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You can download the Information Technology Strategy 2018-19 Action Plan PDF here or read the full text below.
Message from the Special Minister of State
The government has taken a strategic approach to information technology, data, information, digital services and capability.
In 2016 I launched the Victorian Government IT Strategy 2016-2020 (IT strategy). Since that foundational work, we have made significant inroads into the challenge of modernising and optimising the government’s information and technology systems and approaches. In 2017 I launched both the first annual update to that strategy, as well as the Victorian Government Cyber Security Strategy. This next annual update to the IT strategy continues to provide guidance and direction to the Victorian Government, as well as outlining our next program of work at the whole of government level.
Our aim is to put in place the tools and systems that will:
- enable better decision making at the service and policy level
- improve the management of and increase the security of our information and technology
- create better value from our overall IT investment and
- develop new and improved services both for our own workforce and the Victorian community that we serve
There is a shift in momentum in this year’s IT strategy action plan. Previously the focus was largely on building foundations for a solid approach, such as research, creating frameworks, statements of direction, and agreed standards. This will continue, but we are increasingly moving to implementation and broadening the take-up of the new services and opportunities already delivered. Examples include Service Victoria, the Single Digital Presence project, the Victorian Centre for Data Insights, the establishment of a whole of government cyber security unit, and the delivery of enterprise systems for finance and human capital management.
Further out on the horizon, new technologies present both opportunity and risk of disruption to established business models both within government and in the broader community. We will explore these and start the thinking that maximises opportunity and minimises risk.
Nothing stands still, but continuing to take a strategic approach has proven to serve us all well.
Gavin Jennings, Special Minister of State
- better information
- easier engagement
- contemporary technology
- capable people
The IT strategy was published in 2016 and included the year one action plan. New action plans are published annually, and progress is publicly reported at . This 2018-19 annual plan provides the third year of actions in the ongoing delivery of the IT strategy.
Focus on priority areas
Information and data reform
We want data and information to be available in a way that helps us make good decisions.
That means information comes from trusted sources, is accessible and provides evidence-based insights. Information should be consistent, easy to use, secure and integrated.
We want the technology systems we use to be contemporary, secure, foster collaboration and enable data sharing.
Standard corporate systems across government reduce cost, improve productivity and streamline collaboration.
We want information and services that Victorians can easily access using any device at any time.
We want online processes for the public and government that are secure, will let us become more efficient and responsive, and that are respectful of citizens’ time.
We want government employees to understand the value of technology and be capable in procuring contemporary systems.
That means a strategic understanding of technology procurement, better project management, an improved understanding of cyber security, and clearer governance.
Order of consideration
The ‘order of consideration’ for new or refreshed systems.
- Share - Review existing solutions already implemented within the public service. These could either be existing shared services or a service that could be transitioned into a shared services model.
- Cloud - Assess cloud services where no existing suitable shared service exists.
- Buy - Buy “off the shelf” systems (avoiding customisation) with future data sharing in mind.
- Build - Build a “bespoke” development if a reasonable fit for any one of the previous options cannot be obtained. This option is considered a last resort.
‘Sharing’ remains first. Implicit in this is that the existing system being considered to be shared is itself contemporary, and not facing its own obsolescence issues.
These principles underpin the government’s approach to technology delivery.
Digital is the default and first channel consideration for government services
Enhanced business systems
For new and refreshed business systems, a modern approach to delivery will be undertaken. The order of consideration will be reuse, cloud, buy, then build
Robust ICT program governance
Responsible governance and management structures will be in place throughout the life of a project to provide confidence in decision-making and outcomes that meet stakeholder needs
Open, shared, secure and managed information and data
- default position is open and published (explicit exceptions)
- managed as a shared and valued resource, decoupled from systems structures
- uses standard global formats (decoupled from software products, allowing interoperation)
- ‘single source of truth’ for personal data, transparent and open to correction
- kept securely; available as needed – stored properly, described, and available to search
Co-designed and citizen-centric
Victorians are actively encouraged to participate in the design of citizen-centric digital services, which will be provided with end users in mind
Systems procurement will take a broader government view in respect of major corporate systems, promote partnership with major suppliers, promote competition, and prefer open systems and data
Presentation of government services will be designed and available from the perspective of mobile delivery of services and information
Standard corporate systems
Systems that provide basic corporate functionality, (such as identity, document management, briefing, finance, human resources management and procurement) will be shared, standardised and consolidated
Government employees will develop capabilities to utilise market-based information technology services to enable business objectives
Employee choice and flexibility
Employees should be given choice of approved devices and personal productivity and collaboration tools and should be able to easily work remotely from an office to serve citizens where they are
Case study: Service Victoria
Better service for Victorians
Each year Victorians complete around 55 million transactions with the Victorian government. Increasingly they have found accessing services frustrating, time-consuming and costly to navigate the hundreds of phone hotlines and 538 different websites.
