Queensland puts shine on ICT with CTO role

The sunshine state is the latest of several to appoint a chief technology officer

Recognising the growing importance of ICT to the state’s economy, the government of Queensland has joined other Australian states by appointing a chief technology officer in addition to a CIO.

The newly created role is part of a growing trend by state governments to appoint two C-level information executives to improve efficiency and reduce annual government ICT spending.

The Queensland Government Chief Technology Office (QGCTO) will be established shortly and plans are already underway to recruit a CTO.

In recent years Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia have appointed both a CIO and CTO for their states.

Queensland premier Peter Beattie says the new CTO office will be charged with slashing ICT spending by between A$41 million (NZ$47 million) and A$74 million annually through infrastructure, network and datacentre consolidation.

The QGCTO will also develop better practice guidance for agencies in project sizing, requirements specification and supplier engagement.

Earlier this month the premier tabled a service delivery and performance review to parliament which states the government needs to be more prudent with ICT investment and procurement. The 163-page document recommends that the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) be used as the framework for making decisions that align with a service-delivery vision.

According to the review, active management of the GEA will ensure opportunities for greater agency collaboration in working together on ICT projects.

“The government does not currently have a comprehensive understanding of the data or the information it holds,” the review states.

“The review recommends consolidating the management responsibility and accountability for infrastructure, networks and data services across the government. This consolidation will generate many benefits.

“The resulting efficiencies will free up funds for service delivery, enable agencies to focus on their core business applications, and will assist in providing the agility and flexibility for the government to respond to service-delivery requirements.”

Recommendations from the review will be undertaken by Citec, a commercialised business unit of the government.

“Citec has the technical expertise to drive the consolidation of datacentres, networks and infrastructure for the government. The review recommends that Citec be re-orientated to focus on undertaking this consolidation and providing ICT services to government rather than actively pursuing work in the private sector,” the review says.

Citec has been charged with establishing the QGCTO and an innovation centre to “enable suppliers, in conjunction with government agencies, to demonstrate products and services that will enable the government to achieve its service-delivery objectives”.

John Puttick, chairman of Software Queensland, says ICT is one of the largest contributors to the state’s economy.

“Queensland is fortunate to be able to look to its own suppliers for ICT solutions, specifically tailored for local requirements, which would otherwise have to be purchased overseas."

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