The impact of ICT on local administrations in Italy: state of the art, SWOT analysis and improvement solutions

Contributions and working papers
On issue: 
Accounting and Business Adm.

Local administrations in Italy are involved, since the beginning of the 1990s, in a large and deep process of reform. This reform aims at their modernization and basically at enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness. The ultimate goal is to create a local administration that is able to better satisfy the needs of citizens and businesses and to economically manage public resources. Within this reform, a central role is played by the development of information systems (IS) and by the relative innovation in information and communication technology (ICT). This is a technical as well as organizational revolution generally referred to as ‘e-government’. The IS-and-ICT revolution is not only an important step in the administrative reform taking place in Italy, but it is also viewed as a key factor for its success or failure. Yet while offering interesting and powerful levers for the gradual improvement of local administrations’ operative and financial performances, the IS-and-ICT revolution still presents some troubles to overcome. The aim of this paper is three-fold. First, it describes the state of the art of ICT development by local administrations in Italy. Second, it analyses its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Third, it suggests some solutions to overcome threats and weaknesses and to profit from opportunities and strengths. This paper offers a critical and empirically informed analysis of the reasons behind the successes and failures of the current e-government revolution in Italy and proposes possible solutions concerning both the national level and local-administration level.