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SA ICT strategy update: Disruption opens doors for innovation

by Poppy Johnston •
Free resource

Topics: Digital Transformation; ICT Strategy; Innovation; SA.

The South Australian Government has updated its SA Connected ICT strategy to address the effects of “digital disruption”, and to better reflect the state’s increased commitment to enabling digital transformation, raising public sector baseline ICT skills, and promoting collaborative decision-making across government, industry, and the community.

Supported by the Digital by Default declaration, Digital Transformation Strategy, and the Digital Government Action Plan, the updated SA Connected outlines new directives to keep pace with major changes in the ICT landscape.

“South Australia is in the midst of a period of digital disruption that presents new opportunities beyond those offered by traditional ICT”, states the strategy.  

The government will look to new and existing partnerships with industry to “tackle common problems” that might arise during this period. SA also intends to adopt a more collaborative approach to ICT by strengthening bonds with other governments and local councils, as well as not-for-profit organisations, community groups, and tertiary institutions.

The government will also leverage technology and platforms already available to them, such as social media, to create a more collaborative style of democracy by entrenching community engagement into agencies’ ‘business as usual’ practice.

The updated strategy also recognises that technology and computing skills are no longer required only of specialist ICT service staff, and is looking to raise the ICT skill floor of the entire SA public service.

“All of us need to develop new competencies to meet the challenges brought about by digital technologies”, says the strategy.

The original edition of South Australia’s SA Connected was released in 2013. It was the first Australian government ICT strategy to formally adopt a “share first” approach to ICT procurement, and was also defined by its early adoption of open data, cloud-first and ‘digital by default’ philosophies.

The state’s Digital Transformation Strategy and Digital Government Action Plan were launched by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Digital Government in late 2015. The two-page strategy and list of 17 digital government deliverables provided a roadmap of initiatives to be completed by 30 June 2017.

SA is also developing a new Whole-of-Government innovation strategy to complement its ICT strategy. Plans for the innovation strategy arose following recommendations in a recent report by the Redfire Consulting Group, which found a disjointed approach to innovation policy across the government.

“Currently South Australia’s innovation policy is designed, implemented and administered in a disaggregated structure involving multiple government departments”, the report states.

The report recommended that responsibility for the new innovation policy should remain with a single minister, and within a ministry solely responsible for Science, Information and the Information Economy, to “enable government to adopt a consistent and integrated innovation policy and more effectively communicate with, and respond to, the market”. 

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