector.
The development of Sarawak-NetTM is the main foundation to initiate the convergence
and align-ment of the New Civil Service Paradigm where "...State Government
Services shall be available at anytime, anywhere, to anyone in Sarawak..."-
(State Sec., 1995).
Special Features of SARAWAKNET
|SarawakNet allows fast retrieval of information
SarawakNet operates 24 hours non-stop and access is via authorised user-id
and password. The network infrastructure and services is designed to provide
high reliability, availability and security (RAS). To ensure reliable and quality
service, the network, web servers and storage are fortified with management
and monitoring tools designed to provide high availability. It incorporates
security features to prevent hacking and illegal access to information systems
databases. Furthermore, Sarawak-NetTM is developed behind FireWalls to prevent
unauthorised entry and any remote possibility of hacking. FireWalls becomes
the "gatekeeper" for the Information Highway in SarawakNet to
screen any data and information that pass through the highway to ensure it is
safe and secure. In addition, all respective desktop connections in SarawakNet
are installed with anti-virus software, administered and monitored from a central
SarawakNet Services mainly support 10 Statewide applications including
e-mail and the others are grouped into 6 sub- networks, consisting of GovNet,
LawNet, LibraryNet, EduNet, GISNet and HRNet. There are also more than 20 mirrored
Internet sites provided, including "Sarawak On-Line" which is the
official Internet Homepage of the Sarawak State Government.
E-government applications such as Leave Management System, Talikhidmat, PROACTS,
Deve-lopment Projects Monitoring, E-DUN, Voice over IP (VOIP) or Computer Telephony,
etc. have been deployed over SarawakNet. These systems use messaging,
collaboration and workflow technologies integrated with online access and updates
to information databases. Connected PCs and servers on SarawakNet are
remotely administered without having to travel to site. Users can communicate
and work with their colleagues at the far end of the State without having to
leave their desk. Web based messaging and content searching capability coupled
with workflow functions drastically boost user productivity. The browser technology
that is adopted as the common front for accessing SarawakNet comprehensively
has reduced the application deployment cost per desktop. The result of these
new generations web-enabled applications is a convenient, faster and cheaper
means of collaborating. Thus, productivity and cost savings in the Government
Service can be attained.
SarawakNet allows fast retrieval of information and provides management
and statistical reports that improve the administrative services and speed up
the decision making processes. The Information Resource Library provides electronic
databases on General Orders, Circulars, Statutes, Treasury Instructions, Directory
Listing, News, Events and Discussion Forum.
|The LAN enables the users to communicate , exchange data and share
What is LIBRARYNET
LibraryNet is an online portal service dedicated to serving the library community
of information providers and information consumers. Hosted on the LibraryNet
portal server is ANGKASA, a web-based Library Management System. Access is via
leased line connection to SarawakNet and authenticated via user-id and
password control at the application level. ANGKASA eliminates the need for subscribers
to invest in application server hardware and database licenses as the application
and data is web hosted on the LibraryNet server. Residing in LibraryNet is the
Union Catalogue, a data warehouse of bibliographic records shared among participating
libraries. This huge database minimizes the tedious effort of original cataloging.
In striving towards achieving a paperless electronic Government, SarawakNet
has made it possible for all the conventional paper-based circulars and documents
to be converted into electronic formats. This paperless and yet empowered technology
has lessened the paper usage as well as the need to shuffle around and look
for office space to house those paper documents. As more and more of them are
converted to or generated in electronic formats, the tasks of filing, organizing,
tracking, referencing and retrieving will just get friendlier, more convenient
and best of all a chance to be systematic and efficient. Indeed, with the amount
of orderly information at your fingertips, SarawakNet gives confidence!