Great Digital Transformation Expectations

BitB507 Great digital transformation expectations

The prime minister, Tony Abbott, and his communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, jointly announced on 23 January the formation of a 'Digital Transformation Office' within Turnbull's department, "so that government services can be delivered digitally from start to finish and better serve the needs of citizens and businesses." A laudable aim, but as with all these things the devil is in the detail, and the FAQs on the new unit, helpfully provided on Turnbull's web site, raise more questions than they answer.

The DTO, according to the press release "will comprise a small team of developers, designers, researchers and content specialists," will "work across government to develop and coordinate the delivery of digital services," and will "operate more like a start-up than a traditional government agency."

This small team - to be funded from the current Department of Communications budget - will in effect have to catalyse co-ordinate - and perhaps coerce - IT developments across a myriad of government agencies - some very large.

THE DTO, we are told, "Has been established so that agencies can adopt a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to service delivery, moving beyond the current model of agencies operating in silos." It will be "responsible for digital service delivery across government," and will "work with government agencies as they invest in the technology that will underpin digital services."

So where does the real power lie? As they say... 

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