Federal and state governments – in Australia and New Zealand – are refining their ICT strategies. These road-maps clarify just how the ICT dollar will be spent this decade – while delivering faster, cost-effective and improved services to citizens.
Broadly, the focus is on corporate governance, modernising technology infrastructure, boosting service delivery, and engaging with the industry at the outset.
More recently, South Australia unveiled its ICT strategy, with its ‘South Australia Connected – Ready for the Future’.
South Australia is not immune from pressures worldwide to do more with less with the spending dollar, this strategy notes. The focus is to stay “connected,” and policy planners must innovate to address the needs of information-savvy citizens.
In New South Wales,
This strategy cautions there are no “easy or quick fixes” to how the ICT dollar is spent. This state aims to use its annual AU$2 billion ICT spending programme more effectively. The goal is to increase competition, manage time and resources, and tackle the costs and risks of embracing new platforms.
Where practical, agencies may reuse and share ICT systems and contracts rather than develop new solutions. Plans are under-way to establish a single common register of ICT business systems. This register identifies sharing opportunities as an alternative to developing new systems.
Victoria is exploring a mix of in-house, managed and outsourced service delivery. Planners are focusing on staying cost-effective, responding to changing needs, and leveraging available market expertise and opportunities.
At the federal level
The focus is on innovation and a strategic use of ICT, while harnessing the full potential of a digital economy and new technologies, including cloud services.
The federal government wants to engage more openly with citizens and the industry. It aims to create, generate, share, manage, and efficiently use information resources.
Other more broad-based strategies include
Across the Tasman, in New Zealand, the government has its own version of a strategy, ‘Government ICT Directions and Priorities’.
The New Zealand strategy is currently under scrutiny. Plans are under-way to refine this roadmap further — while building on what the administration has delivered to date. Cloud computing is under closer investigation — including cost-savings this platform delivers.
Adding to these strategies, the Australian and New Zealand governments have also appointed government chief information officers (GCIOs). These GCIOs add gravitas to how strategies are implemented, while ensuring that technologies-of-choice match agency-wide needs, are cost-effective, and deliver the biggest bang for the buck.
States with GCIOs (or equivalent) include Queensland, NSW, South Australia, and a more recent addition in Victoria. The Federal government, on the other hand, has split the role of GCIO into two under the auspices of the peak agency AGIMO. These roles incorporate the Australian Government Chief Technology Officer, and GCIO — with a sharing of responsibilities.
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