Tech firms don’t understand government - New Zealand GCIO

Advises officials to be ‘comfortable’ with tech to bridge gap with industry.

Governments are increasingly focused on digital services, but the tech sector needs to better understand what agencies need, New Zealand Government Chief Information Officer has told GovInsider. “Digital has become core business for government now”, Colin MacDonald said in an interview published today, but it remains “a challenge to the technology and the digital industry to become much more versed in the business of government, and to be able to work right at the core of what governments and what businesses do”. The public sector can help cut silos, he added, by understanding “the potential that technology brings”. “Senior leaders in government have to become very comfortable in talking about technology in the same way as they would with any other parts of their business. [But] frankly, that is not the case today”, MacDonald continued, urging a change in mindset in government. The government just this week launched SmartStart, a predictive service for new parents. It will soon expand this model to students transitioning to tertiary institutions. New Zealand is part of the Digital 5 nations, a group that calls itself the “world-leading digital nations”, comprising Estonia, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and the UK. The country was ranked 8th in this year’s UN e-government survey. Now read: Exclusive: New Zealand’s plans for digital government Image by the Cabinet Office