Three challenges facing Indonesia’s govtech journey 

By Mochamad Azhar

At a recent forum, Deputy Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, highlighted three challenges that Indonesia must overcome to successfully drive its new GovTech ambitions. 

Minister PAN-RB, Abdullah Azwar Anas (centre), Deputy Minister of SOE, Kartika Wirjoatmojo (left), and President Director Peruri, Dwina Septiani Wijaya (right), unveil Peruri's new logo. Peruri's logo change marks the organisation's readiness to take on its new role as GovTech Indonesia. Photo: Ministry of PAN-RB

The launch of INA Digital as GovTech Indonesia marks a new era for the country’s digital government journey. INA Digital, a unit under state-owned enterprise Peruri, was appointed by President Joko Widodo to simplify government public service applications into one single portal, INA Digital, in May 2024. 


Deputy Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, has commented that Peruri will now have to ensure that GovTech’s mission is achieved and scale up the government's technological capabilities to improve public services.  


"Peruri will have to continuously change its competencies and play a greater role in advancing the public sector," said Kartika while giving a keynote speech titled "The New Face of Peruri: Innovation for a Sovereign Future" at the launch of Peruri's new logo in Jakarta, May 22. 


"Transformation is not just about changing the logo, it's also about changing our mindset to be more adaptive and innovative in our business processes and outputs," he added.  


Peruri’s new logo features blue and purple rays that aim to represent themes such as technology, security, and innovation, according to company press statements.  


Kartika highlighted three main challenges that Peruri will have to overcome to successfully meet its new responsibilities. 

Meet the needs of regular people  

First, Peruri has to ensure the digital applications it develops will benefit the people, add value and solve real problems.  

Deputy Minister of SOEs outlines the main challenges Peruri must overcome as GovTech. Image: Peruri 

"The applications that will be developed must be user friendly, have no glitches, and meet high security standards," he said. "Only through this can these applications become a source of national pride and become world-class digital services."  


INA Digital, a unit under Peruri, will launch a national superapp that provides 9 priority digital services in one portal connected via APIs.


This superapp is set to be the only government-to-people application for people to access public services and transact with the government.  


However, Kartika reminded that the real measure of success will come when the application is widely used by the community. Users will determine whether the superapp really provides convenience or not.   


"So, be careful because your application will be directly assessed by the public through app store or play store ratings."   

Develop a government app ecosystem  


The next challenge is how Peruri can build an ecosystem for digital apps within the government.  


"We hope Peruri, through its subsidiary Peruri Digital Security (PDS), can build an integrated government software and application development ecosystem – as a government shop for digital services."  


The government aims to ensure that within the next 1 –3 years, there will be no more apps that deliver public services developed by vendors. Instead, all new public services apps will be designed and developed at PDS.   


"The goal is that government applications are developed with robust application standards, fulfill high security aspects, and are interconnected," Kartika continued.  


This effort is also important to ensure data is interoperable across i government institutions, both vertically and horizontally.  Several ministries have expressed readiness to support this initiative, including the Ministry of Communication and Information, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Home Affairs, he said. 

Building an innovative environment 


The next challenge is, Kartika emphasised, how Peruri can builds an innovative environment that can support the best talents of SOEs to learn and improve their abilities.  


"We hope that Peruri will become a center of excellence for every SOE digital team, a place that is expected to produce the best developers who can contribute more to the government and SOEs. SOE [digital] teams will be rotated within Peruri to gain these experiences."  


Other challenges include how to improve organizational transformation, establish a collaborative ecosystem, improve competitiveness, and strengthen coordination among various government agencies involved in digitisation projects.  


Kartika is optimistic that these challenges can be overcome because GovTech is seeking to attract the best digital leaders and tech experts from the government and SOEs. "State-owned companies with experience in digital transformation such as Telkom Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, and Bank Rakyat Indonesia, will also be deployed to assist Peruri's mission as GovTech."  


He also thanked the country's leaders who have supported Peruri's transformation process. This unit will be supported by 400 new staff who have been recruited by Peruri in the last 5 months.


This article was originally published in Bahasa Indonesia