Different stages of e-governance are identified on a certain set of criteria. These stages are:
- Simple information dissemination (one-way communication)- is considered as the most basic form, as it is used for merely disseminating information;
- Two-way communication (request and response)- is characterised with e-mail system and information and data-transfer technologies in the form of website;
- Service and financial transactions- is online services and financial transactions leading to web-based self-services:
- Integration (both vertical and horizontal)- in this stage the government would attempt inter and intra-governmental integration; and
- Political participation- this stage means online voting, online public forums and opinion surveys for more direct and wider interaction with the government.
Another classification of e-governance has six stages of which the first two are similar to that of the above classification. The remaining four are:
- Third stage- refers to multi-purpose portals, which allow customers to use a single point of entry to send and receive information and to process transactions across multiple departments;
- Fourth stage- consists of portal personalisation, wherein customers are allowed to customise portals with their desired features;
- Fifth stage- is when government departments cluster services along common lines to accelerate the delivery of shared services and clustering of common services; and
- Sixth and final stage- technology is integrated further to bridge the gap between the front and back office.
After our discussion of the concept and stages of e-governance, we will now deal with significant models of e-governance that can be used in designing e-government initiatives.