Australian government departments and agencies are increasingly using cloud technology to unlock new opportunities to change the way they work together and enhance how services are delivered to citizens. Peter Alexander, Deputy CEO at the Digital Transformation Agency, presented on this topic, and government’s changing attitude towards cloud transformation.
He said that from talking and thinking about cloud and digital services, government has started accelerating towards actively using the cloud to change “how we do what we do”. From storing, managing and hosting data in the cloud, to giving access to government services, supporting interoperability, cloud is helping unlock a host of exciting new opportunities.
The government started its cloud journey in 2018 with the formation of its Secure Cloud Strategy, which was recently updated. It’s designed to give government services providers good insights in how to make best use of the cloud, its governance, where to start, and how to overcome any issues. In addition, the DTA is also making it easy for government departments to source cloud and ICT providers through its dedicated virtual market place, buyict.gov.au.
Like in the private sector, the government is facing a significant skills gap. Although over 20,000 ICT workers (half of whom are contractors) are employed by the government to focus on digital, more skilled workers are needed to deliver on the DTA’s digital ambitions. When asked which areas of government are leading the way in cloud, Peter shared a few inspirational examples where government entities are setting a new direction by hosting services in the cloud. Examples included the Australian Tax Office, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the Clean Energy Regulator and the Department of Home Affairs.
The overarching benefits of cloud and cloud-enabled technologies like AI are clear. Although leaders are often motivated by cost savings initially, most realise that scalability, productivity and innovation are much more important for strategic advantage.
Dan Newman, Deloitte Asia Pacific Cloud Transformation Leader, encouraged webinar participants to think about their organisation’s vision and aspirations, and how these can be supported by a forward-looking cloud strategy.