Vice-Governor Stanislav Kazarin and representatives of relevant committees spoke about what has been done by the authorities and what remains to be done.
The main document that will determine digital development is the St. Petersburg Digital Transformation Strategy. This document should be updated annually: in 2021 the first version was released, last year the second, this will be the third. The digital transformation program included 48 projects from 13 industries in various fields of activity.
“We are doing a huge number of projects for both executive authorities and residents of the city. Systems of different status work in real time, are supplemented, changed and updated. The city’s life support systems have the most important status, their performance should never be disrupted, – Stanislav Kazarin emphasized, – in total, we now have 103 state and more than 40 departmental systems.
According to Dmitry Lisovitsky, director of the St. Petersburg State Public Institution “Information Technology and Communications Department”, there is an active automation of business processes in government bodies, a system of services is being developed to involve the population in the digital space. Three main groups can be distinguished in GIS: the first is instrumental, including the register of state programs, the second is socially oriented, for example, the information system of the tourism committee, the third is an ecosystem of urban services aimed at maximizing the needs of city residents . If in 2022 about 2 billion rubles were allocated for the development of these systems, then in 2023 the amount increased to 3 billion. The need for total import substitution had a great impact on the increase in costs, since by 2025 all critical infrastructure facilities should be transferred to domestic solutions. Currently, a roadmap has been developed for the transfer of all jobs for government employees with a simultaneous analysis of all state IS. In fact, we are talking about replacing database management systems and operating systems. Moreover, the replacement of software goes in parallel with the creation of new services.
The downside of digitalization is an increase in the risks of data loss, information security risks. Stanislav Kazarin confirmed that hackers’ interest in GIS has grown significantly since February 2022. Thus, the number of hacking attempts has increased tenfold compared to 2021. The government of St. Petersburg has a cybersecurity center for a long time. Teamwork, increased infrastructure resilience, and effective communications with regulators and federal agencies helped to counter not only classic attacks, but also new cyber threats. Also last year, a cybersecurity headquarters was created, which, in addition to specialists from the authorities, included representatives of the largest companies in the city.
Commenting on the accident that occurred on February 1 and led to the actual shutdown of city services (“Gosuslugi”, “Our St. for server breakdowns and performance degradation. After the repair, he returned to full-function work. At the same time, all data on it was saved. In addition, last year the government made a massive purchase of data storage systems, completely domestically produced. “The equipment has already been installed and the software is now being configured. I expect that there will be no problems on this side for at least a few years,” added the vice-governor.
Currently, 11 information systems are used in the housing and communal services sector of St. Petersburg. Many are already outdated, as they were made a long time ago and no longer meet the requirements of today. Valeria Kostyukovskaya, deputy chairman of the Housing Committee, sees the main task in creating a single digital platform that can meet the needs of the authorities and the formation of digital services, for example, for paying compensation for housing and communal services. According to her, it is necessary to give residents convenient communication tools to solve problems.
At the very end of 2021, the federal government approved strategic directions in the field of education. The goal of the digital transformation of education is to provide information to all participants in the process: teachers, school principals, students and parents. Throughout 2022, active work was underway in St. Petersburg to develop a regional public services portal.
“Already now, parents enroll their child in the first grade and kindergarten through the portal, this year it will be possible to arrange a transfer from one school to another, as well as apply for admission to college. In order to make this possible, a lot of work has been done to integrate the regional information system with federal information systems. Also last year, a unified regional navigator for additional education was launched. In fact, this is a showcase of city circles, where every parent can choose a circle for a child, – said Mikhail Puchkov, Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee – This is a single assembly point for all additional education in St. Petersburg, both public and private.
The Health Committee has made customer-centricity a priority. “For us, clients are patients and doctors. The portal “Health of a Petersburger” provides customers with digital services, – commented Olga Granatovich, Deputy Chairman of the Health Committee, – Patients can make an appointment with a doctor, receive documents from an electronic medical record, and doctors can see all information about the patient, medical history and visits to clinics . In this case, access is granted only to the doctor who is currently working with this patient. This ensures data security.” In 2022, no less important services for managers were developed, allowing them to control the work of medical institutions. Digitalization has helped remotely open and close sick leave, which was very important at the height of the pandemic. And since January 2023, maternity hospitals in St. Petersburg have switched to neonatal screening. The analysis, which is taken from the newborn on the first or second day, allows you to identify deviations that may threaten health in the future. If deviations are suspected, the information is transferred to a specialized federal research center. All directions and results are provided electronically.
During the event, representatives of the committees discussed the digital development of sports and tourism, the problems of individual industries and ways to solve them.
According to Andrey Maksimenko, director of St. Petersburg State Unitary Enterprise “SPb IAC”, the city is interested in further digitalization and provides various support measures to developers. So IT companies enjoy all the preferences provided for the industry. These are special funds, and the minimum tax rate, and investment tax deduction, and compensation for the costs of creating infrastructure, data centers and communication networks. In January 2023 alone, 125 IT professionals received preferential mortgages. In addition, the fund for lending to small and medium-sized businesses is capitalized up to 1 billion rubles.
Answering a question from IT Manager magazine about how to increase the confidence of residents in new services, Stanislav Kazarin said: “Due to their complexity and bureaucracy, regulation, constant checks and responsibility, government systems are much tougher in ensuring information security than commercial structures. The first thing we did last year was to disable access to city systems for our contractors. If something is necessary to perform a specific job, a special window opens with regulations and careful control on our part.” And citizens are guaranteed the maximum level of protection by the Unified Identification and Authentication System, which is used to access all state portals.