The Chair of the ACT Branch of the AIIA, Greg Boorer, says the vast opportunities presented by government work in the ICT sector can be overlooked because companies and individuals can be hesitant to tackle the sometimes “arcane processes involved in dealing with Government agencies.”
Boorer, as well as being the Chair of the AIIA’s ACT branch, is also managing director of Canberra Data Centres (CDC), and he says the processes of government should not deter engagement with Government because of the huge potential the public sector offers the industry.
"AIIA's role in the ACT is to encourage engagement and cooperation between industry and the Government, and to provide access to the Government," Boorer said.
"But they can appear confusing so we help members understand them and why they are there so they can be realistic about their expectation for their business and also around timelines."
Boorer conceded that to the uninitiated, Government processes could initially seem to be frustrating, and if someone was not familiar with the system they could find it all a bit daunting.
He suggests, however, that that frustration should be turned into “positive strategic planning and engagement.”
"Certainly helping people get through that learning experience and having hem comfortable with government processes is very important and is a major part of my work at AIIA. My role is to provide advice and mentoring and also to facilitate engagement with government where it is clear a member company has an innovative solution that can address a specific pain point within government.”
Boorer speaks from a position of experience, having close Government links through the CDC, and he acknowledges that, in the past, Government has definitely been “guilty of thinking that big overseas groups or companies had better products and services to offer than home-grown companies.”
"In the past the Government has tended not to look at what is here in Australia but the tide has now turned.
"The Government now has really started to acknowledge and appreciate what's in their backyard and you just have to see some government-funded initiatives like CollabIT to see they are actually moving in the right direction.
"Our business at CDC is proof that we can do it here. We have one of the best data facilities in the world and it's in Canberra and it's popped out of nowhere and it's all about Australian innovation," Boorer concludes.