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Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

IT assets, IT infrastructure performance and IT capability: a framework for e-


government
Deepak Dahiya, Saji K. Mathew,
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IT assets, IT infrastructure Framework


for
performance and IT capability: e-government
a framework for e-government
Deepak Dahiya and Saji K. Mathew 411
Department of Management Studies,
Received 28 July 2015
Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India Revised 28 July 2015
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29 October 2015
8 March 2016
Accepted 15 March 2016
Abstract
Purpose Although government investments in IT is growing, it is unclear how and what kind of IT
investments lead to desirable E-Government performance. Several studies pertaining to the business
value of IT have developed and tested frameworks for IT infrastructure, IT capability and business
performance. However, E-Government-related IT investment outcomes cannot be measured by
profits and hence requires a separate investigation. E-Government research using theoretical approach
has been reported as very scarce in previous studies. This research aims to bridge the gap by developing
a model to study IT infrastructure capability and E-Government performance in the emerging context
of new IT service delivery models.
Design/methodology/approach This paper follows a case study method in this research with a
priori conceptual framework. The data were collected following an interview method used for deductive
theory building.
Findings The results identified a positive relationship between IT assets and IT infrastructure
performance in the presence of service delivery channels and an anticipation of a positive influence of
infrastructure performance variables on IT capability which in turn shows positive effect on
E-Government performance.
Research limitations/implications Because the study followed a qualitative approach, the
findings from this study are not useful for statistical generalization. However, the analytical framework
provides sufficient ground to test E-Government performance.
Practical implications The study provides insights in the choice of IT infrastructure elements
fitting an E-Government strategy.
Social implications This study provides an integrated framework for measuring E-Government
performance, thereby making deployment of IT infrastructure accountable both in terms of IT
performance and IT capability. This in turn will lead to improvement in citizen services.
Originality/value This paper builds on the existing literature on IT assets, IT infrastructure
performance, IT infrastructure capability and applies to the E-Government domain.
Keywords Service delivery, IT infrastructure, E-Government performance, IT capability,
IT service
Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction
E-Government initiatives that leverage the potential of information and communication
Transforming Government:
technologies have had a high positive influence in enabling and transforming People, Process and Policy
government services in many countries (UNPAN, 2012). However, the extent of IT usage Vol. 10 No. 3, 2016
pp. 411-433
for governance is characterised by wide disparity between developed and developing Emerald Group Publishing Limited
1750-6166
countries all over the world. India has received relatively low ranking based on DOI 10.1108/TG-07-2015-0031
TG E-Government development index (UNPAN, 2012, 2014) and the impact of projects has
10,3 been characterised by wide variance.
Recent studies on E-Government worldwide have recognized IT infrastructure
capability as a crucial requirement for E-Government effectiveness (UNDP, 2012;
APDIP, 2013). Emergence of infrastructure as a service deployment model has opened
an economical service delivery model for business and government (Armbrust et al.,
412 2009). However, it is not clear as yet how this new form of IT services delivery in
infrastructure would fulfil the requirements of IT capability and in turn provide better
governance.
Although prior research has extensively addressed the impact of IT infrastructure
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capability on firm performance, studies addressing how these factors interact together
and the impact outcome of E-Government services have received much less attention.
Further, E-Government research using theoretical approach has been reported as very
scarce in previous studies (Heeks and Bailur, 2007). In the backdrop of the increasing
adoption of technology by governments, this study seeks to bridge the above gaps by
developing a framework to study the effect of IT performance and IT capability on
E-Government performance. This research builds on the existing literature on IT assets,
IT infrastructure performance and IT infrastructure capability and applies it to the
domain of E-Government. From the industry perspective, this research would help in
providing a methodology to identify the right set of IT infrastructure elements fitting an
E-Government strategy.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 reviews the related literature,
while Section 3 develops the necessary theory leading to the proposed conceptual
framework. Section 4 describes in detail the research methodology undertaken. Section 5
provides the details of the case study and data analysis. Based on the variables extracted
from literature survey and the single site case study done, Section 6 develops the revised
research framework and formulates the research propositions. Finally, Section 7
concludes with the key contributions of the work, implications for policymakers and the
future work on theory development. The overall work presented in the paper is
diagrammatically represented in the form of a research design as shown in Figure 2.

2. Literature review
Previous studies have identified the linkages between IT assets, IT capability and firm
performance for business organizations. Initially, various studies on strategy (Grant,
1991; Russo and Fouts, 1997; Amit and Schoemaker, 1993) focussed in general on how
resources and capabilities of the firm provide a mechanism in formulating the firm
strategy for achieving competitive advantage (Backus, 2001; Ebrahim and Irani, 2005).
Further, several studies examined how IT investments contribute to firm performance
in the business context (Mata et al., 1995; Bharadwaj, 2000).

2.1 Information technology assets


According to Weill (1992) and Broadbent et al. (1999), firms IT investments could be
categorized into a portfolio of four IT assets disaggregated by strategic purpose:
infrastructure, transactional, informational and strategic assets. According to Aral and
Weill (2007), IT investment allocations disaggregated by strategic purpose reflect an
organizations strategic purpose and are likely to affect organizational performance. IT
infrastructure provides the foundation of shared IT services used in an enterprise
system supporting heterogeneous applications and alongside justifying infrastructure Framework
investments for creating a flexible IT architecture to support future upgradation plans for
or business initiatives (Applegate and Austin, 2008; Kumbakara, 2008). Transactional e-government
investment simply process automation, cost reduction or increasing the volume of
business a firm can conduct. Informational investments relate to various functional
systems of an enterprise for providing responsiveness, control, reliability and
adaptability and enable more effective decision-making in a day-to-day or a weekly 413
management reporting structure. Strategic investments support entry into a new market
or the development of new products, services or business processes and also contribute
towards product innovation. Among these, the foundation of an IT portfolio is the firms
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IT infrastructure.
According to Broadbent et al. (1999), the internal IT infrastructure is composed of
four elements:
(1) IT components (the technologists view of the infrastructure building blocks);
(2) human IT infrastructure (the intelligence used to translate the IT components
into services that users can draw upon);
(3) shared IT services (the users view of the infrastructure); and
(4) shared and standard applications (fairly stable uses of the services).

