NSW Government CIOs share what's on and what's next

Tim Catley, Chris Robson, Aaron Liu, Tim Hume and Dr Zoran Bolevich discuss current and future IT works in their agencies.

By George Nott
Sept. 26, 2016


He added that cloud providers were now more in tune with the force's needs, while in the past they had found his concerns "dumb".

Aaron Liu, CIO, NSW Department of Justice

Liu said that moving to the cloud and an as-a-service model of working was often more difficult for the public sector.

"Government has a slightly different risk profile to the private sector," he said. "We're held to a fairly high standard and expectation - some of that is political, some of that is reality. For example, if prison officers or judges don't get paid, it's going to hit the press. So how do we deal with the elements around escrow and various other bits in an as-a-service model, which is fairly new, to ensure that those risks are appropriately managed?"

The agency was one of the first to move to NSW's GovDC data centres which allow state agencies to consume public cloud services via a secure gateway.

"The risk of cloud is it can evaporate when the sun shines on it. [But] if you've go that framework in place it's not a matter of IT or security saying 'no no no'. It's 'how can we do it safely?'" Liu said.

The agency was currently exploring the 'prison of the future', although the priority was always addressing the root cause of crime, Liu said. The state was in the midst of a "crisis", Liu added, with the number of inmates exceeding the number of spaces.

"Prison of future is about delivering a range of services for people in custody whether it's drug and alcohol programs via in-cell technology like touchscreens. Also maintaining communication and contact is a pretty important thing. [Currently] snail mail comes in and it goes through a metal detector and drug dogs sniff it and prison officers read it and then hand it to the offender. Moving that to email and video conferencing - we've got that on trial."

Tim Hume, CIO, Department of Family and Community Services

Last year the Department of Family and Community Services began a major project to migrate the agency onto a cloud-based version of the SAP ERP platform.

Dubbed 'OneSAP', the multi-wave, ten year program with Accenture, will give the agency's back office "more time to service the clients who need our help", Hume said.

"When we're looking at ease of deployment, one of the conditions with the OneSAP deployment was that it needed to come out of GovDC. We wanted to make sure we had the security and the imprimatur from GovDC that it was a thought out and worthwhile process."

The agency's ChildStory IT project recently reached the deployment phase, after more than eighteen months of research and design. The project uses Salesforce, bolstered by technology from Squiz.

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