Information and Communication Technology - Introduction
The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in social security institutions represents a global trend. As institutions turn to ICT, the goal is the development of solutions that enable them to accomplish their mission, providing high-quality services, satisfying stakeholders and improving efficiency of key processes. Moreover, the challenges resulting from social security’s permanent evolution require a more intensive and sophisticated use of technology in the social security domain. Over recent years, ICT has played a strategic role in the implementation of social security programmes. The application of ICT has enabled not only the automation of specific processes, but the transformation of operations and services, enabling improvements in the performance and service quality of social security institutions.
However, in spite of these generally encouraging results and the emergence of economically accessible products, ICT application remains a matter of concern for social security institutions. It is widely recognized that the complexities of ICT systems are increasing but do not always fulfil business results expectations. In addition, the quick evolution of products and their interrelationship can impact negatively on the stability of business processes. These elements have led to worries about the cost–result balance and have generated uncertainties about the better approaches to develop successful ICT applications.