However, the understanding of IT infrastructure in business practice is slightly


different as provided by IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL): IT infrastructure refers to all
of the hardware, software, networks, facilities, etc. that are required to develop, test,
deliver, monitor, control or support IT Services. Here the IT infrastructure includes all of
the IT but not the associated people, processes and documentation (ITIL, 2007).
A firms IT infrastructure performance has been generally understood as its
integrated set of reliable IT infrastructure services available to support an
organizations existing and future initiatives (Weill and Vitale, 2002, p. 17). Following
the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, IT infrastructure is one resource that could
provide sustainable competitive advantage to the firm (Mata et al., 1995; Bharadwaj,
2000).

2.2 Information technology capability


Information systems researchers have used RBV to suggest that that firms should focus
on creating enterprise-wide IT capability rather than merely invest in IT (Barney, 1991).
Following the resource classification given in RBV, the enterprise-wide IT capability as
a resource to achieve sustainable competitive advantage is created by integrating three
aspects of a firms IT capability: IT infrastructure, human IT skills and IT-enabled
intangibles. IT infrastructure refers to the physical IT assets consisting of the computer
and communication technologies and the shareable technical platforms and databases
(Weill and Vitale, 2002; Bharadwaj, 2000). The human infrastructure comprises
routines, experiences, competencies, commitments, values and norms practiced by the
organizations manpower in delivering the IT products and services (Henderson and
Venkatraman, 1993; Byrd and Turner, 2000). IT-enabled intangibles include, but are not
limited to, knowledge management, user orientation and the synergy between the
stakeholders such as the government, citizens and third-party vendors (Grant, 1991;
TG Russo and Fouts, 1997, Amit and Schoemaker, 1993; Bharadwaj, 2000; Bakry, 2004;
10,3 Grant, 2010).

2.3 Information technology services delivery


Recent developments in information technology, particularly Cloud computing and
service-oriented architecture (SOA) have opened new methods for delivering IT services
414 for business and government. An E-Government infrastructure, based on Cloud
computing and SOA promises the potential for flexible and scalable IT services. Cloud
computing involves an environment and model to enable convenient, on-demand
network and ubiquitous access to computing resources that can be immediately
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outsourced and configured with least management effort or service provider interaction.
The computing resources imply servers, network configuration, communication
infrastructure, storage databases and related services (Armbrust et al., 2010).
A major benefit of the Cloud is that it helps consolidate all data centres and optimize
resource utilization, reducing support and maintenance costs by more than half, without
compromising on performance, availability and reliability of applications. Service-level
agreements are key for the government to measure how well the services are being
performed and provided by the government. The Cloud helps provide E-Government
services faster and cheaper, thereby accelerating the adoption and use of IT for
E-services. Cloud architectures allow rapid deployment of turn-key test environments
(Armbrust et al., 2010; Buyya et al., 2009; DEITY, 2013).
The second aspect of IT infrastructure technology pertains to SOA which is a
deployment architecture that enables building new applications quickly and easily. It
helps provide agility by configuring entities (services, registries, contracts and proxies)
to maximize loose coupling and reuse (Gruschka et al., 2011; Bertini and Ferrari, 2002).
Interoperability is a major benefit in SOA when one has to tie heterogeneous systems.
E-Government Interoperability can be defined as (UNDP, 2012; UNPAN, 2012, 2014):
The ability of constituencies to work together. At a technical level, it is the ability of two or
more government information and communications technology (ICT) systems or components
to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged to improve
governance.
Guijarro (2007) has reported interoperability as a key architectural principle in the
conception and deployment of E-Government initiatives. His study of six major
initiatives being carried out by E-Government agencies of the European Union, UK,
Denmark, France, Germany and the USA reported how these initiatives followed
interoperability frameworks. Guijarro (2007) further states that the consensus around a
single framework in each government is essential for E-Government implementation
success because it enables the seamless information flow between institutions.

2.4 E-Government performance


E-Government performance has been the focal point of several previous studies (Kalsi
and Kiran, 2013; Waheduzzaman and Miah, 2015; Kalsi and Kiran, 2015; Alomari et al.,
2014). Westerback (2000) analysed 18 cases from different federal bodies in the USA
including both the private and the public sectors to understand the applicability of the
strategic information management best practices to measure performance in terms of
improved service delivery and positive return on government technology investments.
Some scholars have developed frameworks to measure E-Government success. Ebrahim
and Irani (2005) provide an integrated architecture framework for E-Government and Framework
presents a critical analysis of barriers experienced in public sector organizations. for
Combining the core elements of strategy, technology, organization and environment, a
STOPE model (Bakry, 2004) has been proposed for the development and assessment of
e-government
E-Government in the digital age. Esteves and Joseph (2008) propose a three-dimensional
framework for the assessment of E-Government initiatives. The components of
E-Government Assessment Framework (EAM) include constructs from both a social 415
and technical perspective. The assessment dimensions of EAM are based on the STOPE
model adding two more assessment dimensions to the STOPE model: operational and
services.
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In the Indian context, Bhatnagar and Rao (2007), Rao et al. (2004), Gupta and Jana
(2003) and Satyanarayana (2012) have identified attributes of IT capability and
E-Government performance that have positively influenced each other through case
studies of Indian E-Government project implementations (Gupta, 2010; NIC, 2015;
NeGP, 2008; NISG, 2015). This has led there by to the creation of a broad E-Government
framework for measuring value creation in terms of economic and social development
and experience gained in the form of competencies (skills) and implementation practices
gained from the IT projects that have undergone various stages of transformations in
terms of improvement in performance.
In summary, E-Government performance studies have been characterized by
frameworks that are not well grounded on theory and do not report validation results
(Esteves and Joseph, 2008); the work on frameworks requires further validation by
testing on heterogeneous E-Government projects. Furthermore, E-Government
performance and its determinants have been scarcely addressed in academic literature
with adequate theoretical support (Heeks and Bailur, 2007). This research seeks to
address some of these gaps by developing a conceptual framework to study
E-Government performance and empirically test how IT assets, IT infrastructure
performance and IT infrastructure capability influence E-Government services.

