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jerk reactions, according to Ovum research director, public sector, Kevin Noonan. “It’s important to note that they haven’t come in on their first day and do a massive suspension of projects. Instead, they’ve taken a fairly careful approach in looking at the type of things that needed to change, and they are going about it in a reasonably systematic way,” he says. The groundwork for a new plan has also been underway for some time. For several years, according to Richard Wanden, account executive, NSW government for CSC, the shadow ministry has been actively soliciting ideas and listening to industry about what they could do to improve ICT utilisation. Among the possibilities under consideration, according to Noonan, is consolidating the responsibility for IT together within the Department of Finance and Services. “Rather than simply making cuts, they’re really now searching for more effective ways of increasing productivity and doing business where savings will follow, rather than making savings the first objective, which sometimes has undesirable consequences,” Noonan says. “There’s only so much you can do with creeping incrementalism before it starts to cause problems with critical service delivery.” NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has also talked about consolidating the proliferation of websites and interactions across agencies, “so that not only is government more efficient in the way that it does its business but it’s also more sensible for the community”, Noonan says. “He is also talking about using mobile phone apps to do the serious business of government, not just be the icing on the cake. For example, it’s a simple step forward to put public transport timetables onto an iPhone, but it’s a much more fundamental change to tell the public where the ferry actually is at a given time. “It’s about doing things differently and harvesting the savings, which can in fact bring more money for IT in the long run.” Wanden says he would expect the NSW Government to embark on some transformational projects driven by customer-centric principles, drawing on some of the best practices from other jurisdictions overseas. “I think this government is open to that – in their position papers prior to the election, they were always saying that there had been under-investment, so they know they need to invest,” Wanden says. He adds that these transformational plays need to be made across the whole of government. “You can’t just fix one part and not the others, and that implies purchasing in much larger volumes than we’ve ever been used to, such as 100,000 seat deals as a minimum,” Wanden says. With a whole-of-government expenditure review currently underway, targeting $1 billion in savings per annum across the budget, some of the more lowrisk opportunities for transformational plays may be

considered, resulting in savings accruing immediately. “My understanding is that they are looking to do a similar thing to the Gershon report, where they look to make permanent a number of contracts that they had. But I believe they will also think quite seriously about why they have all these contracts – is it that they can’t and shouldn’t try to do these things themselves, and should they be buying services on an outsourced basis?,” Wanden says. According to Intermedium’s Budget IT tool, 45 new ICT projects were funded in the 2010/11 NSW State Budget, worth a total of $539 million over four years. With the next NSW Budget scheduled for September, in April Intermedium reported that ICT vendors would have to wait an extra three months before any new projects were funded, with others expected to face cuts. Among the projects expected to be under particular scrutiny were: • a $7.19 million Technology and Infrastructure upgrade for the NSW Ambulance Services; • the $11.4 million allocated to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages ‘LifeLink’ project; • $417.4 million to be spent on IT projects at Sydney Water Corporation; and • projects worth $594 million at the Department of Health. One of the major projects considered essential and therefore safe was the Learning Management and Business Reform project at the Department of Education and Communities (including components for an Enterprise Information Management System, the SAP-based Human Resources and Payroll Systems, and the Student Administration and Learning Management System), listed as being worth $243 million in the 2010/11 Budget. Two areas also expected to be on the priority list for government are security and cloud computing at the enterprise level. “The Auditor-General of NSW’s report in October 2010 said number one, we don’t have a whole of government framework for security, and number two, we have no enforced standards. If you are looking at transformational programs in other areas of ICT, this is one of those areas which is a possibility,” Wanden says. And for all levels of government, the enterprise cloud market is the area to watch in 2011, according to Noonan. “Local companies are speaking the language of government – service level agreements (SLAs), data sovereignty, and negotiating contracts,” Noonan says. “The opposite case has been a very big problem for government and we have already seen a number of government documents coming out raising concerns, particularly on data sovereignty issues. Any supplier needs to understand that typically the government sector has specific needs and sensitivities about client data, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach just won’t work.” The independent magazine for SAP professionals

Inside SAP Winter 2011  

All the latest on SAP in Australia and New Zealand.