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                    [post_date] => 2017-06-06 11:19:37
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:19:37
                    [post_content] => 

 

Governments must consider ways to manage the transition to driverless trucks in order to avoid potential social disruption from job losses, according to a new report published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) with three partner organisations.

Self-driving trucks will help save costs, lower emissions, and make roads safer. They could also address the shortage of professional drivers faced by road transport industry, the study says.

But automated trucks could reduce the demand for drivers by 50-70% in the US and Europe by 2030, with up to 4.4 million of the projected 6.4 million professional trucking jobs becoming redundant, according to one scenario.

Even if the rise of driverless trucks dissuades newcomers from trucking, over 2 million drivers in the US and Europe could be directly displaced, according to scenarios examined for the report.

The report makes four recommendations to help manage the transition to driverless road freight:
  • Establish a transition advisory board to advise on labour issues.
  • Consider a temporary permit system to manage the speed of adoption.
  • Set international standards, road rules and vehicle regulations for self-driving trucks.
  • Continue pilot projects with driverless trucks to test vehicles, network technology and communications protocols.
These recommendations were agreed jointly by organisations representing truck manufacturers, truck operators and transport workers’ unions, under the auspices of an intergovernmental organisation. This broad coalition of stakeholders lends the call to action particular weight. Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport and Logistics and News.  [post_title] => Governments must manage transition to driverless trucks and job losses [post_excerpt] => The human side of driverless trucks. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27315 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-06 11:19:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:19:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27315 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27237 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-25 16:20:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-25 06:20:57 [post_content] =>   By Charles Pauka  Parkes Shire Council has appealed to Amazon to site one its distribution centres (Amazon calls the large warehouses 'fulfilment centres') in the Central NSW town, by making a quirky video showing a fan buying an Elvis outfit online from Amazon. When the retail disruption giant recently put the word out that they were looking to establish an Australian arm, full of optimism (one of its best traits) the town of Parkes in Central NSW responded with why its strategic location would be advantageous to the Amazon business model. With freight volumes set to double by 2030 and triple by 2050, Parkes will form an integral part of the intermodal freight network. Parkes acts as a national transport node, as it is strategically located at the intersection of the Newell Highway and major railways linking Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth as well as Adelaide and Darwin. Parkes’ position has been further enhanced by the recent announcement as a critical node on the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, which has received one of the largest investments ever seen in regional Australia of $8.4 billion. The project will connect the region to global markets via the major ports of Australia, placing the Central West region into an economically advantageous position once the project comes into fruition. In addition to employment and investment opportunities, the National Logistics Hub in Parkes offers cheaper, faster and more efficient modal choices, and offers a centralised storage and distribution point for a range of commodities. Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport & Logistics & News.  [post_title] => Parkes Shire Council pitches to Amazon with Elvis video [post_excerpt] => Regional development, Elvis style. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => parkes-pitches-amazon-elvis-video [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-25 16:22:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-25 06:22:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27237 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27216 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-25 05:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-24 19:00:00 [post_content] =>    Bendigo Council's Presentation and Assets Director Craig Lloyd with Clean Cube. Pic: supplied.    A solar waste compactor that functions with an ordinary household wheelie bin will be trialled by a Victorian council keen to increase bin capacity, cut costs and reduce the number of rubbish collections the council makes.  The City of Greater Bendigo Council is currently trialling Clean Cube, a smart waste compactor which runs on renewable solar energy and tells you when it is full. The Clean Cube was developed by Korean start-up company Ecube and it can hold a 120 or 240 litre bin.  Bendigo Council’s Australian supplier is Smart City Solutions. City of Greater Bendigo Presentation and Assets Director Craig Lloyd said it could help reduce the cost of waste collection. “By reducing the frequency of collections there is the potential to reduce the costs and labour associated with providing waste collection services to public areas by up to 80 per cent,” Mr Lloyd said. “It’s important to look at the new technology that exists to see if it’s viable for our community.” He said the Clean Cube used smart technology and multiple sensors to measure the bin’s fill level in real time. “The sensors trigger the automatic compaction of waste inside the bin and by doing this the capacity of the bin is increased by up to eight times meaning it doesn’t have to be emptied as often,” Mr Lloyd said. “However when it is full, the Clean Cube electronically notifies the city’s waste collection staff that it needs to be emptied.” Mr Lloyd said the compactor’s smart technology also included safety features that could detect sudden temperature rises, such as a fire in the bin.  Using the compactor bins at events would also reduce overflowing and litter. Ecube Labs’ online marketing manager, Matti Juutinen, told IoTAustralia in June last year that the cube can hold up to eight times more rubbish than traditional bins. “We are the only company in the industry to offer an ultrasonic fill-level sensor (with 10 years battery life) and a smart solar-powered waste compacting bin on a single real-time monitoring platform that generates optimised schedules and routes based on fill-level forecasting,” Mr Juutinen said. He said the compactor could go for two to three weeks without sunlight once fully charged. Charging it takes three to four days if there has been at least four hours of sunlight on each day. The Clean Cube is being trialled at Lake Weeroona, the city’s most popular recreation area, until June 13. [post_title] => Korean solar waste compactor could slash councils' rubbish collection costs [post_excerpt] => Victorian council trials Clean Cube. