Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ICT in the Australian Government

Greetings from the Australian Computer Society meeting in Canberra, where John Sheridan, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Government Information Management Office is talking on "Moving from Efficiency to Productivity". Jon paraphrased Peter Drucker, saying that productivity was not about making workers work harder, but managers manage better. John is a frequent contributor to the AGIMO Blog. John pointed out the the Gershon initiatives have now mostly been completed successfully.

Later work has been on the "COTS/GOTS" emphasizing the use of off the shelf applications with the minimum of customization. I see there was a ICT Customisation and Bespoke Development Policy, released October 16, 2009. John pointed out that common applications required common business processes and that this should be driven by the business, not the IT operations.

AGIMO released a Australian Government Cloud Computing Strategic Direction Paper on 14 Apr 2011. John pointed out that government's data storage is not "elastic" in that data is added, but not deleted for a very long time. As a result the ability of the "cloud" to rapidly increase and reduce data storage is not as applicable for government.

A revised Australian Government Open Source Software Policy was released on 27 January 2011. John argued that "Apps" for smart phones were more important to government than "open source". It was not clear what the connection, if any, between open source and apps was. Apps can be open source, or not. In my view organizations should look to build portable web based applications for mobile devices, before considering "apps". The difference is that a web application will run on desktop and laptop computers as well as smart phones and tablet computers. "Apps" will only run on the mobile platform they were designed for (usually Apple iPhone/iPad or Android). In most cases it would be unacceptable for government to limit the services it provides to those who just have Apple iPhones or just Android phones or even both.

The part of John;s talk which prompted the most audience questions was that of wide area network gateways. AGIMO has conducted a rationalization of government connections to the Internet.

John mentioned that Benchmarking for ICT will be released in about a month. Also green ICT benchmarks will be released as part of the overall sustainability. What I was not clear on was where the results of the ICT Sustianability inaitiaves are published. Each angeny is required to publish their results in their annual report, but are these consolidated somewhere in an overall government report? This information would be very useful for my ICT Sustainability students.

There is also "Programme and Project Management Maturity Model" (P3M3TM) reporting. John pointed out that all agencies do not have to have the top maturity raking to be doing a good job.

Work is proceeding on the Whole-of-Government ICT Services Panel (WISP) for 2012.
ICT Management SIG

AGIMO Update

AGIMO’s Vision & Plan for ICT in Government

John will discuss the status of current whole of government initiatives, including timeframes and outcomes, as well as how government is working with industry to deliver in the future.

John will talk about the role of AGIMO and how it continues to evolve to meet the changing demands of government.


John Sheridan

First Assistant Secretar

John is currently the First Assistant Secretary Agency Services within AGIMO. His division’s responsibilities include whole of government matters such as australia.gov.au, Government 2.0, data centre strategy, coordinated procurement, improvements in the ICT industry marketplace, and telecommunications services including ICON, the Ministerial communications and telepresence networks.

John was also in charge of negotiating the Microsoft Volume Sourcing Agreement, valued at over $250m and providing services for over 230,000 staff and to successfully lead the effort to save $1 billion in ICT expenditure over 2009-2013.

Prior to this, John spent 22 in the Australian Army before joining and holding several senior roles within the ICT arm of Defence.

1 comment:

Tom Worthington said...

John Hilvert wrote an excellent article on AGIMO's initiatives in IT News: "How AGIMO evaluates cloud vendors", Sep 28, 2011 11:30 AM.