EXCLUSIVE – Enabling digital transformation in Victoria: Report on Victoria OpenGov Leadership Forum 2018

EXCLUSIVE – Enabling digital transformation in Victoria: Report on Victoria OpenGov Leadership Forum 2018

On 7 June 2018, around 80 senior technology
executives from various Victorian Government agencies gathered at the Victoria
OpenGov Leadership Forum 2018 to exchange ideas on enabling digital
transformation with the Victorian Government to
new digital technology to quality public services to citizens.  The exclusive full-day Forum took place at Pullman
Melbourne Albert Park.

Opening Remarks

Mohit Sagar, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia

Mr Mohit Sagar,
Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, kickstarted the Forum by
highlighting the importance of digital transformation in the public sector.

In his
Chairman’s Opening Remarks, Mr Sagar remarked that digital transformation is
more than just the technology – it is about understanding citizens’ needs and
driving desirable outcomes. According to him, government officials need to
understand citizens’ needs, how they use technology and, more importantly, what
their agencies are trying to achieve, in order to make the best use of technology
to improve public services delivery.


The Forum then moved on to its first gamification session. Throughout
the full-day event, the Forum hosted a total of four gamification sessions
which engaged the senior technology executives in a series of open discussions
and interactive gamification exercises through OpenGov’s signature Open
Dialogue Table format.

Each table featured a different topic and was hosted by a senior
government official and an industry leader to facilitate meaningful
conversations and give an all-round perspective of the topic. A wide range of
topics were covered at the gamification sessions, including artificial
intelligence (AI), big data analytics, cloud utilisation, cybersecurity, data
privacy, digital identity, smart cities etc.

In between the gamification sessions, OpenGov invited a few
distinguished international speakers to present case studies on various
governments’ experience in their digital transformation journeys.

New Zealand’s Integrated Data

The first to share an international case study was Mr Chris Buxton,
Chief Digital Officer of Stats NZ, spoke about New Zealand’s integrated data infrastructure. According to him, New Zealand’s Integrated Data
Infrastructure is an enabler for research, which allows various government
agencies to draw valuable insights into complex issues and better understand
the needs of the citizens.

Mr Chris Buxton, Chief Digital Officer of Stats NZ, spoke about New Zealand’s integrated data infrastructure.

He shared how
Stats NZ integrated microdata from two large integrated databases – Integrated
Data Infrastructure (IDI) database and the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD)
– for research about issues pertinent to New Zealand’s population. To ensure
that the IDI and LBD data is kept safe, Mr Buxton explained that Stats NZ
adopts the “Five Safes Framework” under which only authorised researchers
working on approved statistical projects of public interest can access
de-identified data at the Data Lab through which Stats NZ staff will ensure
that no person nor business are identifiable in the data.

The Digitisation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Mark Bowry, the Radio and Regional Business Lead, ABC Technology at the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Mr Mark Bowry,
the Radio and Regional Business Lead, ABC Technology at the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), then discussed the digitisation of the ABC. He
shared that the vision of the organisation is to be the independent source of Australian conversations, culture and

In the organisation’s ongoing efforts to remain a trusted and relevant part
of Australians lives, the ABC went from doing a one-way
broadcast through AM radio to fully interacting with the audience on social
media. To reach a larger audience, the ABC has went beyond using only one-way
broadcast and expanded into other channels and medium including podcasts and

Delivering on the Data Democratisation through Data Science as a Service

To give an
industry perspective, Mr Mitch
Robinson, Senior Data
Scientist at Leidos Australia delved into the topic of data science as a
service. According to him, we are on a journey to citizen data science in which
the emergence of big data and
analytics improve accuracy. Such technological advancement thus created a need
for the modern enterprise to shift strategic direction from process based to
data driven.

However, for most businesses, this transformation is still in its
infancy. Typical analytical challenges that businesses face include capability
establishment, data engineering, data discovery and insights productisation. In
his sharing on how Leidos expedites customers’ digital transformation journeys,
Mr Robinson highlighted the importance of using the right tools that allow rapid and secure data access for the organisation to develop trusted
and actionable insights.

The Netherland’s Experience in Digital Identity

Mr Frans Rijkers
is the Strategic Advisor Innovation and Identity, National Office for Identity
Data at the Ministry for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Netherlands.
His sharing focused on the Dutch journey in creating a self-sovereign digital identity.

To start, Mr Rijkers shared that the vision of
the Dutch Government is to leverage technology to provide citizen-centric
public services and create a network society. He then spoke about the Dutch
Blockchain Coalition and how the blockchain platform allows the government to
implement citizen identification whilst protecting and preserving the privacy.
In his sharing, Mr Rijkers emphasised the role of international collaboration
in creating self-sovereign digital identity and the importance of empowering
citizens to control their digital identities to build trust with distributed

Leveraging Technology to Unleash the Power of Human Collaboration

Mr Tony Simonsen, Vice President – ANZ, Japan and Korea, Polycom gave
insights on how the government can unleash the power of teams. Technology changes the way we live, work,
and play. With technological advancements, business communication today is also
vastly different from what it was in the past.

To unleash the
power of human collaborations, Mr Simonsen highlighted the importance of
empowering seamless collaboration across different platforms, ensuring
interoperability of technology solutions and emphasising on the ease of use of
these technologies.