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => vic-council-trials-korean-solar-waste-compactor-slash-rubbish-collection-costs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-25 16:23:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-25 06:23:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27216 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27165 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-18 15:50:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-18 05:50:21 [post_content] =>   By Allen Koehn, Associate VP and GM – Public Sector at Infosys We are entering a new phase of human evolution. However, it is not one comprising new limbs or larger eyes. Rather, it involves the pursuit of ultimate control, despite human error, through technological innovation. The robotic automation of society alluded to in the science fiction of our past is finally becoming a reality - one technological advancement at a time. Human involvement, paper-heavy administration and room for error are exponentially decreasing as technologies like blockchain digitise and automate entire processes and interactions. What started as a platform for the transaction of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now has the potential to span industries and verticals across the globe. There has been much hype about blockchain, with banks reporting annual savings of US$8-12 billion after its implementation1, but seemingly little understanding about what exactly it is and how it can be put to valuable use in different sectors. What is blockchain? Transactions - financial or otherwise - occur across networks every second. With blockchain, each time a transaction occurs, a network of computers carry out a series of algorithms, identifying the originating device and its user, and validating the transaction. This transaction is then added to a digital ledger (public or private) and attached to an irreversible chain of transactional “blocks”. Verified transactions are permanently recorded, traceable and updated across the entire network every 10 minutes. Blockchain is decentralised – it does not have a central server or administrator, but rather exists on and is managed by the network itself. Unimaginable computational processing power is needed to override the network. There are no singular points of vulnerability and the corruption of any one bit of data results in its network-wide corruption. Ultimate visibility and control makes unauthorised actions impossible. Consequently, blockchain is almost entirely secure in the face of human-led threats.  It’s not just about security Blockchain’s automation makes paper trails redundant, exponentially decreasing lost documents or delayed payments. Imagine a future where financial transactions within governments are automatically and irreversibly recorded, or citizens can transact confidentially without physical presence at a government office. Costs are reduced, efficiency is improved and the way for ultimate transparency is paved. Governments and organizations alike can achieve a true competitive advantage with blockchain (and its accompanying applications and digital technologies). So, for those working in government, scratching your head about how to leverage this new technology, here’s five ways that I see blockchain being used in the public sector:
  1.  Identification
Gone are the days of a 100 point ID checks. With digitised birth certificates and ID documents, blockchain enables a single personal identifier. It is an entirely new and reliable way of identifying members of an ecosystem – from citizens to government agencies – enabling everything from digital voting (which is in the works for Australia’s 2017 elections) to confidential legal disputes.
  1. Registries
Blockchain enables the digitization of property titles, car registrations, medical records and more. Once recorded, documents become digital proof, available – for example – for trusted use in legal battles. Printing and tracking costs decrease and smart contracts can automate actions when conditions are met. For example, a digital driver’s license can notify its owner of expiration, or simply auto-renew by triggering a debit off the owner’s account.
  1. Payments
There is room for (and talk of) the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in place of existing financial institutions. But blockchain technologies also have immense potential to eliminate fraud and tax avoidance, thanks to built-in transparency and trust protocols. Social benefits, grants, compensation, tax returns and inter-government payments can be automated, recorded and possibly even accessed by the public.
  1. Accountability
On that note, blockchain makes ultimate accountability in all spheres possible. Financial movements can be permanently recorded and traced, or voting results can be updated on a public network, keeping voters in the loop. Each time a change is made to a law recorded on the ledger, the public has full visibility. Public services can be delivered with ease to a trusting population, thanks to this layer of transparency.
  1. Automation
The processes of filing applications, making and receiving payments or benefits, getting visas and transferring permissions or titles can all be streamlined beyond what was previously possible – making blockchain particularly beneficial to developing markets whose existing infrastructure cannot otherwise accommodate such radical change. As with most innovations, the possible use cases of technological advancements like Blockchain are often only discovered much later in their lifecycle. Preconceived notions should not hinder the exploration of evolutionary innovations in new and unique contexts. The true power of technology is only truly realised when it evolves outside its original borders. Only when we colour outside our existing lines can we truly evolve. We believe that Blockchain has the potential to truly evolve the way our governments, organisations and society functions. [post_title] => Five ways blockchain will transform the public sector [post_excerpt] => Making paper trails redundant. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27165 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-19 10:50:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-19 00:50:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27165 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27122 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-16 10:00:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-16 00:00:36 [post_content] =>
  By Mark Say, Managing Editor UKAuthority.com This story first appeared in UKAuthority.com and appears here by kind permission of the author.    Rob Whiteman, chief executive of the UK's Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy talks about the financial challenge in spending on digital transformation – along with the integration of health and social care Pic: CIPFA Rob Whiteman spends a lot of time thinking about the financial dilemmas facing local government, and there is a major one around digital transformation. Almost everyone agrees it is a necessity, but it comes with a big price tag, and with councils’ budgets already cut to the bone it is a tough call to make a case for heavy investment on which the return is likely to be years away. As chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA), Whiteman has a day-to-day preoccupation with local authorities’ bottom line. It is not a direct responsibility, but as the professional body for officials at the sharp end it plays a significant part in honing the thinking. He recites the basics of local government’s current difficulties: spending down by approximately 40% since 2010, demands on social care that have led to a 5% increase for children’s services and a 10% limit on the cuts for adults, and much sharper reductions in areas such as regulatory services and running libraries.

