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ICT Industry to partner with government

ICT Industry to partner with government on sector growth strategy

The decision by the Government to include industry as a working partner alongside the Ministry of Economic Development in looking at government procurement process as part of a strategy for growth of the ICT sector is a major step forward says the President of the Information Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ), Mr David Irving,

“Having industry work side by side with government in this way is a milestone at a time when many ICT companies throughout the country are contemplating a static domestic market with little signs of rejuvenation.

“The potential for industry growth through such collaboration is both enormous and exciting in its growth potential. This step begins to make achievable the ICT Task Force aim of 100 New Zealand companies achieving $100 million in earnings each year within 10 years.

“There is plenty of evidence overseas that such collaboration offers the best means of meeting the target. India, the United States and state governments of Australia have specific provisions under which local ICT industries work with government to devise and implement strategic ICT plans.

“The success of their programmes has convinced us that we are following the right course, especially as this move signals recognition by the Government that the state sector procurement has a major influence on the growth path of the domestic market. Without a vibrant domestic market we can’t achieve the growth targets that have been set.”

Mr Irving said good progress had been made by the state sector-industry group known as the ICTX committee that for the last five months had studied government procurement processes.

“We are extremely pleased at the positive approach adopted by the state sector representatives on the ICTX group. Each has contributed significantly to an identification of the factors that should be addressed to enhance public service use of technology and at the same time introduce a new dynamism into the ICT industry.

“Our strategic aim is to make the most effective use of the Government ICT spend as a contributor to sustainable economic growth. We are especially pleased that the Government has accepted the need for a formal process toward completion of this work as part of strategy preparation.”

Among specific issues for further study that the ICTX procurement working group identified were:

Transparency in contract supplier selection and contract award processes Better collaboration between industry and the state sector to identify quality projects and the best means of achieving them Treatment of intellectual property High costs of doing business with government and the working of existing procurement policies.

“The ICTX Group will continue to act as a collaborative network of industry and government to make input into the development of the national ICT strategy under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Development. The industry will contribute directly through ITANZ.

“The intention to have New Zealand Trade and Enterprise involved is welcomed. We see them playing a strong role in marketing and promotion abroad. We also believe that other industry matters to be addressed include greater use of partnering with multinationals for market penetration abroad by New Zealand-based companies and the current fragmentation of industry organisations.

“Growth in the ICT sector will continue to play a huge role in the country’s economic progress. American analysts have said that the impact of ICT on society and economic activity can be compared to that of electricity, with the full impact unlikely to be fully assessable for another two decades.

“We tend to the view that the role of ICT in our current prosperity is probably understated because we are short on statistics. But this recognition by the Government that the way ahead should involve an approach placing industry and the state sector in strategic partnership provides an opportunity for our members to demonstrate the contribution a revitalised industry can make.

“More effective public administration along with stronger economic and export growth will be the measuring points for this partnership.”

Ends

ITANZ represents the Information and Communications Technology industry of New Zealand; a business sector that generates combined annual revenues in excess of $11 billion. ITANZ members account for approximately 85% of this revenue and directly employ more than 30,000 people. Our aim is to maximise the economic and social potential inherent in these technologies to create advantages for all New Zealanders.


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