Digital Transformation Applied in the Brazilian Army and in the National Territory

This article has been initially published in the Security and Land Power Journal
Vol. 2 N.° 1 (2023): Enero – Marzo
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56221/spt.v2i1.11


Abstract

Digital transformation is an evident reality in the world. In this regard, some South American countries are immersed in this process of digital evolution. Among them, Brazil presents some positive examples in its public management of digital transformation implementation, while in Peru the GeoPeru platform stands out as a success in data integration. Thus, this article aims to show the results of technological implementations conducted by the Federal Government of Brazil and the Brazilian Army, related to digital transformation, which generated positive effects in public and private management.

Keywords: Digital Transformation, Public Management, Army, Brazil.

Introduction

Digital transformation is a reality that increasingly conditions daily activities, making the world more dynamic, developed, and efficient. This is reflected in the globalization process, in which people demand, need, and receive unlimited and immediate information. Therefore, the globalized world requires a digital transformation process, since competition in the current scenario of investors, companies and agents of this phenomenon requires a profound break of paradigms.[1]

No doubt, the world of digital transformation is in constant innovation, making it unpredictable to quantify and qualify the technologies that are to come in a period of no more than five years.[2] A process that seeks satisfying the organization needs,[3] by creatively implementing new technologies, for private companies as well as for the public apparatus, aiming at the optimization of labor behavior. The GeoPeru[4] platform implementations must be highlighted as they integrate data related to health, infrastructure, violence, and other data in all of Peru; generating an important source of information for the development of projects and public policies seeking to improve life conditions of the population.

This transformation is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,[5] which shows the enormous interaction existing between information systems and human beings. With the rise of cybernetics and cybersecurity, several of South America countries require to get aligned with the technological growth and the change of behavior experienced in other regions. In this context, it is not enough to use technologies such as a cellular phone, a computer, or the drones, it is important to understand how these devices may optimize daily activities or efficiency and quality of life.

This paper is justified because of “the reality shown in public institutions with the arrival of the digital transformation to Brazil” where the Brazilian Army has had to adapt the bureaucratic requirements to the new national practice, all the while maintaining the security of its documents and operations and implementing new software to manage its human resources and the logistics of their Military Materials.[6] These changes have happened because the new technologies had to be adopted and be embedded in the national reality, essential to maintain Brazilian sovereignty.

Digital Transformation in Public and Private Administration in Brazil

The Peruvian Government standardized the digital transformation process through Emergency Decree No. 006 – 2020, Emergency Decree Creating the National Digital Transformation System.[7] This measure led to the development of legislation adapted to digital needs, characterized by the following enablers: digital identity, digital services, digital architecture, interoperability, digital security, and data.

A study conducted in 2020 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,[8] noted the need identified by the Brazilian Federal Government to execute programs to implement internet and facilitate technological access, so the Brazilian Strategy for Digital Transformation (E-Digital) was implemented in 2018, with the expectation of results by 2021. Therefore, the Brazilian digital transformation process, with the E-Digital program,[9] included schools, public and private universities, as well as the Federal Government itself, creating a national platform (“gov.br”). The ministries also created their own web addresses, allowing their employees to access content related to their roles and optimizing their documentation procedures.

This process started in a decentralized manner, i.e., until around 2020 each ministry had its own intranet, related only to its internal affairs. Subsequently, with the interoperability of the digital transformation, all processes began to be managed in the Unified Platform of the Federal Government. Additionally, in the case of civil servants, all tenders began to be controlled directly by the Federal Court of Accounts. While for individuals, the Income Tax began to be executed by this same platform, even the vaccination booklet against COVID – 19 began to be issued in a private access environment for each Brazilian citizen.

In 2021, with the end of the deadline for the fulfillment of the implementation cycle of the digital transformation in Brazil, the digital government system was optimized and, consequently, the management of all administrative processes through the Internet. This dynamic was accelerated due to the COVID – 19 pandemic since with the social isolation there was an urgency for the optimization of this process. Consequently, it is now possible to access a digital driver’s license in Brazil, through the website of the Department of Transit (detran.sp).[10]

Another example of digital transformation that impacted the lives of Brazilians was the use of electronic ballot boxes during the electoral process, in addition to the fact that citizens can change their voting place through the government portal, as well as withdraw their voter registration. That is to say, a Brazilian living in Peru can vote in his embassy, as well as request the transfer of his title and electoral domicile, while being anywhere in Peru.[11] As for the private sector, the tender registration process, using the electronic access through the tender portal, makes it easier for a private company to register and, therefore, to promote its commercial negotiations in a transparent manner.[12]

