Microsoft to school NSW agency chiefs in digital

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Microsoft to school NSW agency chiefs in digital

Sets up shop in Sydney CBD.

Microsoft Australia will attempt to school the heads of NSW agencies in the latest digital trends under a new memorandum of understanding with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

The agreement signed between the pair on Tuesday is aimed at progressing the government’s already well-advanced digital transformation efforts, particularly around capability and training, cyber security, cloud and data sharing.

It coincides with the opening of the software giant’s new technology centre, the Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC), at Sydney’s upmarket Martin Place where it has set up new digs in Sydney's repurposed and refurbished former central post office.

The new CBD facility, conveniently in the same neck of the woods as central agency and ministerial offices, is designed to showcase Microsoft’s cloud and artificial intelligence offerings to both enterprise and government customers.

The new centre is big on immersion, experiential and engagement options and includes purpose built rooms for strategy briefings, architecture design sessions and proofs of concept. All without jumping in a taxi or Uber for the trip to Ryde.

DFSI Secretary Martin Hoffman said having access to Microsoft experts through a series of NSW government ideation sessions would “greatly accelerate the government’s digital journey”.

“This memorandum of understanding will allow us to bring departmental heads to the MTC where they can see what more can be achieved with digital services, improved efficiencies and good value solutions,” he said.

“We expect there will be significant positive impact for citizens and businesses as well as operational efficiencies for government.”

However NSW chief information and digital officer Greg Wells’ indicated at the opening of centre that the training program could also extend to technical staff.

He said training could take place both at the centre or the government’s recently established Digital NSW Acceleration Lab.

The push to build digital capability is an ongoing focus for DFSI, as well as the state’s public service and customer service commissioners, to ensure public servants are trained to work in digital.

Last year that saw the creation of a centralised talent pool to improve how digital skills are shared between agencies.

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