IT resellers and vendors are set to get a hike in business from the Federal Government’s public service, according to Ovum research director for public sector, Kevin Noonan.
His comments come after the Prime Minister received Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration from an advisory group headed by the secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Terry Moran.
“This is a document that defines the business needs of Government in the future. IT is front and centre in the report,” Noonan said. “It talks about the need for greater engagement with citizens. Government 2.0 features very strongly in the report and it talks about providing more data to citizens.”
Although the report does not suggest any specific IT solutions, Noonan said that wasn’t its purpose.
“This is very different to the likes of the Gershon report, which was aimed specifically at IT,” he said. “This gives us the business drivers and it’s now up to companies and the bureaucrats themselves to start looking at what the IT response should be to these things.
“Gershon was told to look at efficiencies within Government and he did that. This one sets out to create a whole new strategic agenda. In a sense, this is the other side of the coin that was missing…this report makes clear business directions that will be welcomed by IT.”
Within the document is a recommendation for 63 agencies with less than 500 employees to move their services, including IT, either into one of the larger agencies or an external shared services arrangement, Noonan explained. He claimed resellers, call centre and outsourcers were likely to see plenty of relevance in the document, and predicted changes would be slated in the upcoming budget for implementation in 2011.
“Another area of interest to IT is the talk about the co-production of IT services. What it means is that not all services need to be delivered by Government itself, but that the private sector or not for profit sector could deliver parts,” he said. “It really opens the door to outsourcers as well as cloud computing providers – delivering services over public clouds where other agencies are partners in Government delivery.”
The research director said the lack of specific solutions listed in the document would not detract from its strength to change the public service because of the power players involved. He advised any IT organisation writing a tender for Government to be aware the rules of the game have changed.
“Incumbent IT players should start having a dialogue with Government to find out what this means,” Noonan said. “It’s likely some of the recommendations will have budget implications.”