Digital Management in the Brazilian Army

The Brazilian Army, in line with the country’s digital transformation, implemented a software called Electronic Protocol System on its intranet,[13] through which the user -according to their roles- formulates digitally signed documents. Therefore, a member of a military organization, when accessing the system, can send and receive documents, according to their military hierarchy. For example, a lieutenant only sends documents to their superior, who is usually a captain, and the latter can pass the document to the deputy commander of the unit, who sends the document to their superior or resolves according to their powers. This procedure reduced bureaucracy, optimized problem-solving time, and generated paper savings, as well as facilitating filing.

The system can only be accessed through the Virtual Private Network (VPN) intended for the Brazilian Army. In the case of military personnel residing abroad, they only have access if they are given a password with VPN login that can be installed on their computer. However, those residing in a city where the Brazilian Embassy is located, such as Lima, must go to the offices of the Military Attaché Office to access the system. It should be noted that the system used during the digital transformation of the Brazilian Army was developed by military personnel and underwent several updates for more than 10 years although updated according to the evolution of the digital transformation of the country.

Implementing Digital Transformation in Cities without Connectivity

In addition, the Brazilian government is carrying out actions to consolidate the so-called “smart cities,”[14] to ensure public access to the Internet and optimize the use of resources through the “Internet of Things”[15] However, there are three major challenges to be taken into account to optimize the digital transformation of cities: connectivity, standardization and governance.[16] What has been achieved for the implementation of digital transformation in cities without connectivity?

In this regard, Brazil is implementing 5G internet in several regions of the country. This measure is facilitating the implementation of the video monitoring system on federal highways and in urban centers. To do so, city administrations must adhere to the General Antenna Law, as explained by the mayor of the city of Aquidauana, in Mato Grosso do Sul.[17]

On the other hand, Wi-Fi Brazil Citizen Service Program (GESAC)[18] was created to provide public internet to places where there is no connectivity. This program is operated by the Ministry of Communications and has the following objectives: (1) The promotion of digital inclusion through the provision of broadband internet connection, including in those places where there is no adequate provision of internet connectivity; (2) The support to communities in a state of social vulnerability, located in rural, remote and urban peripheries, offering access to internet connection services, promoting digital and social inclusion, and fostering e-government actions; (3) Expansion of broadband Internet access to public institutions, with priority to remote and border regions; (4) Support to government agencies in e-government actions; and (5) Contribution to the expansion of Internet access in line with other government programs.

In this context, the two modalities of this program are: (1) the GESAC Internet Point (installed in specific locations, such as public institutions, schools, libraries, telecenters, health units, indigenous peoples and rural settlements, among others) and (2) the GESAC Free (which includes a router and is normally installed in public squares with free access).[19]

By 2021, the Federal Government’s initiative has already consolidated the installation of public internet in 3,218 cities in the country. However, some proposals are still being considered to expand the digital transformation in cities that are not yet contemplated with the Wi-Fi Brazil Program,[20] to increase partnerships with technology companies, identify key local needs, and adapt existing digital environments.

Conclusions

The innovative proposals made by the Federal Government of Brazil in its strategy for the consolidation of the country’s digital transformation can be replicated in Peru, since the legal frameworks of Peru and Brazil have the same objectives with respect to the enablers for a digital government. Likewise, the GeoPeru platform can be adapted in Brazil, since -despite having a digital deployment in its government platform- it does not have a platform with the advantages and benefits that GeoPeru offers.

In the context of digital transformation, it is worth highlighting the system used in the Brazilian Army as a proposal for improvement to be implemented by the Peruvian Army, since in the latter the paper documents are still formulated and distributed through ”registry desks”. Finally, regarding the digital transformation in cities without connectivity, the Federal Government of Brazil, through the Wi-Fi Brazil Program, has implemented public internet in more than 3,000 cities in the country, proposing the following measures for those regions without connectivity: (1) Partnerships with companies that develop technology, (2) Use of existing digital media, and (3) Start of the digital transformation, establishing priorities for technological development of cities without connectivity. In this way, national development will be promoted.