3. Towards theory development


Mintzberg (1994) states that strategy is a process interwoven with all that it takes to
manage an organization. This definition of planning and redefining processes in an
organization for better performance fits quite well into the realm of E-Government
where the basic goal is providing better services to citizens and not to gain competitive
advantage (Porter, 1996) as in the case of business organizations. Henceforth, this work
refers to the term strategy in the context of E-Government as defined by Mintzberg
(1994). The role of planning, plans and planners with respect to strategy making then
becomes more important in our context.
Further, several studies have examined how IT investments contribute to firm
performance in the business context (Mata et al., 1995; Bharadwaj, 2000). Using RBV
(Barney, 1991), it has been suggested that firms should focus on creating enterprise-wide
IT capability rather than merely invest in IT. Although the individual components of the
IT architecture have become commodity-like, the architecture that provides
interoperability and provides the flexibility to respond to the changing needs of an
organization is of strategic significance to the organization.
Key elements of IT infrastructure performance in various functional domains
have been identified in prior studies as reliability, scalability and flexibility
TG (Applegate and Austin, 2008; Weill and Vitale, 2002; Byrd and Turner, 2000;
10,3 Henderson and Venkatraman, 1993). Recent studies on E-Government worldwide
have recognized IT infrastructure capability as a crucial requirement for
E-Government effectiveness (UNDP, 2012; APDIP, 2013).
Various studies have identified IT capability as consisting of functionality,
connectivity, competencies and practices. Functionality implies the management of the
416 various components of an enterprise architecture framework like application layer,
communications layer, data layer and services layer. Byrd and Turner (2000) and
Broadbent et al., (1999) showed the measurement of IT infrastructure capability through
measures like functionality, connectivity, modularity and compatibility. Core
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competencies and practices have also been attributed as core properties of


organizational capability (Henderson and Venkatraman, 1992; Prahalad and Hamel,
1990). These attributes have been extended as IT competencies and practices and were
used in the work of Broadbent et al. (1999); Byrd and Turner (2000) and Aral and Weill
(2007).
Previous studies have highlighted two important issues that require further attention
in E-Government research:
(1) right choice of IT infrastructure resources to provide more effective and efficient
citizen-centric services; and
(2) aligning government strategy and objectives closely with IT infrastructure for
achieving a good fit (Backus, 2001; Ebrahim and Irani, 2005; Heeks and Bailur,
2007; Guijarro, 2007; Westerback, 2000; Bharadwaj, 2000; Aral and Weill, 2007).

Following our review of literature and theory development, we identify the elements of
IT assets, IT infrastructure performance and IT infrastructure capability along with
that of service delivery models to explain the performance of E-Government. We
anticipate that service delivery models will influence the relationship between
investments in IT assets and their performance leading us to Figure 1 that depicts the
proposed conceptual framework guiding our further research.

4. Research methodology
The purpose of our research is theory building with a priori conceptual framework
drawn from prior research framework (Eisenhardt, 1989; Carlile and Christensen, 2005;
Harrison, 2002; Yin, 2014). As discussed in Section 3 on theory development, our
conceptual framework was first developed by combining business value studies in IT
and E-Government performance studies. With the extant view thus developed, we
further seek evidence for this framework in E-Government to validate and arrive at

IT RESOURCES

Control variables
IT Assets

Service Delivery E-Government


Figure 1. Model IT Capability Performance
Conceptual
IT Infrastructure
framework Performance
specific propositions. This approach to theory building has also been followed in prior Framework
research in information systems (Kern and Willcocks, 2000; Dibbbern et al., 2008) and in for
other disciplines (Graf and Mudambi, 2005; Tuli et al., 2007). Unlike Kern and Willcocks
(2000), whose study ends with validation of major constructs, our study further
e-government
anticipates relationships among constructs. Unlike Graf and Mudambi (2005), who
develop propositions based on extant literature, we also use case study data to develop
propositions. Tuli et al. (2007) inductively developed propositions; we follow a deductive 417
approach as prior literature on IT business value studies supports the synthesis of our
framework.
Furthermore, doing case study research would be the preferred method, compared to
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the others, in situations when:


the main research questions are how or why questions;
a researcher has little or no control over behavioural events; and
the focus of study is a contemporary (as opposed to entirely historical)
phenomenon.

The case studys unique strength is its ability to deal with a full variety of evidence
documents, artefacts, interviews and observations (Figure 2).

