Digital Transformation Agency… Where to next?

Feb 17
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It doesn’t seem long since the DTO was launched and the excitement all began. Digital Government Services was the buzz topic across the Public Sector and Malcolm Turnbull, Minister of Communications at the time, was leading the charge.

Fast forward to October 2016 and Angus Taylor MP, now the man leading the agenda, felt it was time to rebrand the DTO and launched the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). Following multiple failed projects, and skeptics building across the sector, the move was needed.

With an interim CEO put in place, Paul Shetler being moved to CDO, and the creation of the Digital Marketplace, the outlook looked positive. Paul Shetler’s resignation soon after however quickly put a dampener on proceedings.


Rumours began to circulate of a fall out with Angus Taylor, the ATO continued to have blackouts and the Centrelink crisis came out in the media. Digital transformation was heading towards a potential crisis.

So where to go next? One of Shetler’s lessons learnt could hold the key:

“One of the lessons I’ll certainly be taking with me wherever else I go is that it’s not enough to own part of the service. You frankly have to own the service.”

“I really wouldn’t be interested in a role where they said, ‘Hey, you be the digital guy, and you’ve got to do the lipstick, and we’re going to have all this stuff back here which you can’t touch.’ Because it’s not going to work.”

Focusing on improving the flashy front end of systems is only the start and on its own is simply not enough. The back-office systems hold the key to future success, and it is here that the DTA’s attention must lie.

The next 12 months will be vital.

The Overcoming the challenges of Digital Transformation conference, taking place in Canberra this April, will provide strategies for enhancing budget, culture, structure and legacy systems in Government. Book soon to secure your place.

Digital Transformation

Submitted by Samuel Clist

Samuel Clist

Samuel is a producer at Criterion Conferences after stepping up from the Data Acquisition team. Samuel’s interests include sport, music and night time gym sessions.
Fun fact about Sam – Sam once shared breakfast with Scarlett Johansson.

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