Overcoming barriers key focus for ICT advisory group: Swain

The recently established government IT taskforce will take a different tack from that of the National government's efforts, says Paul Swain.

The recently established government IT taskforce will take a different tack from that of the National government’s efforts, says Paul Swain.

It will consider the obstacles, in both government and the private sector, that inhibit the international success of the ICT industry, says the IT and commerce minister. The advisory group that assisted the previous government, despite its claims to be doing that kind of thing, “tended to get bogged down in matters of education”, Swain says.

“All things are helpful and education is a factor, but it’s far from the only one,” Swain says. One priority as he sees will be to coordinate better the activities of multiple government bodies such as Industry New Zealand, Investment NZ and Trade NZ.

The task force will be “a short, sharp think-tank”, Swain says. The essential discussions will be held in one weekend -- May 25 and 26. The points will be knocked into coherent shape as a report with the help of some additional research by MED officials over about four weeks. Another one-day meeting is planned in early July to sign the document off.

The E-commerce Action Team (Ecat), which reached its first anniversary yesterday, is a much longer-term exercise, whose main role is to promote and assist the transformation of businesses’ e-commerce concepts into commercial reality, Swain says, as well as helping successful firms through the important second transition when they have commercially proved their business and want to expand it, perhaps internationally.

The need for a link between the two bodies is recognised, and will be provided by Ecat deputy chair Catherine Colarco, who is also a member of the ECT advisory group.

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