IT Industry in limbo over lax policy

Coalition "vision" missing

The lack of Coalition ICT policy has left the ICT industry in limbo according to Ovum analyst Kevin Noonan.

The Federal Opposition has made few policy announcements that relate to ICT, and pledged only to scrap a series of big ticket Government projects including the $43 billion National Broadband Network, the Digital Education Revolution — known commonly as the computers in schools scheme — and the Federal Government’s e-health scheme.

Noonan said the Coalition’s bid to save some $46 billion from axing the projects is short-sighted, and claimed it would be better placed to remap and invest in the projects such as the computers in schools scheme.

“The important ingredient missing from the coalition is their own vision where they see IT into the future. It is reasonable for any [opposition] government to cut or change initiatives,” Noonan said.

“There are reasonable arguments against the efficiency of the computers in schools initiative but the reality is that many schools have their computers delivered and local businesses are already benefitting.

“The existing program is quite targeted around computers in schools. The coalition could very well look more broadly at supporting software and learning aides, because computers alone provide a low-level of learning.”

Political parties should focus ICT policy on government shared services, which Noonan said would generate significant savings with the right leadership.

“Cuts do not help in isolation. Shared services is an area not just about cost savings, that requires leadership. We have seen some negative effects in Queensland Health... so it will need to be carefully managed,” Noonan said.

In the meantime, Noonan said the industry will have to wait for positive ICT leadership.

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