Inside Queensland's AU$1 billion IT budget

Queensland's ICT spending will reach almost AU$1 billion this year, according to the state government's CIO, with AU$13 million going on security spending alone.

Queensland's ICT spending will reach almost AU$1 billion this year, according to the state government's CIO, with AU$13 million going on security spending alone.

Queenland's acting CIO Alan Chapman
Credit: Queensland government

Of the government's close to AU$1 billion budget, around 50 percent is spent on core infrastructure technologies and operations, with the balance split roughly between application related operations and annual ICT project activity, acting CIO Alan Chapman told ZDNet.com.au.

Two of the most significant budget costs for the state are maintaining its fleet of desktops as well as its voice and data networks, Chapman added. Security too makes up a significant proportion of spending, with security software such as antivirus and firewalls accounting for AU$13 million and maintaining core service delivery applications taking another AU$200 million.

Enterprises in the Asian Pacific region spend an average of 11 percent of their total IT budget on security according to a survey carried out by analyst firm Gartner in August 2007.

All the answers

For the complete Q&A with Alan Chapman, click here

Although overall budget spending has been increasing slightly, the Queensland government has been able to keep costs down because of the ICT market offering more commodity products, Queensland's CIO said, as well as consolidation and shared services initiatives.

"The Queensland public service has shifted its focus to viewing government as a single enterprise where decisions are often made on a whole-of-government portfolio basis. This requires a CIO role that takes a whole-of-government view and coordinates all agencies towards achieving an aligned set of investments. As a result, achieving real collaboration between CIOs is key a part of the Queensland Government CIO's job -- not just a networking opportunity," Chapman concluded.

"Like many other government and non-government organisations Queensland has begun a period of core infrastructure renewal and consolidation. The renewal and consolidation agenda will deliver a refreshed platform for government service delivery along with significant improvements in robustness, redundancy, business continuity, disaster recovery and compliance, while maintaining the same cost base. There is also the future potential for greater integration of systems, reduced duplication and increased reuse across departments."

With Queensland now facing an ageing, increasing population, its IT is being forced to adapt to meet the challenge: the government is now moving to adopt service-oriented architectures and customer relationship management tools.

However, technology is not the be all and end all, Chapman revealed: "Technologies are not the answer. No technology can be the silver bullet for government. The technologies are only effective in conjunction with real business reform and that reform needs to be taking place now."

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