4.1 Sample and data sources


The case site chosen was HALRIS (Haryana Land Records Information System)HARIS
(Haryana Registration Information System) system (NIC, 2015; NISG, 2015), which was
an integrated implementation of property registration and the land records
administration in the Haryana state of India. We identified this as a single revelatory
case (Yin, 2014), as findings from this study are expected to have the potential to be
replicated in similar projects. It offers services to the citizens coming from across
different sections of the society, i.e. rural, semi-urban, urban and cosmopolitan
backgrounds, in terms of owning property or land. The benefits and observations from
the integrated system could be of value sharing with similar other systems in use which
are in the process of moving towards integration. Other reasons include proximity to the
case site and availability and willingness of concerned government staff to be part of the
discussions for this research.

Formulation of Conceptual Model from Literature

In-depth Case Study of HALRIS HARIS System

Revised Conceptual Model based on Case Study Findings


(Proposed Research Framework) Figure 2.
Research design for
factors impacting
e-government
Research Propositions performance
TG We predominantly used the interview method for data collection, with unstructured and
10,3 semi-structured questionnaires for users, IT practitioners, Government Bureaucrats and IT
programmers directly dealing with the specific E-Government system. A partial list of the
questions used for data collection is listed in Appendix. The profiles varied from Tehsildar
(client user), to District informatics officers/Assistants, i.e. DIOs/DIAs (IT practitioners), to
Senior Technical Directors (Government Bureaucrats). The users are basically tehsildars
418 and patwaris (government officials who keep and maintain land records under their
jurisdiction area) who are graduates and appointed through state-level exams. The IT
practitioners were either undergraduates in engineering (or Master degree holders in science
or technology) and recruitment by the Government of India for technical roles like scientific
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officers or system analysts. Further, the IT programmers were again staff appointed by the
district with qualifications under graduates in engineering or Master degree holders in
science or technology. In addition, the data entry operator staffs were again educated to the
higher secondary level with a one-year computer diploma certificate and selected at
district-level recruitments as ad hoc staff. Lastly, the government bureaucrats implied the
senior government officials who held decision-making powers. The data were collected from
six face-to-face interviews. In addition, we conducted telephonic interviews at the beginning
and the end for understanding and filling the gaps felt in the data collection. We took
extensive notes, and the interview data were combined with on-site observations and with
review of the system documentation and related archival records. For instance, the HARIS
HALRIS system and related upgrades were studied to understand the functionality of the
various menu and screen tabs by tracing the information flow of data storage in the currently
implemented system. Various documents like registration deed and deed templates were
analyzed. A registration deed contains details of the property in the custody of various
stakeholders like buyer, government officials and in records. Deed templates/formats are
available online as additional facility in the system. Alternatively, the deed writers prepare
the manual format on stamp paper. In addition, notification related to collector rate and land
policy were analyzed and studied. These documents were related to the incorporation of
enhanced property rates as fixed by government officials annually and to the changes
implemented through software patches regarding the changes in land regulations as
introduced by the state government.

4.2 Data analyses procedure


We extracted concepts from the data and related it with elements of our conceptual
framework. The extant view and further case study allowed us the advantage of
pinpointing features or attributes of the broad study constructs. For example, we
analysed the key services provided by the system with respect to functionality and
connectivity concepts developed by Broadbent et al. (1999). We mapped concepts given
in Figure 1 to concepts evolved from case data analyses by multiple iterations and two
independent agents. Thus, starting from five broad dimensions, 14 specific constructs
were identified during the study.

5. Haryana Registration Information SystemHaryana Land Records


Information System: an integrated system for e-government
The historical evolution of E-Government in India has gone though many stages/phases
and has come a long way by overcoming various issues and challenges (Gupta, 2010).
Stage One, from early 1970s to the late 1990s, involved rudimentary use of computers.
Stage Two began in the late 1990s and was demarcated in two phases. In the first phase Framework
called the pre-internet age, IT was used for basic computerization of government for
departments but lacked inter-department integration. The second phase (from late
1990s), called the internet age, laid the foundation for E-Governance. The National
e-government
Informatics Center (NIC) created in early 1970s played a crucial role in the development
and deployment of E-Government applications. Stage Three (1990-2000) was the period
of globalization which made it inevitable to bring in policy and structural changes. 419
During this stage, Web-based software development methodologies evolved for
enterprise systems environment. Several government departments took the initiative to
start various E-Government projects. Subsequently, Stage Four saw the rise and
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consolidation of E-Governance (post 2000) with the enactment of the IT Act 2000 by the
Indian Parliament laying the groundwork for implementation of a working mechanism
for E-governance and E-Business. E-mails and online transactions became a valid
mechanism for agreements, and the procedures regarding the online transactions were
further strengthened so that the citizen-centric services became more effective and
efficient. Further, in 2006, the national-level E-Governance programme called National
E-Governance Plan was initiated. This consisted of 31 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs)
covering a wide range of departments/ministries, i.e. agriculture, land records, health,
education, vehicle registration and passports, etc. Further, 24 MMPs have been
implemented and started delivering either full or partial range of envisaged services.
Although these E-Government projects were citizen-centric, they still had a long way
to go in terms of creating impact because of their limited features. This clearly pointed
towards the need for a more comprehensive planning and implementation for the
infrastructure. However, to put this in place required interoperability issues to be
addressed for establishing a more connected government. A decision at the government
level was taken in which all new and on-going E-Government projects will be revamped
and hereafter had to follow the key principles of e-Kranti, namely, Transformation and
not Translation, Integrated Services and not Individual Services, Government
Process Reengineering (GPR) to be mandatory in every MMP, ICT Infrastructure on
Demand, Cloud by Default, Mobile First, Fast Tracking Approvals, Mandating
Standards and Protocols, Language Localization, National GIS (Geo-Spatial
Information System) and Security and Electronic Data Preservation (Digital India,
2015; DEITY, 2015).
At this point of time, the portfolio of MMPs has increased from 31 to 44. Many new
social sector projects, namely, Women and Child Development, Social Benefits,
Financial Inclusion, Urban Governance, eBhasha, etc., have been added as new MMPs
under e-Kranti. In short, to transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the
use of information technology, the current Indian Government has launched the Digital
India programme with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society
and knowledge economy (Digital India, 2015; DEITY, 2015).
HARISHALRIS Integrated System is one of the mission mode projects implemented
in the state of Haryana by the Department of Land Records in the North Indian state of
Haryana. This study analyses this E-Government project to understand how IT assets,
IT infrastructure performance and IT capability affect results of the project
implementation. It is a single-site case study undertaken in the district of Sonepat in the
state of Haryana. Figure 3 shows the second level of screens that showcases all screen
options and tabs with real-time data snapshot.
TG
10,3

