The New South Wales public sector is becoming increasingly mobile, with the state’s latest ICT Metrics Report revealing that an increasing proportion of NSW public servants rely on tablets or laptops.
The state’s annual ICT Metrics Report has been compiled every year since the NSW government launched its ICT strategy in 2012. The most recent edition, which covers 2015-16, drew on data from more than 40 agencies, representing about 90 per cent of the government’s total ICT expenditure.
In 2015-16, 11 per cent of end user devices employed by agencies were tablets, while 25 per cent were laptops (the figures exclude the Department of Education, which manages more than 700,000 devices across NSW schools). Desktop PCs still accounted for 64 per cent of devices, but that still represents a significant drop from 2012-13 when they held an 81 per cent share (and laptops a 17 per cent share).
In the period covered by the report, there were close to 29,000 ‘bring your own’ mobile devices in agencies — up from 23,000 BYOD devices in 2014-15 and 11,000 in 2013-14.
Twenty eight per cent of tablets entered agencies via BYOD, as did 19 per cent of laptops and 7 per cent of smartphones.
In their responses to surveys for the report, agencies noted that “the transition to cloud-based email and productivity software has improved access to email but makes tracking of BYO devices more difficult as specific access permissions are no longer required.”
Around a fifth of NSW government agencies’ “top applications” are deemed legacy, with plans to upgrade about half of those over the next 12 months, the report states.
“The management of legacy issues relating to service continuity and security is a significant ongoing challenge,” the report notes. “These issues also impact on an agency’s ability to transition to working digitally.”
‘As-a-service’ or hybrid cloud was used in 72 per cent of major projects in 2015-16, up from 34 per cent in 2012-13.
Spending on services is increasing at a faster rate than overall ICT expenditure; spending on ‘as-a-service’ offerings represented 63 per cent of all ICT services expenditure, up from around 35 per cent in 2014-15.
Overall, ICT spending during 2015-16 was $2.65 billion — up 10 per cent on the prior year; however, the increase in spending on ICT was proportional with overall agency expenditure in 2014-15.