Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Online Yet Not 24×7

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You’d expect online services to be 24×7, running round the clock non-stop every day of the year. So it’s rather puzzling why this e-service from our Ministry of Manpower (MOM) appears to observe normal work hours. Yes, it’s as if there are minions sitting inside the servers of MOM churning out responses as you access their website.

I thought I must have complained about it before, but somehow a casual search on my blog failed to find anything. There are so many great e-services offered by our government. The Work Permit Online e-service, unfortunately, is not one of them.

The renewal notice, as you might be able to make out in the photo above, tells about improvements they make to give us greater convenience. It’s really nice, I know. Not having to visit a physical office is great. However, having gone online, I don’t understand why transactions can only be carried out during office hours?

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.39.31 pm

It’s fine if they don’t want to process the renewals right away. However, surely it’s not difficult to simply accept the renewal submissions for processing the next working day?

This workflow feels so much like someone had literally taken a manual counter service and converted it into an online process. Taking a service online should also mean reengineering some of its processes for a radical all around improvement. Why do you just stop at converting a physical workflow into an otherwise identical online workflow?

I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. That it is online at all has already saved lots of time.

Dear MOM, I hope you know that computers can work 24×7. Computers don’t need rest days, break time, and they aren’t subject to provisions in the Employment Act.

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