420
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Figure 3.
HARISHALRIS
Integrated System

5.1 Background of Haryana Registration Information SystemHaryana Land Records


Information System
In Haryana, the revenue department plays a crucial role in providing essential citizen
services. Haryana is one among the few states, where property registration and the land
records administration work have been merged and managed by a single department
with a single Revenue Officer designated as Tehsildar/Naib-Tehsildar functioning as
Sub-Registrar while handling the work of property registration and as Circle Revenue
Officer (CRO) while handling the work of Land Records Administration. With the aim of
streamlining the working of the revenue establishment, the process of computerization
was initiated by the state government, covering land records on one hand, and property
registration on the other. Prior to introducing the HARISHALRIS system, some of the
major problems and limitations faced by the users on property registration and land
records were lack of transparency, higher probability of miscalculations in valuation of
properties resulting in loss of revenue to the government, high dependency of citizens on
government land official (i.e. Patwari), higher probability of fraud in land registration by
seller, time-consuming maintenance and checking of office records and non-availability
of a single-window-integrated service. Further, the government official (i.e. Patwari)
took a time period of one year to prepare the Jamabandi (Record-Of-Right [ROR])
document; the same task under HALRIS, now takes just one day. Thus, the
workflow-based Property Registration Information System (HARIS-) and Land Records
Administration system (HALRIS) were developed and implemented in the initial phases
of computerization (NIC, 2015; NISG, 2015). Thereafter, the Property Registration
System and Land Records system were dynamically integrated in a workflow
environment, under a single unified database, to facilitate on-line availability of ROR on
anytime, anywhere basis as depicted in Figure 4.
This project started in the year 1990-1991 with a Foxbase database that did just
computer feeding of manual Jamabandi and did not offer any public service window. In
HARIS HALRIS Framework
for
Deed Writer
e-government
Cizen Deed
Registraon Mutaon Entry

Deed Wring
Through HARIS

Pencil Remarks
Property Details

Updaon
421
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Nakal (ROR) of Red


Current Jamabandi remarks Vericaon &
Cizen Jamabandi Sancon of
Data Mutaon

Update Data and


add Black remarks
Incorporaon
of Mutaon

Consignment
Figure 4.
Nakal (ROR) of Integrated workflow
Old Jamabandi
of property
Record Room Cizen registration system
and land record
Source: (NIC, 2015; NISG, 2015) system

the year 2000-2001, the software was upgraded to MS-Access and Visual Basic with
support to a single service, i.e. for property registration of Deed in HARIS. Again, in the
year 2003-2004, the systems were upgraded to SQL Server, IIS Server and Visual Basic
with major improvements in the backend database of HARIS. The next phase in
2005-2006 led to the development of HALRIS. At present, the services of property
registration and land records are offered as HARISHALRIS Integrated System. This
subsequent expansion and integration of the system has demonstrated IT capability
from underlying infrastructure and its performance, influencing effective delivery of
citizen services. With the rollout of HARIS (Property Registration) and HALRIS (Land
Records) projects across Haryana, new challenges started emerging in delivery of
services to citizens. One such issue was authentication and verification of ROR copies so
that other agencies like financial institutions, builders and buyers could trust the
computer-generated RORs. This was necessary to check the frauds, which can be
committed by tempering the hard copies of Nakals (drafts) issued by the HALRIS
centres or the possibility of generation of duplicate RORs by scanning and modifying
the original ones. The computer-printed copies of RORs were issued with the seal and
signatures of Patwari (village(s) land demarcation official) posted at the HALRIS Centre.
There are chances that a person can tamper the ROR before submitting it to the Bank or
any other agency. Therefore, a need was felt to devise a security mechanism, by
developing and implementing a verifiable two-dimensional (2D) bar-coded computer-
generated RORs. The solution developed has two main components, first one a 2D bar
code generation modules and other is bar code verification module. Both these
components use 2D Bar Code, XML and Hashing technology.
TG The HARIS and HALRIS are being implemented at all districts of Haryana.
10,3 According to the IT manager, the successful implementation has resulted in greater
transparency, ease of service delivery and increase in revenue collection. Revenue
department provides four services related to revenue records: property registration,
Nakal of revenue records of rights, mutation activity and deed writing through licensed
deed writers.
422 Based on the literature study done, five broad constructs were identified in the
conceptual model. This was followed by an in-depth case study which led to the
identification of 14 specific constructs. Subsequently, Table I lists how these specific
constructs that were identified for the study and evolved from our conceptual
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framework relate to abstractions from our case study data.