In 2017-18 the Department of Premier and Cabinet completed the development of Service Victoria, the inaugural, dedicated customer service delivery agency. The initial three-year program was completed on time and under budget and included:
- a digital services platform of contemporary cloud-based infrastructure, technical architecture and scalable and reusable common capabilities, including real-time integration into government legacy systems
- new digital capabilities including digital licences and digital proof of identity
- an innovative legislation framework enshrining clear accountability for customer service and new powers to set standards for customer service and identity verification
- new skills in customer-centred service design and digital product development, with cutting-edge analytics to drive continual improvement
- a best practice approach to privacy-enhancing design and security, including 24x7 threat and misuse monitoring, multi-factor authentication, bank-level security standards and credit card industry compliance for secure management of financial data
Launching a first tranche of digital transactions in October 2017 with limited public ‘beta’ access has enabled Service Victoria to assess customer feedback to ensure the platform is performing as anticipated. With more than 40,000 customers in the first six months, 90 percent rate their experience on the platform as ‘good’ or ‘great’.
Service Victoria will continue to add more transactions and features to make it easier, faster and simpler for Victorians to do their everyday transactions with government online.
The long-term goal for Service Victoria is to become the core transaction platform for all Victorian departments and agencies, improving customer experience and protecting customer data.
More than 40,000 customers in the first six months,
90% rate their experience on the platform as ‘good’ or ‘great’.
Information and data reform
Why is this important?
Access to the right information at the right time is fundamental to being able to make informed decisions, both at the front line of the public sector and at policy level.
Victorians should be able to see information relating to them more easily, without needing to access multiple departments and agencies. They should be able to interact with government as a ‘complete’ persona rather than in segmented and restrictive views created by technological barriers between government agencies and systems.
Information is an essential asset and recognising this is driving significant change to how we think about and manage information and data. The past approach to collecting and storing information in silos defined by the databases and systems within different departments is being challenged.
This IT strategy year three action plan continues to deliver the basis for making better informed, fact-based decisions, using all the information relevant to a person or issue. It will do this by implementing changes that enable information to be shared, where appropriate and with the right governance, security and processes.
For example, our approach to family safety recognises that better decisions about policy and operational matters arise from seeing data and information more broadly – across the education, justice, law enforcement, health and human services sectors – looking for patterns, causes and potential solutions by looking at the complete picture.
On the front line, the ability to have a more complete picture of individuals or families will let public sector employees better assess and address the needs of the people and the community with which they work. In April 2018 the government established the Central Information Point (CIP) recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence. For the first time, authorised front line officers and employees can access collated information from Victoria Police, Courts Services Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services and Corrections Victoria for risk management and risk assessment. In the past people had to use their own networks or ad hoc processes to find and collate information, or go without, because there was no centralised system. Although initially a very labour-intensive process, the CIP has significantly improved the provision of information on request to just a few hours. As integration and improvements to processes and underlying IT systems are introduced this year, getting good quality, timely data about a situation involving family safety is becoming a reality for those who need it most urgently.
Key focus for 2018-19
With a technology and data environment as complex as that within government, it is essential to put in place solid, sensible and agreed foundations for how information will be managed and accessed.
In the first years of this strategy legislation to enable data sharing across government was successfully introduced. Now the emphasis shifts to how to give public sector employees the tools and capabilities they require to make intention a reality.
There will be further research and analysis in the areas of data management and how it aligns with broader government data activities, and the development of standards and business rules to support and embed the changes set up in previous years.
Further innovations using government information will be made possible by implementing a portal for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to unlock data held over multiple platforms. This will give IT developers both inside and outside of government the opportunity to provide better ways for government information and data to be used in new or existing services.
Why is this important?
Life can be busy. Engagement with government should be easy, with services available from any device simply and efficiently.
Managing information and data in the digital age means creating processes that are digital end-to-end, where information is automatically and consistently generated, stored and accessed. Government’s internal operations should provide digital tools and processes for its workforce in the same way we provide these services to citizens.
We recognise that there is still a preference for some citizens and in some circumstances where face-to-face engagement will continue. Good digital processes within government can enhance those face-to-face engagements.
Having the right digital processes and technologies is also critical for the successful implementation of information and data reform.
Key focus for 2018-19
The first two years of this strategy focussed on gaining cross-government agreement on what a digital government would look like, piloting key technologies and establishing the foundations for further progress.
On-the-ground change was heralded with the launch of Service Victoria, our first ever portal to let citizens complete a range of transactions in one place, such as applying for a fishing licence or a Working with Children Check, renewing vehicle registrations and myki cards (see page 5: Service Victoria case study).
We have started the process of consolidating separate external websites and intranet pages operated by the government under a ‘single digital presence’ program that will make it easier for the government workforce as well as citizens to find information and get things done (see page 12: Single Digital Presence case study).
In year three we will focus on broadening the scope of ‘digital government’ and expanding on the digital ways for citizens to engage. Service Victoria will increase the range and volume of transactions and the government will continue to consolidate its internal and external websites to make it easier for citizens and employees to find the information they need.
There will be increased momentum on digitising internal government processes and continuing the creation of a contemporary, flexible digital workplace that will improve internal processes and performance, delivering better services to Victorians.
