What’s eating the public sector’s top technologists?

Senior public sector technologists discuss the big IT issues facing government organisations, such as how to not poach each other’s key people. It’s all about having the right workforce balance and making the most of data.

When it comes to information technology, how do you keep up with the latest developments at the same time as keeping the lights on? What do you do in-house, when do you outsource and when do you form a blended workforce with external contractors?

Three senior public sector technologists got the chance to chat about these and other challenges they are facing at a recent discussion hosted by the Trans-Tasman Business Circle. But that’s not to say there were any easy answers.

The challenge of maintaining the right balance of information technology skills in the workforce, in competition with other organisations, is one key issue that came up. As pointed out by the host, former Australian Government CIO Anne Steward, everyone is often competing to build the same capability from a finite pool of skilled staff.

One key workforce challenge for IT execs is the escalating cost and dwindling availability of expertise that can support their legacy systems, which are common in big organisations. Nobody is installing anything these days on quite the same scale as the large bespoke machines that marked an earlier era of enterprise IT, but what’s new today will be old tomorrow nonetheless.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.