Vic Govt releases draft ICT strategy

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Vic Govt releases draft ICT strategy
Gordon Rich_Phillips, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Technology, Victorian Government

Seeks feedback on digital plan.

The Victorian Government has called for feedback on a draft strategy to improve its digital services, ICT skills and leadership.

The strategy was developed by the Victorian Information and Communications Advisory Committee (VICTAC) and expected to be implemented by December 2014.

The 26-page draft centred on eight principles:

  1. Policy and service delivery programs will use popular digital channels
  2. Policy and service delivery programs will be increasingly co-designed and co-produced
  3. Data will be shared, open and managed as an asset
  4. ICT-enabled projects will be staged and focused on managing risks and delivering business benefits earlier
  5. Competition will be promoted to drive efficiency and innovation in ICT systems and services
  6. ICT services will take advantage of industry capabilities
  7. ICT systems will be interoperable, modular and reusable
  8. Technology will be trialled and adopted to promote better outcomes.

It called for the development of “an enterprise architecture and interoperability framework” but offered few details on how that would be achieved.

The document also called for a consolidation of Victorian Government websites to avoid complexity and waste and better target citizen and business needs with search-driven access to information, services and mobile applications.

Identity management should be improved to allow Victorians to “simply and securely” gain access to government services, the draft document noted.

Victorian technology minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the new strategy would deliver smaller, staged ICT projects to improve delivery timelines and avoid cost blowouts.

"We will work with [local industry] to define and deliver business outcomes, rather than just narrowly defining technology requirements," he stated.

"That is why it is also important for us to seek their input on this strategy."

The Government called for feedback on the draft strategy (pdf) by October 17, ahead of a launch in November or December this year.

Case studies

The draft document asserted that "traditional ICT delivery models need to be challenged", highlighting the Department of Business and Innovation's (DBI) use of software as a service.

DBI decided to use a cloud-based Salesforce.com customer relationship management system in 2009, and moved 450 staff to the system by June 2011.

Although the system stored personal and commercially sensitive information, DBI was able to consume it from Salesforce.com's cloud by negotiating specific contract terms and conditions, replicating data locally and implementing new information management processes and controls to mitigate key security risks.

The State Government expected the cloud-based platform to deliver a 40 percent cost saving over five years, compared to the costs of a custom-built option.

It also highlighted Victoria Health's Better Health Channel iPhone and iPad application as an example of "digital engagement".

The application offered users advice on “healthy living approaches”, illnesses, conditions, treatments and first aid. It was launched last September and attracted 83,000 downloads in the past year.

“Online services and new technologies continue to transform the way we shop, bank and live," Rich-Phillips stated.

"Government must take advantage of these capabilities to remain in touch with the industry, to connect with our communities and to drive down the cost of government services."

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