Topics: ICT Strategy; Digital Transformation; NSW.
Four themes will underpin the New South Wales Department of Finance, Services and Innovation's (DFSI) next generation approach to ICT, including a growing need to fundamentally redesign the way government operates.
According to Government Chief Information & Digital Officer Damon Rees, speaking at an IDC industry forum, the next strategic approach to government ICT will be framed around 1) reforming the way government does business, 2) applying existing innovative technologies to government needs, 3) continuing the use of data to improve government services and 4) upscaling Service NSW.
Rees says that, to retain its position at the forefront of digital transformation, NSW must look beyond traditional approaches and “fundamentally rethink the way government is doing business”.
This may potentially mean restructuring government architecture to better accommodate a fully digital government. Beyond automating traditionally manual processes, the next generation of government services will necessarily be designed with digital capabilities from the outset.
As Australia’s leader in digital transformation, the NSW Government will “unashamedly poach and apply good ideas” from around the world.
NSW’s new strategic direction will also address the government’s tendency to ‘reinvent the wheel.’ It will do this by advocating for off-the-shelf solutions, where suitable, and for the use of existing technologies – sometimes including left-field technologies, like blockchain – to solve government problems.
Data analytics looks set to dominate the NSW Government’s ongoing innovation agenda. The value of data emerged as a key theme in the 2016-17 state budget, with the new Data Analytics Centre (DAC) receiving $17 million over four years to continue its Whole-of-Government (WofG) data analytics work. The DAC’s goal is to collaborate with any organisation with valuable data or ideas in the spirit of mutual benefit, a healthy economy, and better government services.
Service NSW will also remain a priority in the next iteration of NSW’s digital government agenda. As part of a new goal to conduct 70 per cent of government transactions through digital channels by 2020, the 2016-17 budget also provided $50 million in additional funding for Service NSW to move additional agency services online. This will be used to expand access to services through its regional and metropolitan network and to deliver major digital initiatives, including NSW’s digital licence program.
The NSW Government is currently in the process of developing an innovation strategy to replace the existing WofG ICT strategy. Originally expected for release in May 2016, the innovation strategy was initially to be introduced more than six months before the final ICT strategy refresh – Digital +2016 – was due to expire. No indication of a revised release date has been announced.
The DFSI has also outlined the future trajectory of the GovDC Marketplace. According to Government Digital Communities Director Derek Paterson, who also spoke at the forum, Government Digital Communities is committed to building a service-oriented environment. By 2017, the GovDC Marketplace will likely have a product-service catalogue and automated processing capabilities.
The Government Digital Communities initiative (previously the GovDC initiative), aims to deliver “Data Centre-as-a-Service” to NSW government agencies, ensuring they can access the services that best meet their needs.
The decision to consolidate 130 separate data centres and into two government data centres in Silverwater and Unanderra followed a 2008 review of data centre installations across 32 government agencies, which found that agencies’ projected demand would “significantly surpass” existing data centre capacity.