NSW updates IT strategy with 36 new actions

Cloud and industry collaboration are still the key issues behind the strategy.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The New South Wales government has issued an update to its ICT Strategy Implementation Plan, highlighting what it has achieved since its last update in October 2012.

The update was announced by NSW Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance at the state's Parliament House on Wednesday, and contains 36 new actions as part of its refreshed strategy.

Just as moving to the cloud has previously been a significant part of the previous strategies, so too has it been an important part of this latest one. As such, the update includes three new actions: To augment the current Procure IT framework with an "as a service module"; to evaluate cloud pilot projects; and to support cloud policies with guidance for agencies and departments.

Constance said that the new module will "operationalise the government's cloud policy by offering agencies a new and easy way to procure cloud services".

This should be of significant assistance to departments and agencies, as under the state's IT procurement policies, they must consider cloud services, where applicable.

Constance also talked up the apps4nsw program, highlighting the work that the state has done in making data available to the public sector, such as when it shared location information that allowed developers to create apps to track buses and trains in real time.

Greater use of the apps4nsw program is one of the new actions in the update, as well as creating a whole-of-government open data policy.

Industry engagement continues to be of significant importance in this update. Constance said that the government has an "open-door policy" to listen to the industry's feedback, acknowledging that not all IT expertise is found from within the public sector alone, and it can often make its own mistakes.

ICT Advisory Panel chair John Baird, who represents the ICT industry on behalf of the private sector, told journalists on Wednesday morning that the strategy will only work in practice if the government is open, and that so far, this had been the case.

"I must say how pleased I am that they've been very open with continuing to work with industry on helping us gain an understanding of where the government wants to go and how to help them get there," Baird said.

Baird encouraged businesses to approach himself and the panel to make their views known, saying that the government is not playing catch-up and wants to get ahead.

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