We analysed the key services provided by the system with respect to
functionality and connectivity concepts developed by Broadbent et al. (1999) and are
given in Table II.
This study provided support for applying theoretical concepts and relations used for
business organizations to E-Government organizations. Although the main objective of
the Haryana Government is not to deliver financial value directly to the Government, the
system generates value to its end-users and that in turn gets reflected in the measures of
Governments performance.

5.2 Major benefits and limitations


The major benefit from this E-Government project is the integration of two functions of
a department with the help of an information system. The manual processing of tasks
previously took around a weeks time because of the involvement of different
government functionaries. Implementation of this project reduced the time to a matter of
few minutes. Further, documents are more secured owing to on-the-spot scanning of the
photos for land transfer; this reduces the cases of frauds to a large extent. The system is
available and accessible to all the districts of Haryana state.
Although the E-Government system has delivered certain major benefits to its
end-users, the Government representatives think that there is a long way to go for this
system to deliver potential benefits to various stakeholders. This was pointed out by a
staff member:
In a country like India where more than 70 per cent of the population resides in rural areas with
diversified language, culture and state administrations, this system is specific and limited in
its role to one state and so does not seem to lend itself to a country wide interoperable
architecture and integration at the federal level in the near future.
For instance, the Vehicle Registration System (another E-Government initiative) stores
the data in the state centrally, thereby stipulating common business rules in the form of
vehicle rules and regulations for system implementation. This has created a federated
information system accessible to all states. A senior IT Manager commented:
The volume of data has moved from MBs to GBs of data in the last few years thereby creating
the necessity for an enterprise framework identification that in turn will enforce
implementation of SOA and Cloud deployment. At this stage it seems to be a remote
possibility.
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Dimension Concept Related interview statement Selected quotes

IT asset Infrastructure Investment in MS SQL server, other windows At present it (the system) is running on a Windows with MS SQL
technologies Server database (IT Staff)
Transactional New system takes less time to coordinate with Documents are more secured owing to on the spot scanning of
government functionaries the photos for land transfer thus reducing the cases of frauds to a
large extent
Informational The system stipulates common business rules and The manual task previously took around a weeks time due to
regulations involvement of different government functionaries
IT infrastructure Reliability The implementation has resulted in greater transparency, The Property Registration System and Land Records system
performance ease of service delivery and increase in revenue collection were dynamically integrated in a workflow environment
Flexibility Dynamic integration of land record and property Initially, since the late 1990s the system went through a gradual
registration systems transition from a Unix based Foxbase database supported system
Scalability The HARIS & HALRIS are being implemented at all to a Window based MS-Access supported system
districts of Haryana
IT capability Functionality (quantum and Documents secured using spot scanning The volume of data has moved from MBs to GBs of data in the
nature of services) Four services provided through the system: 1. Property last few years thereby creating the necessity for an enterprise
Registration, 2. Nakal of Revenue Records of Rights, 3. framework identification (Senior IT Manager)
Mutation activity, 4. Deed writing through licensed Deed
Writers
Connectivity (reach and Automatic Generation of new Jamabandi
range) Availability of ROR on Internet
E-Registration facility for booking appointment for
property registration
The HARIS & HALRIS are being implemented at all
districts of Haryana
Availability of Record-Of-Right (ROR) on Anytime,
Anywhere basis
Competencies Regular training is provided to the staff on new module/ Experience in the form of practices (also called routine tasks)
patch additions done to the system vary from person to person based on IT skills and as result full
Knowledge transfer sessions are also provided by experts capability of the system is not exploited to the fullest (IT
from NIC Programmer)
Mentally align to the future plans/changes
Practices Troubleshooting and fire fighting unexpected problems
while system is online and in service
(continued)

Table I.
423
for

from interview data


e-government
Framework

Evolution of concepts
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TG
10,3

424

Table I.
Dimension Concept Related interview statement Selected quotes

Service delivery Cloud Deployment Expansion of the system In a country like India where more than 70% of the population
model Management of large volumes of data resides in rural areas with diversified language, culture and state
administrations, this system is specific and limited in its role to
one state and so does not seem to lend itself to an enterprise wide
interoperable architecture and integration at the federal level in
the near future
SOA Deployment Federal-level integration Growing data volume in turn will enforce implementation of SOA
Interoperability with other states and Cloud deployment (Senior IT Manager)
E-Government Quality of Service (QoS) ease of service delivery The project has reduced service delivery time from weeks to a
performance service delivery time improvement matter of few minutes
Quality of Governance greater transparency
(QoG) increase in revenue collected
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Functionality (quantum and nature of infrastructure


Sl no. Service services) Connectivity (reach and range)

1 Property registration to general public IT Education management for general public via training Tehsil and sub-Tehsil level
Services management to manage and negotiate with
outsourcers
2 Nakal of revenue records (namely, Nakal of Data management to enforce standards Tehsil and Sub-tehsils level. However, with a server
Jamabandi (ROR) and Mutation) of rural land to Communication Management to manage state wide maintained at Chandigarh (capital of Haryana state)
public network services the land owners can also access the Jamabandi
Backup Servers and UPS online through http://Jamabandi.nic.in/.
Daily Automatic backup facility Approximately 3,000 Nakal services
Additional manpower and hardware deployment
3 Mutation related services to land owners IT R & D to identify and test tools and technologies to Tehsil and sub-tehsil level. However, mutation
support upgradation in features and facilities related services can be accessed through a server
maintained in capital of Haryana state through
http://Jamabandi.nic.in/
4 Computerized deed writing services Application management to support e-business features Deed templates are available online. However, at
and support multi-media operations this point of time the deed writing is done manually
through deed writer kiosks existing at the Tehsils
5 Integration of property registration and land records Services management to maintain large data processing Available in the whole of the state of Haryana. It is
providing online mutation service facilities the first state in the country to have this property
Standards Management to enforce interoperability and integration feature
open standards
Software and application upgradation in 2000, 2003 and
2005
6 Automatic generation of new Jamabandi Application Management by generating certified Approximately 3,000 registrations
e-documents
7 Availability of ROR on internet Application management by generating MIS reports and Citizens/land owners can access the copy of the
managing related functions land records through the citizen service delivery
Security for authentication and fraud prevention system http://jansahayak.gov.in/
8 E-Registration facility for booking appointment for Application Management by providing multi-media Available not only at Tehsil/sub-Tehsils but also in
property registration supported operations state capital. The finance commissioner office
controls the limit on number of bookings for better
control and reduce corruption

