Government spent an additional $3bn on IT infrastructure and services in the past 12 months, substantially increasing the average annual spend of $6bn.
“That’s a total investment of over $9billion a year – 50% more than ever before,” Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor told a recent Tech Leaders Forum.
Highlighting the establishment of the Digital Transformation Agency as one of the key achievements in this space in 2016, the Minister added that the agency has unprecedented power to review and oversee these investments.
Former NAB executive, Gavin Slater, has since been announced as the DTA’s new chief executive. He will be charged with whole-of-government improvements in digital delivery, a review of all major IT projects and implementing significant changes in how ICT services are procured.
Where is the extra spend going?
Minister Taylor attributed last year’s additional spend to a “massive upgrade” to ICT infrastructure, which he says was necessary due to “years of stagnation… allowing systems to become badly rundown”.
However he also acknowledged the high profile IT outages that coincided with the heightened expenditure, suggesting cost run-overs may have been at least partially to blame for the increase in spend.
“It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. We’ve learnt some real lessons from projects like the Census and the recent outages at the ATO, but most importantly they are leading to real reforms in the system and that’s the key for me. You will always have issues in IT, but how you respond to them is the test.”
With government agencies undertaking large scale ICT transformation programs, pressure is growing to increase work with small to medium sized vendors to enable agility. The Driving Change in ICT Procurement conference, taking place in Canberra this June, will explore process improvement from sourcing through to vendor relationships. Book soon to secure early bird rates!