NSW promises industry-fuelled IT overhaul

Summary:The New South Wales Government plans to deliver a new ICT strategy within weeks, according to the state's ICT minister, which will focus on the simplification of existing IT and whole-of-government delivery targets.

The New South Wales Government plans to deliver a new ICT strategy within weeks, according to the state's ICT minister, which will focus on the simplification of existing IT and whole-of-government delivery targets.

Greg Pearce

Greg Pearce
(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

Speaking at the NSW Strategic ICT forum at Parliament House today, Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce asked for help from the private sector to develop the new strategy, inviting 80 representatives of high profile technology companies, including IBM, HP and Cisco, to contribute to the strategy in closed sessions.

"Today's NSW Strategic ICT forum marks the beginning of new collaboration between industry and government in making NSW the leader in ICT ... we want to be the leaders in ICT innovation and delivery," Pearce said in a statement.

The new strategy, set to be delivered "within weeks", will move away from siloed technology deployments and deliver a whole-of-government shared services model to support the delivery of services like police and education, Pearce said.

"We want to better align service delivery objectives to improve the quality and responsiveness of government services, to facilitate sustainable efficiency gains through strategic ICT industry investment, and to interact better with industry and the research sector," Pearce said, adding that a whole-of-government ICT strategy has been absent from government for some time.

"ICT investment and key decision-making decisions have under the previous government been conducted in isolation from the rest of the business. There's been a lack of cross-agency collaboration, with services designed in isolation and without whole-of-government co-ordination and oversight," he said.

Pearce outlined how the government will achieve its new strategy, saying that there will be a push towards developing delivery standards and targets for ICT strategies, as well as consolidating desktop applications including email and finance facilities. The NSW Government will deliver a centralised governance framework, developed by the Strategic Innovation Council, within weeks, according to Pearce.

While no long-term strategy or investment numbers were announced, State Treasurer Mike Baird said that in the short term, the government would look to capitalise on "low-hanging fruit" before assigning a number to be spent on ICT delivery.

"Data management ... and simplification is something we need to aggressively look at and applications that we have. [With] data management and applications, there is that great temptation in government business to say that we are special and we've got our own particular solution. We need to change that," he said.

"One of the criticisms I had in the past was with our chief information officer, [who] sat deep inside the government somewhere and you almost needed a compass to find him, and ultimately we're looking at what is the best structure we can elevate the priority [of ICT] and give autonomy and empowerment to the whole ICT strategy so that it becomes a central part of everything we do and say," Baird said.

Premier Barry O'Farrell's government took office in late March after winning a landslide election over the Keneally Labor Government.

Topics: CXO, Government, Government : AU

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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