Wednesday, 25 November 2015 12:10

Call for industry to step up to the plate on govt digital transformation

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Industry has been called on to do more to help the government achieve digital transformation rather than complaining about ‘agency conservatism’, according to a senior executive of one of Australia’s hosting and telecommunications companies.

Macquarie Telecom managing director of government and hosting, Aidan Tudehope, said today industry had to “step up” to help the government digital transformation and he warned against a repeat of the industry’s attempts to “papering over legitimate concerns about data residency – concerns that have been borne out by subsequent advice from the Government’s cyber security expects and recent court cases from around the world”.

Tudehope, speaking at the GovInnovate conference in Canberra on Wednesday, said the government had put in place the cloud first policy and developed important tools and guidance for agencies and departments.

Agencies were ready to respond, Tudehope said, but private sector suppliers now needed to be flexible and supportive by both guiding them through the process and supplying “fit for purpose services”.

“What the industry has not done is go the extra yard in listening and understanding, and working to give comfort about contentious issues from the supply side.

“I am calling on the private sector to really make the effort to get inside the heads of public agencies if we want to contribute to making the government cloud transformation story really lift off.”

Tudehope said the different “shelf life” of sensitive information in the Government and private sector illustrated their different needs - the sensitivity of most commercial information could be measured in months, whereas much Government information had to be protected for years.

Tudehope also released the results of a survey commissioned by Macquarie that showed
Government agencies were planning to move their ICT workloads to the cloud in the coming year, but did not have a clear understanding of how or why.

“These data show the cloud first policy message is getting through, but it is now butting up hard against the lack of experience inside the bureaucracy,” Tudehope said.

Questioned on plans to increase their expenditure on cloud, 60% of agencies surveyed said they planned to lift their spending on cloud infrastructure in the next year.

But, the survey also revealed that a large proportion said the biggest barriers to doing this were lack of a strategy, skills, and/or understanding how to manage cloud contracts.

“All the good will in the world will not magically fill that experience gap, and this is where the industry has to help,” Tudehope concluded.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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