With an eye on \u201cbig plans, small projects\u201d, South Australia is fast-tracking its digital reforms agenda. The state\u2019s CIO, Bret Morris, told CIO Australia that it is focusing mostly on mobile apps and open data.\n\u201cWe are shifting from eGovernment thinking to digital government thinking,\u201d said Morris.\u201d This gives us the opportunity to reassess where we can position ourselves in the service value chain.\nMorris said business and communities can contribute more through the development of mobile applications by having access to open data.\n\u201cGovernment agencies are developing mobile applications. By continuing to open up non-sensitive government-held data, they are giving digital entrepreneurs the opportunity to build their own for local and global marketplaces.\u201d\nUnder its agency-wide consultations, 12 core agencies are represented on an informal CIO council for information sharing. \u201cThe broader decisions are led by an ICT board. This is a governance body and comprises chief executives from key agencies.\u201d\nThe SA government\u2019s sa.gov.au website houses the bulk of customer-centric information. \u201cThe back-end integration with the website is ongoing with participating agencies,\u201d said Morris.\nThe state also plans to make more of its services available online, through mobile apps or smart devices. This reappraisal will help position front-line services at the right places across the value chain, Morris said.\nOther initiatives include linking up social media messages from South Australia\u2019s emergency services, and creating an electronic payment gateway that streamlines payments.\nThe future is digital and cloud\nThe state also uses a central ICT procurement model, which offers information about distributed computing, network upgrades and office platforms. However, agencies have the option to make their procurement decisions. South Australia's annual ICT budget is approximately $547 million encompassing agency-by-agency procurement activities.\n\u201cBroadly, the focus is on digital and technologies that come under this umbrella,\u201d said Morris. \u201cFor example, we do not have a cloud-first strategy, but if you read the fine print, that is the future direction.\u201d\nThe state will leverage public and private cloud models, and factor in agencies\u2019 security needs, including privacy issues around health, social services or law enforcement.\n\u201cDigital government requires different thinking, different capabilities and different leadership,\u201d said Morris. \u201cWe are now well-placed to lead the new digital agenda and position the South Australian Government to be smart, open and digital.\u201d\nBut service transformation is not just about transforming websites, Morris said. \u201cWe need to track developments to formulate a strategy that delivers digital-by-default reforms.\u201d\nNearly 3 per cent of SA\u2019s budget is allocated to ICT. \u201cOur goal is to leverage technologies that support a modernised public sector. We are working with key agencies to refine the roadmap.\u201d\nIn the ICT space, things can change radically and within months and businesses are being routinely digitally disrupted, he said. One recent initiative, SA Connected has been developed with the ICT industry in mind to best tackle this digital disruption.\n\u201cThis strategy articulates a series of strategic directions that guide agency-wide ICT decision-making,\u201d noted Morris. \u201cIt is underpinned by a policy framework and guidance to help agencies and will be reviewed regularly and updated where necessary.\u201d\nDigital award-winners\nIn June this year, South Australia Police (SAPOL) was recognised for its innovative use of ICT with the inaugural Premier\u2019s iAward, which is part of the South Australian iAwards that acknowledge outstanding productivity and innovation in ICT.\nSAPOL's won the award for its Mobile Fingerprint Scanning Solution. This system verifies the identification of 'persons of interest' at a crime scene. It also provides background information in real-time to investigators. The system was built for the Android smartphone by solutions provider NEC.\nOne point of difference with other states lies in South Australia\u2019s detailed consultations with business and communities, which includes SA Connected. \u201cThis strategy has open data and innovation at its centre,\u201d said Morris.\nSA is also working with the federal and state governments on digital collaboration through a Cross-Jurisdictional Chief Information Officers Committee, a Technology Working Group, and the Australian Digital Service Standard Working Group. Its educational collaboration draws in the Open Technology Foundation, Flinders University, University of South Australia and Carnegie Mellon\u2019s Adelaide campus.\nFor more information on South Australia\u2019s digital initiatives and other ICT projects, click here (PDF).