South Australia govt asks public to help set ICT strategy rules

With the release of its ICT position paper, the South Australian government is now seeking the feedback of local industry on what rules it should follow in order to be successful.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The South Australian government is now polling the public for feedback on the first draft of its new ICT strategy with the release of the position paper "South Australia Connected — Ready for the Future".

The paper, released on Wednesday by state premier Jay Weatherill, focuses on the five areas it had titled: serving people, innovating now, securing resilience, working together, and improving delivery. It doesn't pretend to have the correct structure for how issues should be categorised, stating that ICT is "just too big, complex, and dynamic", and that they simply represent different perspectives on ICT issues.

Each of these perspectives identifies the changes that need to be made, such as moving from a few services online to a "digital by default" approach, purchasing services rather than software and/or hardware, and better securing information rather than protecting network perimeters.

It also provides a high-level overview of some of the projects that it expects will be addressed under the new strategy. These include providing real-time transportation information to customers via browsers and smartphones, and creating a state-wide electronic health records system.

South Australia's current ICT strategy is governed by seven principles formed out of the Ask Just Once ICT strategy approved in 2007. However, following a series of workshops held mid-last year, the government agreed to update the principles.

Instead, the paper proposes the following five ICT principles:

  1. We serve people best when we get the best from technology

  2. We are responsible for helping to ensure that our society is resilient

  3. We are accountable for continuously improving our productivity

  4. We share information and we share resources

  5. We manage risk so that we can innovate

From these principles, the paper aims to gain industry feedback on what rules it should implement that support their intent. While the paper includes an example for the first principle, the remainder have been intentionally left blank for industry to help collaborate on.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomed the paper, with its CEO Suzanne Campbell applauding the government for its emphasis on involving industry.

"The best strategies are built with input from those with the very best and relevant experience," Campbell said. "Industry is pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to the government's service redesign process.

"At the end of the day, it will be the people of South Australia who will be the real winners. The South Australian connected ICT strategy is an exemplar of government working with industry to 'get it right'."

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