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Title: EGovernment: HumanCentered Systems for Business Services

Project Summary

Advances in information technologies have positioned electronic commerce (EC) at the forefront of business and commerce. A couple of years ago, we have experienced the “firstgeneration” Internet companies, where it took approximately two years to get up and running. Today, we have “secondgeneration” Internet companies, where it takes weeks to get up and running. For example, see for detailed discussion regarding a startup company that became fully operational and was successful in raising $8 million within 12 weeks. In such an environment, it would not be feasible to expect such entrepreneurs to spend months interacting with the various state agencies to obtain relevant information regarding establishing its business.

Many federal and state agencies have been mandated to adopt EC technologies to help streamline and transform their core business processes.In response to these mandates, the NJ State government has recently established an initiative in EC whose goal is to provide an effective and efficient single electronic interface that fosters the establishment of new businesses and facilitates effective longterm interactive relationships with businesses throughout the State. The objective of the proposed work is to identify and address, through research and development, some of the fundamental limitations encountered in applying information technology to government information services. Specifically, we plan to address research and development issues related to distributed workflows, security and authorization, workflow specification, data interoperability, and universal access.

In addition to the research issues that will be addressed in this proposed work, we will undertake the development of a prototype system called MyNJbusiness that will require the development of a number of various components. The MyNJbusiness system will evolve through several prototype and production iterations. In conjunction with the SBDC staff, we will conduct formal system walkthroughs and guided exploration sessions for each release. Select clients of the SBDC will be encouraged to work with the system and provide feedback.

The impact of this project is in three dimensions –

  1. it advances the fundamental research in the areas of data interoperability, workflow management and multimedia object delivery and access.
  2. it helps government agencies to provide an electronic frontend and associated humancentered systems to entice small and medium scale businesses by providing a smoother, customized process of establishing new business.
  3. The resulting methodologies and systems developed will enable business persons, entrepreneurs and other citizens to interact with the state government in an effective fashion never previously possible.

The research and development work we will undertake generalizable and therefore can serve as a reference model to be adopted by other agencies and services both in New Jersey and in other states.