By now, it should be quite clear that our approach to e-government is quite straightforward: e-government is part of a common trend toward creating a level playing field, as required by market economy.
This trend started centuries ago with the creation of financial instruments, and what we are observing is a mere acceleration, due to the spreading of ICT, and the interoperability allowed by internet.
What is interoperability? A working definition is: the possibility of every organization to communicate with any other organization at any time, without the need of establishing a custom communication link.
E-government is a work in progress, and its spreading will accelerate the trend toward further transparency, with wide impacts on our assumptions on what is proprietary or confidential.
To have a coherent idea of what would mean managing a transparent company, we suggest reading an old science-fiction book on how technology could affect privacy .
Consider e-government as part of your own business development activities, by adopting a “monitoring” approach, also in smaller organizations; this approach could extend into lobbying, instead of simply reacting to e-government.
Smaller organizations would certainly benefit by coordinating their efforts to present industry consensus at the same level of organizational complexity, making easier to give visibility to their negotiating position while talking with government agencies.
Usually lobbying is seen as something for larger companies, but probably smaller companies could be the ones obtaining more benefits from e-government, as they could use government free services to replace services that are currently delivered by external resources, as they lack the structure to justify building in-house expertise.
Therefore, smaller companies will have probably opposite interests, when compared with larger ones, as what would be a benefit for the former (e.g. removing the need for auditors, as anyway their figures are small enough to remove any “creative accounting” value), would be a straitjacket to the latter.
The same applies for smaller local authorities: while towns with more than 800,000 residents have both structure and resources, smaller towns will be required to provide the same services, but without the administrative or technical resources required, and therefore could be more interested in giving value not to custom-built applications, but to the use of government-sponsored standard applications, that allow them to use their scarce resources to promote the unique content that their town can deliver to visitors and investors, using “virtual malls” as containers to publish the content