Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Building the Organization Technology Infrastructure

Building the Organization Technology Infrastructure (Day 34)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the  34th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

In this year's school opening, we are witness to how schools are able to enroll online through the Learner Information System (LIS) all over the country. Through a simplified process, we are able to generate enrollment figures in real time uploading happens.

Given that there are more than 60,000 public and private schools nationwide, deploying information systems such as the LIS requires strong technology infrastructure in the back end.

For DepEd, this meant:

Establishing data centers. Initial servers and equipment were acquired in 2010 in preparation for the nationwide implementation of the system that houses all school-related information - Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS). I spoke about this in my Day 2 post. The same set of servers were also used for other web-based transactions and applications - LIS, the Learning Portal and the website. As our requirements increased, we programmed upgrade of servers beginning in 2015 and the improvement of the data centers where it is housed. This is an ongoing effort which we hope to be completed by 2017. A mirror site continues to be maintained as part of a backup and redundancy measure.

Increasing internet bandwidth. What began as an 8mbps setup for 1000 employees in 2010 at the Central Office, we have no upgraded to 70mbps in additions to the 100mbps dedicated for the data center (and a local loop set up with the mirror site). Regional and division office budgets have been increased to allow them procure more internet services as well. It is hoped that bandwidth in the Philippines really improves in terms of access and quality.

Enhancing security protocols. Given the huge amounts of data, various security protocols were put in place. Some that I will mention are the establishment of the data center, installation of security devices, and third party audits.

Over the past years, DepEd has focused on providing hardware for its schools and continues to do so. We foresee that schools will also benefit from equipment that can be used for administrative purposes. Specific equipment were gradually provided also to Mobile Teachers, ALS Coordinators, Planning Officers, Bookkeepers, and regional directors. However, there was a clear recognition that offices required the necessary equipment to enhance productivity, manage more transactions, and provide better service.Through the 2016 budget, DepEd will be able to provide all plantilla (Central Office, Regional Offices, Division Offices) with one computer each and replace 6 year old computers (or more). This is a much needed upgrade which can help "refresh" the organization.



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