Digital Marketplace event a huge success
More than 1500 government policymakers, developers, leaders and other IT experts gathered at the conference centre at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse last week for the annual NSW Digital Marketplace conference and exhibition.
A packed and buzzing exhibition floor (featuring displays from more than 50 major IT vendors) was complemented by packed theatres for presentations from numerous government experts.
The event kicked off with welcoming remarks from Shae Howard, Simon Geraghty and Martin Hoffman from the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI). They were followed by presentations from DFSI’s Greg Wells (on transforming NSW Government services) and the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Anna Needs (on delivering the Premier’s priorities across the government), and a case study on data lakes presented by DFSI’s Simon Xistouris and Spatial Services’ Adrian White.
The conference then split into three streams — transformation, cybersecurity and DevOps — and over the course of about an hour and a half the audience heard from government and industry leaders such as Dr Maria Milosavljevic (CISO, DFSI), Damon Rees (CEO, Service NSW) and Lindsay Holmwood (former Head of Technology, DTA), to name just a few.
Katarina Ruszczyk (Director, Digital Government, DFSI) gave a very interesting presentation on the ServiceNSW.accelerator project, which aims to fast-track the digitisation and rationalisation of government processes. One example given was that of trying to enrol a child in a school, with all of the different forms that need to be filled out — often multiple times — each of which can then take an admin staffer up to one hour to type into the system. There has to be a better way, and it’s great to see that Ruszczyk and her colleagues are working hard on it.
Another very interesting presentation was given by Kate Foy, CEO of the NSW Telco Authority — the government agency responsible for providing the extensive public safety radiocommunications network used by police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services. Her presentation gave insights into the Authority’s efforts to build culture that stimulates and encourages the best from its staff, and how she aims to extend that culture to relationships with external vendors to develop a positive, synergistic environment.
Tech experts from leading vendors also got the chance the share their insights and experiences, during morning and afternoon breakout sessions in the smaller theatres. They were all good, but one that stood out for me was John Asquith, Public Sector Innovation Advisor, Oracle, who discussed the importance of having an innovation mindset, and how the NSW Government can help achieve its innovation aims by seeking out and supporting innovation ‘champions’. He also spoke of the need to apply ‘design thinking’ and how vital it is to foster collaboration outside of departmental barriers, ie, with small and large tech companies.
The event was very ably arranged once again by Public Sector Network (PSN), an event management firm that specialises in ICT conferences and exhibitions for purely public sector audiences. Check out the PSN website for a full list of other government-focused IT events coming up later this year.
Access the NSW Government-recorded presentations from the day at Public Sector Network.
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