Why is this important?
The Victorian government, like other organisations, must continually address the issue of aging technology systems and outdated approaches to providing computing resources. Older systems can prevent the seamless sharing of information and can pose security risks.
As well as addressing older systems, the government must consider the impacts and the opportunities arising from game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
To support the first two pillars of this strategy, the government’s technology must enable sharing, enhance security and be managed across its entire life-cycle to ensure the technology underpinning government operations stays relevant and fit for purpose.
Consistent choices across government about the type of technology service we select and how we use it will enable sharing and consistent management of information. New cloud-based services will be delivered in line with the evolving needs of our citizens and workforce.
The technology we use is critical to our ability to deliver better insights, better use of information and better decisions and services. Implementing common technology solutions across departments for common services – such as finance, procurement, human resource management – can save time and money by leveraging economies of scale with vendors and providing consistent, ready-made solutions, and the processes that go with them.
Key focus for 2018-19
The focus in the first two years of this strategy has been on setting the direction and building the foundations for technology reform. This has aligned with work being done in other pillars of this strategy to determine our approach to managing and sharing information and the needs of a digital workforce.
This year the momentum will shift towards putting those principles into use on the ground, and this priority area has the most actions to deliver in year three. There is also significant focus on implementing key improvements to how we simplify and manage the digital identity of both citizens and the government workforce, and continuing our journey towards a digital workplace.
We will focus on expanding the adoption of major common technology platforms following the successful launch of two critical enterprise solutions last year (Finance and Human Capital Management) and find new common solutions to explore.
Obsolete or aging systems that pose a risk to government information security and performance will be identified so that we can see these from a whole of government perspective, starting the important process of gaining a comprehensive, cohesive view across the public sector of where technology risks lie and prioritising how they will be addressed.
Why is this important?
The fourth pillar for success in this strategy is to ensure we have the right skills and capabilities within the government to ensure the benefits from change are sustainable.
We need the right mix of consistent skillsets and principles, along with adaptability, flexibility and forward thinking.
The focus of this stream of work is on government employees and executives. This is not just for those directly involved in IT. Almost all business areas within government use technology to provide their services. A fundamental understanding of contemporary IT underpins decisions made in these business areas about how these services are designed and delivered.
All staff who work in the public sector have a part in ensuring we apply a consistent approach to technology and processes. They also need to understand how their actions can create risk – particularly in cyber security, where one action by an individual can create risk into government systems.
Key focus for 2018-19
A significant amount of work was undertaken in the first year of the IT strategy to identify the consistent skills needs and skills gaps that exist across the government.
A comprehensive plan identified the priorities and an agreed cross-government approach to uplift those skills. Cyber security was the first skillset to be prioritised and is an early training and awareness program to roll out this year.
Another key issue is the challenge facing not only the government but the Victorian IT sector is the availability of a skilled talent pool. This is an issue that relates not only to attracting and retaining good talent to Victoria but generating a sustainable talent market. This year we will frame potential approaches to the challenge of attracting and retaining people with the right IT skills to join the Victorian government workforce.
We will further embed good project management capabilities by continuing with governance education for executive members of project control boards and by bringing together project practitioners to share information and build their skills as a community.
Case study: Single Digital Presence
Government websites are complicated, both for end users trying to navigate them and for the teams managing them. When these websites are delivered using a number of different technologies in different environments, maintaining and enhancing our services can be resource-intensive. For users, the many different approaches to user experience and information architecture can make it hard to find the information they need.
In order to simplify its digital experiences, the Victorian government is delivering Single Digital Presence (SDP), a major project that will transform the way we help citizens find, understand and use policy and program information online. SDP is a flexible technical solution that also offers many opportunities for collaboration across government.
For users, SDP will provide a consistent Victorian government presence, using a platform based approach. SDP will also deliver a front-end pattern library of design elements, a content management system and hosting environment that can be used by other government agencies.
Adopting an open source approach, the SDP team is collaborating widely across a range of departments, jurisdictions and other entities to leverage expertise and innovate.
SDP is now focusing on delivery of an alpha version of . This involves further work to iterate and test with users, while developing a robust design system and pattern library that supports the most common use cases for online government information.
The SDP project team is already fielding enquiries from other government agencies about how they can leverage SDP products in order to deliver consistent digital experiences for less time and cost.
Case study: Engage Victoria
is an online consultation platform that gives the Victorian community an easy-to-find central point of contact to be involved in government decision making processes. The service was delivered as an action item from the year two action plan of the IT strategy and significantly improves our public engagement.
Engage Victoria was recently recognised as a highly commendable finalist at the . Created by Boston Consulting, the awards identify and celebrate best practice digital government services around the world. The submissions were judged on intuitiveness, information and search quality, visual and emotional appeal, and level of innovation and creativity of the digital service.
Since launch, Engage Victoria has hosted more than 150 consultations that have received in excess of 40,000 citizen contributions.
© State of Victoria (Department of Premier and Cabinet) 2018
Reviewed 25 September 2019