Victorian Government agencies are bracing themselves for smaller budgets, with the “allocation of funding to the relief and rebuilding effort” of the Victorian bushfires well underway.
This was the finding from roundtables staged by Government News in Melbourne and Perth, with delegates representing government agencies and statutory authorities concerned with IT spending.
Delegates reported that the bushfire relief efforts will have a prolonged impact on business. As one delegate commented, “the bushfires will exacerbate the already stretched Victorian economy. The state of the global economy will continue to put pressure on the Victorian Government’s ability to spend. All facets of our business, not just IT, will be adversely impacted”.
As governments try to balance an increasingly bleak economic outlook with necessary IT innovation and cost containment, IT management is “set to take centre stage in the near future”.
The main issues raised at the roundtables were IT challenges, the total cost of ownership, cost containment, change management, innovation in IT, the emergence of e-services, and risk management.
Alan Andersson, director Business and Financial Services at the Department of the Attorney General, in the Western Australian Government said: “The main issues from my perspective will be maintaining existing systems despite reduced funding levels, managing data demands and implementing and managing IT contracts.
“Recent decisions and the economic downturn have made it difficult to obtain support for IT projects. Projects are being delayed and cancelled meaning that higher priority items get addressed,” said Andersson.
“Any new projects must have robust business cases and a clear need for the IT applications. IT expenditure must be scrutinized more closely.”