Hong Kong: AI and the Future of Education

Andy Chun, Associate Professor and Former Chief Information Officer, City
University of Hong Kong

Dr Andy Chun, Associate Professor and former Chief Information
Officer of City University of Hong Kong, spoke on
the topic of AI and its implication on the future of education. His sharing
covered the sustainable development goals of the United Nations (UN) with
regards to education and how emerging technologies including AI can help to
achieve such goals. His insightful session highlighted the importance of
inclusive and quality education for all and lifelong learning, and how
technology can serve as an enabler to the provision of affordable education.

Malaysia's Approach to Cybersecurity

‍Dato’ Dr Haji Amirudin bin Abdul Wahab, Chief Executive Officer of CyberSecurity

Dato’ Dr Haji Amirudin bin Abdul Wahab, Chief Executive Officer of CyberSecurity Malaysia, shared
Malaysia’s holistic approach to cybersecurity. Such an approach contributed to
Malaysia high global ranking on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) by the International
Telecommunication Union(ITU) which is a multi-stakeholder initiative
to measure the commitment of countries to cybersecurity based on 5 pillars of governance, legal capacity, technical capacity,
capacity building and international cooperation.

According to Dato’ Dr Abdul Wahab, having a
holistic approach means capabilities in both identifying potential
cybersecurity threats and its impact on national security and public well-being
as well as developing cyber resilience to resist, respond, and recover from
cybersecurity threats. In the case of Malaysia, the holistic approach has
helped the country to see cybersecurity as more than just a technical issue.
Instead, it addresses cybersecurity through implementing relevant policies,
training a quality cybersecurity workforce, and developing cybersecurity processes
and procedures to cope with cybersecurity challenges.

Other than
international case studies, the Forum also featured panel discussions to deep
dive into two major topics of interest include AI, big data analytics and

by Mr Mohit Sagar, the two panel discussions explored how government agencies
can harness the power of
big data analytics and AI for better governance and improve citizens’ lives, as
well as how public sector agencies can enhance their cybersecurity defence in
the digital age.

Polling results

The Victoria
OpenGov Leadership Forum also aimed to better understand the needs of the
public sector agencies in their digital transformation journey through
interactive polling sessions.

According to the
polling results, 52% of the delegates came from agencies with total head count
of over 1,000. 40% of them said their organisation have an IT head count of
over 50 people. Around 30% of the attendees said their organisation has an
annual budget of over $501 million and another 20% claimed to have an annual
budget between $121 million to $240 million. 47% of the attendees indicated
that their organisation’s annual IT budget ranges from $1 to $15 million.

In terms of the
IT budget allocation, 24% said that less than 10% of the annual IT the budget
is allocated to outsourced services. The top 3 outsourced area of IT services
are in IT infrastructure management (41%), enterprise IT system (28%) and data
centre (8%).

In terms of
their IT and Information Management Strategy, 35% said their organisations are
behind schedule for the implementation of the strategy while 28% are updating
the existing strategy. A quarter said the implementation is as scheduled and
only 6% claimed that the implementation is ahead of schedule. 6% of the
delegates said their organisations do not have an IT and Information Management

While 42% of the
attendees said their organisation are in the process of updating their
Information Security Infrastructure, 11% are undergoing policy review and
problem definition process, while 9% are planning to update the infrastructure.

Regarding the organisation’s priorities, 43% named citizen-centric services their top priority, followed by cloud adoption and data management (34%), predictive analytics and AI (9%), cybersecurity (8%) and data sharing and privacy (6%)

At the same
time, delegates also shared the top 5 major challenges their organisations face
in implementing IT projects, which are: the lack of clearly defined goals and
requirements (26%), lack of foundational IT infrastructure (20%), the lack of
funding (18%), lack of in-house skills (14%), and lack of ownership by the
business (14%). Only 1% of them are struggling to find the right technology

Results also
showed that the online transaction portal (40%), non-interactive websites
(23%), and mobile application (14%) are the major digital public services that
these public sector agencies offer. On the use of emerging technologies such as
AI and blockchain, a majority (51%) of the attendees said they are currently
not using or evaluating any form of AI and nearly half of them also said they
need more information on blockchain to determine if there is a relevant
application of the technology for the organisation. 32% of them also shared
that data accessibility and sharing is the biggest pain point in big data value
chain while 23% named data quality as the major challenge.

In terms of
their biggest challenge in 2018, 38% are facing difficulties in creating the
culture and openness to innovation, 27% of them are struggling with legacy
infrastructure, and another 17% found cross-agency collaboration a challenge.
In terms of cybersecurity risks, employee negligence or malfeasance (32%),
outdated systems and software (30%), and oversight of basic security practices
(24%) were also named the biggest cybersecurity risks, highlighting the need to
raise cybersecurity awareness among employees.

36% of the
organisations are using or planning to use hybrid clouds while 25% preferred
private clouds. In adopting cloud solutions, the lack of skills to manage cloud
security (26%) is the main challenge, followed by the budget and procurement
(24%) and security concerns (21%).

To their top
strategy to achieve policy objectives, 52% of the attendees named a change in
organisational culture to create a conducive environment to promote innovation,
followed by upskilling internal resource (15%).