Source: Broadbent et al. (1999)


425
for

the system
Table II.
e-government
Framework

Services provided by
TG 6. Proposed research framework
10,3 We revised our research framework presented in Figure 1 with more information
received from the case study as depicted in Figure 5. We identified variables relevant to
our research as given in Tables I and II which were extracted from case study data.
Although previous studies have used strategy as a variable in IT asset category, we
excluded it from our framework, as we did not get any support for strategic deployment
426 of IT assets. Previous studies have used this variable in the context of profit-making
firms competing in a market environment. E-Government systems are implemented by
the Government for efficient delivery of Government services to its citizens and as such
do not generally operate under competitive market forces. We found three variables:
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infrastructure, transactional and informational aspects of IT assets (Aral and Weill,


2007), that were relevant to our study as evidenced in Table II. Similarly, we have
retained functionality, connectivity, competencies and practices as variables pertaining
to IT capability consistent with previous studies (Aral and Weill, 2007; Broadbent et al.,
1999).
Based on our study, we have introduced a new construct service delivery model whose
underlying elements are SOA and Cloud. Similarly, IT infrastructure performance is
another construct that emerged from our study which is characterised by reliability,
flexibility and scalability. Although previous studies have identified flexibility as a
critical requirement for IT infrastructure for business performance, this study further
identifies reliability and scalability as other relevant variables for developing IT
capability. Further, quality of service and quality of governance emerged as two
variables relevant to E-Government performance (Table II).

6.1 Information technology assets and information technology infrastructure


performance
Within the scope of our study, we define IT assets as consisting of government
investments in IT infrastructure, transactional and informational assets for the purpose
of delivering government services efficiently and effectively to its users. Based on the

IT RESOURCES

IT Assets Control Variables

Infrastructure IT Intangibles
Transaconal Organizaon
Informaonal

IT Capability
E-Government
Service Delivery4.Model
Funconality Performance
Connecvity
Cloud Deployment Competencies Quality of Service
SOA Deployment IT Infrastructure Pracces Quality of Governance
Performance

Reliability
Figure 5. Flexibility
Research framework Scalability
results from previous studies on IT investments and firm performance (Bharadwaj, Framework
2000), we expect that it is not the mere size of investments, but the purposeful for
investments that will lead to better performance of E-Government.
Following the RBV as applied to IT, IT infrastructure as a valuable resource must be
e-government
reliable to ensure IT services to be delivered under warranty conditions defined by
service-level agreements (Applegate and Austin, 2008; Weill and Vitale, 2002).
Reliability is assured by redundancy in the provisioning of IT infrastructure. Second, 427
flexibility is a key attribute of an IT infrastructure to adapt fast to changes that might be
required in future scenarios (Duncan, 1995; Byrd and Turner, 2000). Byrd and Turner
(2000), based on a quantitative study covering major Fortune 1,000 firms, showed that
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there is a positive association between flexibility of IT infrastructure and organizational


performance. Third, scalability (Kumbakara, 2008) is an essential attribute of IT
infrastructure to be valuable to an organization. It was further evidenced in our in-depth
case study that reliability, flexibility and scalability are three important attributes of IT
infrastructure performance.
As discussed previously in Section 2.3, service delivery under Cloud and SOA
deployment models serves to enhance the performance of IT infrastructure. It implies
the capability of the system to withstand elastic load subject to increase in user base;
addition of hardware/software; managing new design changes, allowing infrastructure
portability; and improving agility of the organization. Proprietary technologies without
openness to operate with other systems could adversely affect systems integration and
ability to expand (Shapiro and Varian, 1998). As Cloud and SOA options help in
enhancing reliability, flexibility and scalability to IT infrastructure, we expect that these
variables will moderate the relationship between IT assets and their performance:
P1. Investments in IT assets will have a stronger relationship with IT infrastructure
performance when Cloud and SOA deployments are present.

6.2 Information technology infrastructure performance, information technology


capability and E-Government performance
Drawing on Aral and Weill (2007), we further argue that it is the purposeful (having a
strategic purpose) investments in IT in infrastructure, transactional and informational
assets that will provide IT infrastructure performance in functionality and connectivity
(Broadbent et al., 1999). We argue that for IT investments to become a capability for the
government organization, IT infrastructure must deliver desired performance. This
argument is consistent with previous findings that superior performance of IT
infrastructure such as reliability, flexibility and scalability (Byrd and Turner, 2000;
Weill and Vitale, 2002; Kumbakara, 2008) result in better organizational performance.
As reported in previous studies on business value of IT, we posit in the case of
E-Government services that it is not the mere investment in rigid IT assets but their
performance in terms of flexibility, reliability and scalability of IT resources that
generate capability for an organization (Bharadwaj, 2000; Byrd and Turner, 2000; Aral
and Weill, 2007). Thus, we also expect that superior IT infrastructure performance will
positively influence IT capability of the government organization. Further, following
Barney (1991) and Aral and Weill (2007), we expect that IT resources will have a positive
influence on E-Government performance. Further, IT resources in the case of
E-Government will be those assets that create capability for the government to deliver
its services efficiently to the citizens:
TG P2. Infrastructure performance variables will be positively related to IT capability.
10,3 P3. IT capability will be positively related to E-Government performance.

