​Would a Chief Digital and Technology Advisor suit Auckland?

“Keeping up and ahead of digital and technology advances is crucial to improving user experiences and driving cost-effective, future-proof decisions."

Auckland Mayoral Candidate Victoria Crone

Auckland Mayoral Candidate Victoria Crone

Auckland Mayoral Candidate Victoria Crone has announced a policy establishing a Chief Digital and Technology Advisor to help lift Auckland Council’s performance across the board.

According to the former Xero Managing Director, a new Chief Digital and Technology Advisor (CDTA) will be vital in understanding how Auckland is currently positioned and advise on strategies to become a world class digital city.

Crone says the CDTA role will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive programme that accelerates the use of digital and other technologies across Auckland Council and CCOs.

“We are the largest Council in Australasia, with 1.5m Aucklanders, $63 billion of investment in the ten year plan, a significantly large day-to-day user base and a huge rate of growth,” Crone says.

“Keeping up and ahead of digital and technology advances is crucial to improving user experiences and driving cost-effective, future-proof decisions.

“It’s actually an integral part of any organisation’s ability to operate and survive. We’re seeing seeing some game changing technologies that could help solve many of our city’s problems.”

Crone has proposed a CDTA appointed by the Mayor, funded from the Mayor’s budget, who could also provide recommendations on Governing Body decisions from time to time with learnings and recommendations extended to Council, CCOs and some partner organisations.

“The CDTA will contribute to improvements in Aucklanders’ experiences across the Council family from bookings, consenting, complaints, tenders and information requests, to libraries, transport, rates and rubbish collections,” Crone says.

“We also need to be serious about technologies that are going to change the types of infrastructure and investment we need into the future. The new role will ensure investment decisions like transport are optimised with proven technology solutions.

“Governments and organisations globally are waking up to the need to understand and apply digital technology to the way they do things and make decisions. The CDTA will assess, advise and collaborate on council’s ability to do this.”

According to Crone, the number of people in Chief Digital Officer roles doubled in 2013-2014 and by now the role is becoming a must have for any future-focused organisation.

“The British Government has put a major focus on digital transformation of their services,” Crone explains.

“Ireland has a Chief Digital Advisor to the Government on building digital economies, President Obama appointed the first Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to the White House in 2015, and from 2011 onwards we’ve seen New York, Arizona and Boston appointing CDOs.

“In New Zealand we have the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and the Government’s Chief Technology Officer.”

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