1. NIRS offers services only for central government institutions. Does any government agency support local governments with similar services?
Yes, we have Korea Local Information Research & Development Institute (KLID) which comprehensibly manages and operates information resources for local governments. KLID is also an affiliated institution of Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MoIS) just like NIRS is.
They not only take control over information system incidents and cyber infringement & threats for local communities but also support research and development practices for their organized and efficient development.
Some local bodies capable of running their own such as Seoul Metropolitan City or Gyeong-gi-do have been operating their own data centers independently.
2. How is NIA related to NIRS?
We have got this question quite a lot as two institutions share similar spellings in their names, however, the corporate identities and responsibilities are quite different from each other.
NIA takes part in policy or strategy making mostly about digital government and digital capacity building for the intelligent information society. Those activities could represent some of its roles as ‘an Head’ of the intelligent information society in a broad sense.
On other hand, NIRS is an executive institution operating and managing government information resources, which could be perceived as ‘arms and legs’ of it. Both organizations are not quite the same in their missions to complete, however, they do find ways to work together in case necessary to lead Korea toward an intelligent information society by harnessing digital technologies.
* NIA : National Information Society Agency
3. Does NIRS deal with policy devising affairs as well?
NIRS has been operated under the vision ‘a professional intelligent cloud service providing institution with quality ICT services toward a digital government’. NIRS does not directly draft policies however, as an affiliated institution of MoIS, it can share experiences or make suggestions regarding government data center operation when its corporate mission/vision-related government policies are discussed or newly executed.
4. Do future plans of NIRS include facilitating private data as well?
NIRS is the data center exclusively for the government agencies. Future plans might concern about it, however, currently, NIRS does not plan to accommodate data from the private sector.
5. Could you name any NIRS support overseas?
Mongolia and Nepal made NIRS their models in building a government data center.
For Indonesia and the philippines, NIRS provided consulting services when they conducted feasibility studies before implementing ones. Vietnam was approved EDCF fund of Korea EXIM Bank. Consulting services about digital government and development-related policies were provided for the government of Brunei.
About 5,000 visitors from around 160 countries have paid visits to NIRS between 2007 to 2021 to participate in the NIRS Study Tour Program to learn about Korean digital government services and national information resources operation status.
6. Share us about the ways that NIRS could support foreign countries when they try to implement a government data center in their own lands.
There are three different technical categories in government data center implementation domain. First, there is ‘consulting’ realm which deals with national informatization master plan and basic plan for implementation. Next, we have ‘data center implementation’ sphere working on building construction and framing comprehensive environment for operation. Lastly, there we have ‘information security management’ area caring information security managing system implementation and building them by steps.
NIRS reviews feasibility, scopes and forms for supports such as holding joint technical seminars or workshops, looking for applicable training programs or participating at relevant international functions based on a request. All kinds of supports are subject to internal circumstances of NIRS.
7. Tell us about some cooperation activities of NIRS.
There are various types of cooperation affairs in NIRS. There are consulting committees in each professional area consist of groups of experts such as information security and cloud service. NIRS has also contracted MoU agreements with a couple of partners for deeper communication and collaboration. NIRS shares cyber threat information with some intelligent groups such as public institutions home and abroad, prestigious research institutions and private professional companies. NIRS used to run an summer internship program for neighboring university students to let them know about the major businesses of NIRS and allow them opportunities to work in site as interns, it is now provisionally halted though. NIRS was happy to hire them as its own staff later as well based on their performances.
8. Could you let us know about instances of efforts that NIRS has made to co-prosper with partners and communities?
SMEs are more than welcomed in NIRS as favorable and reliable partners. NIRS has pro-actively participated in government’s ‘Cultivating & improving environment for SMEs’ initiatives for years. Most of the big players which are early-stage partners have been successfully displaced with capable SMEs in the field.
NIRS also supports partners, whose capability, performance and security have been verified while carrying out implementation or operation projects of NIRS, to be able to outreach its stage overseas by co-hosting or participating in a number of functions or events overseas together and introducing them to foreign countries asking for technical consulting.
NIRS does not save efforts and supports to care for partners in the field to be able to grow and develop together as long as it can afford opportunities and environments.