CSIRO to centralise its digital transformation efforts

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CSIRO to centralise its digital transformation efforts

Cites a lack of cohesion and coordination in its current approach.

CSIRO has revealed plans to develop a single organisation-wide digital transformation strategy, citing a lack of cohesion in its current approach.

The government research agency revealed its digital transformation challenges in an unusually frank job advertisement for a specialist to act as a coordination point for its digital strategy and projects.

While digital transformation is - to some extent - already underway, CSIRO suggests the activities are largely decentralised and may or may not involve up to three parts of the organisation.

"Most CSIRO business units are already embracing the opportunities that digitisation affords," the organisation said.

"This is sometimes done in collaboration with Data61 or Information Management & Technology (IM&T), sometimes independently.

"This presents one of the barriers to a more strategic way of CSIRO tackling digital transformation – the lack of a cohesive, connected and coordinated strategy for these activities."

CSIRO said it has created a new digital transformation strategist role to effectively bridge between the three parts of the organisation involved in digital projects.

"We are looking for a strategist to work with IM&T, Data61 and business units to bring together a CSIRO digital strategy," it said.

"The aspiration of CSIRO’s digital strategy is to accelerate our science impact through fostering a data-driven culture that treats data as an asset, related competencies, and data and digital literacy across the enterprise."

An accompanying position description indicates there are four "sub-programs" for the centralised digital transformation of CSIRO.

These include the creation of a "digital academy" to help the organisation to "define, attract, develop and connect digital skills ... as well as manage our workforce in new ways".

CSIRO also intends to stand up a "managed data ecosystem" to "create, collect, share and work with data, analytics and models", and use design thinking and compute resources "to progress prototypes and proofs-of-concept, and assist business units with digital transformation, digital adoption and digitisation projects."

The fourth sub-program aims to measure the change that the coordination of digital transformation activities introduces and the "impact" that it has on the organisation.

The new strategist will be tasked with building partnerships with third party industry leaders and working with science digital transformation program board members.

“CSIRO’s digital transformation is about combining deep domain expertise with new digital technologies,” the job advertisement states.

“It has unlocked new opportunities for CSIRO as well as Australia, and will allow CSIRO to increase the pace and scale of our science delivery through digital technologies, as well as building digital capability in our workforce and adapting our workplaces for future ways of working.”

CSIRO sees digital transformation of its research as “critical for its future leadership and relevance on the world stage.”

The new strategist position reports to CSIRO chief information and data officer Brendan Dalton and has an initial tenure of two years. 

The organisation appears to be open to the current location of the successful candidate, as long as it is within Australia.

Applications close at the end of the month.

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