Endnotes:

  1. 1 Eduardo de Rezende Francisco, Jose Luiz Kugler and Claudio Luis Carvalho Larieira, “Líderes da transformação digital”, ResearchGate (May 2017), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317159396_Lideres_da_transformacao_digital (accessed August 20, 2022).
  2. Fernando Moreira, Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira, Ramiro Gonçalves and Carlos Costa, “Transformação digital – oportunidades e ameaças para uma competitividade mais inteligente”, Silabas-e-desafios (2017), https://silabas-e-desafios.pt/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/TDIG_excerto.pdf (accessed August 15, 2022).
  3. Donny Chumpitaz Maldonado, La Transformación Digital en el marco de la Revolución Industrial 4.0. The National System of Digital Transformation PPT Session 1 (Peru: Center for Higher National Studies CAEN, 2022).
  4. GeoPerú, “Mapas y Reportes Estadísticos en la Plataforma Geo Perú,” Georeferenced data digital platform (2022), https://www.geoperu.gob.pe/ (accessed August 15, 2022).
  5. Valeria Perasso, “Qué es la cuarta Revolución Industrial (y por qué debería preocuparnos)”, BBC Mundo (October 12, 2016), https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-37631834 (accesed August 2, 2022).
  6. Ministério da Defesa, “Materiais de Emprego Militar”, Bibliotecas dos Órgãos do Exército (November 23, 2015), https://bdex.eb.mil.br/jspui/bitstream/123456789/219/1/EB20-IR-10.005-2ed2015_2.pdf (accesed September 2, 2022).
  7. Decreto Urgencia Nº 006-2020, “Sistema Nacional de Transformación Digital”, Unique Digital Platform of the Peruvian State (January 9, 2020), https://cdn.www.gob.pe/uploads/document/file/473579/DU_006-2020.pdf?v=1617630737 (accesed August 9, 2022).
  8. OCDE, “O Brasil na transformação digital: oportunidades e desafios”, Organização de Cooperação Económica e Desenvolvimento (2020), https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/a-caminho-da-era-digital-no-brasil_0d4a61d4-pt (accesed August 1, 2022).
  9. Rede Gov Brasil, “O que é a Rede Nacional de Governo Digital (Rede GOV.BR)?” Rede Nacional de Governo Digital Brasil (2022), https://www.gov.br/governodigital/pt-br/transformacao-digital/rede-nacional-de-governo-digital (accesed September 2, 2022).
  10. Serviços e Informações do Brasil, “Obter a Carteira Digital de Trânsito (CDT)”, Rede Nacional de Governo Digital Brasil (November 16, 2022), https://www.gov.br/pt-br/servicos/obter-carteira-digital-de-transito (accesed August 20, 2022).
  11. Serviços ao eleitor, “Aplicativo e-Título”, Tribunal Superior Eleitoral TSE (2022), https://www.tse.jus.br/eleitor/servicos/aplicativo-e-titulo (accesed August 22, 2022).
  12. Portal de licitações, “Pregão Eletrônico: Você sabe o que é? Como funciona?” Compras Br (August 27, 2020), https://comprasbr.com.br/pregao-eletronico/ (accesed September 2, 2022).
  13. Ricardo Peterson C. Roberto e Selma Maria da Silva Andrade, “Sistema de Protocolo Eletrônico de Documentos (SPED), proposta de evolução em um sistema legado”, Bibliotecas dos Órgãos do Exército (2020), https://bdex.eb.mil.br/jspui/bitstream/123456789/9538/1/CGAEM_2021_2_tcpeterson.pdf (accesed September 1, 2022).
  14. Blog, “3 principais desafios a serem considerados pelas Smart Cities”, TD Synnex (2022), https://digital.br.synnex.com/3-principais-desafios-a-serem-considerados-pelas-smart-cities, (accesed September 2, 2022).
  15. Ibíd
  16. Ibíd.
  17. Comunicação, “Prefeituras do Mato Grosso do Sul buscam transformação digital dos serviços públicos”, Rede Cidade Digital (December 7, 2021), https://redecidadedigital.com.br/noticias/prefeituras-do-mato-grosso-do-sul-buscam-transformacao-digital-dos-servicos-publicos/9575 (accesed September 10, 2022).
  18. News, “Programa Wi-fi Brasil”, Ministério das Comunicações (June 30, 2002), https://www.gov.br/mcom/pt-br/acesso-a-informacao/acoes-e-programas/wi-fi-brasil (accesed September 12, 2022).
  19. Ibíd.
  20. Ibíd.

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The ideas contained in this analysis are the sole responsibility of the author, without necessarily reflecting the thoughts of the CEEEP or the Peruvian Army.

Image: CEEEP

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