7. Conclusion
In the backdrop of growing investments in IT by governments, our main objective was
428 to develop a framework to analyse how IT infrastructure creates IT capability which in
turn influences E-Government performance. Drawing on previous studies in IT and
business value and E-Government systems, we developed an extant view of IT and
E-Government performance. We further validated the extant view by analysing data
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collected from a successful E-Government project in Northern India. Subsequently,


specific propositions were formulated that anticipate relationships among IT
infrastructure, IT service delivery model, IT capability and E-Government performance.
Our study resulted in three sets of propositions:
(1) that anticipates a positive influence of IT infrastructure investments on IT
performance in the presence of appropriate service delivery models like SOA and
Cloud;
(2) that proposes a positive relationship between IT infrastructure performance and
IT capability; and
(3) that proposes a positive relationship between IT capability and E-Government
performance.

7.1 Implications
Presently several governments and their agencies are deploying new IT systems having
specifications relevant to their current and immediate needs. This urgency leads to
inadequate attention towards the need to connect, exchange and re-use data with other
IT systems, i.e. leading to a lack of interoperability. The result is a patchwork of IT
solutions that is not always compatible with each other and an E-Government
programme that does not meet its goals. Further, investments in IT infrastructure are
expected to provide strategic value to all the stakeholders of the E-Government. This
implies that the right strategic balance between technology capability and the
organization goals is imperative for E-Government performance. In the domain of
E-Government integrating service, deployment models have become a crucial issue
because visibility and transparency in the public services at the ground level requires
both improvement and reinforcement of IT investments. The Government of India
recently launched the Digital India initiative to address the need of putting in place a
policy of bringing transformation in E-Government. It is in this context, the service
delivery model elements, namely, SOA and Cloud that are part of the research
framework described in this work, suitably address the issues of transformation in
E-Government projects, e.g. interoperability and infrastructure on demand.
This research work contributes to theory development in E-Government domain by
proposing a theoretical framework to test E-Government performance using the
identified dimensions and constructs. These specific constructs will form the basis for
taking this work to the next level of theory testing by operationalizing the constructs.
From E-Government practice standpoint, the research framework proposed in this
paper provides some evidence from E-Government practice to its propositional
argument that deployment of service delivery models positively influence the
performance of IT assets and IT capability. With more test cases for validation, this Framework
framework could guide the choice of IT infrastructure to ensure desired e-government for
performance.
At the social level, this work provides an integrated framework for measuring
e-government
E-Government performance, thereby making deployment of IT infrastructure
accountable both in terms of IT performance and IT capability.
429
7.2 Limitations
This study followed a case study approach and as such the findings are not useful for
generalization to a population. However, the findings have been articulated for
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analytical generalization in theory-building process. Lastly, because the HALRIS


HARIS system is not Web-enabled, its enterprise-wide utility using SOA and Cloud
computing is a remote possibility and hence the study from the paper may not provide
significant value for this project in the immediate point of time but will be beneficial
definitely in the near future as highlighted in the end of Section 5 by an IT manager
when these service delivery models are incorporated in this system.

7.3 Future work


More case studies could be replicated with data from case sites that may agree or differ
from the propositions formulated in this study. Future work could also focus on theory
development by further testing of hypotheses with survey data. This will involve
operationalization of all the concepts developed in this study and testing and validation
of a survey questionnaire for the E-Government domain.

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Appendix Framework
A partial list of the questions used for data collection using interview method (including
using semi-structured and unstructured questionnaire):
for
e-government
Project Related Information
Name of the E-Government service / system:
For how many years you have been using the HARIS-HALRIS system (years):
Year project started:
Extent of automation (Full / Partial)?
433
Year online service delivery started:
Current status:
Services delivered online:
Downloaded by Universidad de Especialidades del Espiritu Santo At 08:43 20 May 2017 (PT)

Service Delivery Model Used (SOA or Cloud or None):


How knowledgeable are you about HARIS-HALRIS project?
(Scale: 1 - Highly knowledgeable 2 3 neutral 4 5 (Little Knowledgeable)

Information Quality
(Scale: 1- Strongly disagree 2 3 - neutral 4 5 - Strongly agree)
The E-Government system provides the following kind of information that you might need:
a. Precise information b. Sufficient information c. Up-to-date information

System Quality
(Scale: 1- Strongly disagree 2 3 - neutral 4 5 - Strongly agree)
The E-Government system is:
a. User friendly b. Easy to use

Service Quality
(Scale: 1- Strongly disagree 2 3 - neutral 4 5 - Strongly agree)
The services provided by the E-Government system reflect:
a. Sincere interest in problem solving b. safety in Transaction handling c. getting
individual attention

Use
(Scale: 1- Strongly disagree 2 3 - neutral 4 5 - Strongly agree)
Use of the E-Government system:
a. Has made you dependent on it
b. Has increased your frequency of use of it

User Satisfaction
(Scale: 1- Strongly disagree 2 3 - neutral 4 5 - Strongly agree)
As an End-user you are:
a. Satisfied with the E-Government system
b. The E-Government system has met your expectations.

Perceived Net Benefit


(Scale: 1- Strongly disagree 2 3 - neutral 4 5 - Strongly agree)
The E-Government system:
a. Makes my job easier. b. Saves me time

Corresponding author
Deepak Dahiya can be contacted at: compdeep@yahoo.com

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