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FST Government Victoria - our take

At the end of July I attended the FST Government event, in Melbourne and co-hosted the Empired roundtable with Mark Clifford, from Sustainability Victoria. Our topic was "The Modern Workplace - reality or dream?" which brought about a discussion on people, process and technology, exploring the reasons for the inevitable gap between our AI, blockchain and bot-driven workplace aspirations, and the reality on the ground at most government agencies.

FST Government Victoria 2018

We had some very interesting discussions and insights - thanks to all who attended our roundtable.

The panel discussion on gender parity with Elizabeth Wilson, Kathy Coultas, Marion Burchell, Sarah Dods and Peter Lane was also interesting and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed the "after party" at our roundtable immediately following the panel, when our table’s topic was misinterpreted as more of the same! Mark and I had no choice but to sit back and let it all unfold as more spirited discussion ensued. Many thanks again to Elizabeth Wilson, Kate Steinfort MBA, Evangeline Aston-Tham and others for a great session.

 I loved the session from Audrey Tang, Digital Minister, Taiwan. Audrey appeared virtually, via hologram, and delivered an inspiring story about the remarkable successes in government, public engagement and democracy in Taiwan. She described how social activists "forked" the government, creating an alternate democratic view at g0v.tw. This is interesting obviously from a social and democratic perspective, but also from a technology perspective as g0v.tw provides a platform with many capabilities, accessible to all - for example, a detailed and interactive budget breakdown.

You may think, “well, that's Taiwan – we're different” but with a population pretty much the same as Australia, Taiwan has shown that a higher level of democratic participation is possible, and that digital tools – some of which are open source – can be at the heart of that participation.

We also had an interesting session from Channa Jayasinha, who explained how Wellington City Council (NZ), has engaged vendors to provide shared ICT service for several councils in the region, and is now in the happy position of being able to approach other councils to join what is a fully-formed and proven proposition. This is a subject of particular interest to me, given that Empired’s Cohesion ECM as a Service (ECMaaS) is flourishing with some 10,000 seats across New Zealand government, so it was good to hear success stories about real business solutions as a shared service.

Channa explained how Wellington City Council methodically identified the benefits it was expecting and is now measuring as the service progresses - a textbook approach!

Although there were many interesting topics, probably the most pervasive was the subject of co-design. Co-design is a highly collaborative approach to design, involving not just internal staff, but also customers. The payback is greater staff and customer satisfaction, and increased levels of support and enthusiasm for innovation and change.

This is particularly important in a government context, where cultural change is always a challenge.  It was good to see an increased emphasis on, and understanding of, why your employee's experience (EX) is as important as your customer's experience (CX).

Overall, the event left me optimistic for the future of EX and CX within government, and for the collaborative experience with government, as a partner/vendor. Kudos to the team at FST Media for a well-executed and valuable event.

Posted by: Doug Baxter, Solution Specialist | 08 August 2018

Tags: Digital Transformation, Business Transformation, FST, Government

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