Creating space

“The problem is that creating the space and investment for digital transformation is difficult when you don’t have the money to keep the show on the road today,” he says. “Everybody can see that, particularly with Generations X and Y, people want to access services in a different way. They want 24/7 services and want to be able to transact on the web. “That needs investment, and local government has many strengths, but it’s hard for it to make system investment when it’s more than 400 organisations. You need an organisation like DCLG (the Department for Communities and Local Government) to be able to pump prime. “If local government were not 400 institutions it could probably not have borne the cuts it has, but if you want to invest in something different, while the bigger authorities can find the space to do this, it’s very difficult for a small council with big budget constraints. Ideally it should mean working with other authorities to invest in it together.” The joint investment is not happening on any large scale and, since the Government Spending Review of 2015 provided nothing to support local digital efforts, there is no pump priming from the centre. There are organisations such as CIPFA, the Local Government Association and public sector IT association Socitm to support some coordination and shared effort. Whiteman says they can provide help, not just in arguing the case for local authorities but in challenging how they do things, pressing for more economies of scale and to avoid duplication. But councils still have to spend on investment, and Whiteman provides some advice on how they can make the process more manageable.

Look for good practice

“Number one, somebody has almost certainly already done it,” he says. “Actively go out and look for good practice and find councils that have already done something you’re thinking of doing. “Secondly, if you’re going to do it, do it well, and make sure you have the right capability. The best business cases are those that may cost a bit more than people are comfortable with but give greater assurance they will be delivered because you have the capability and capacity to deliver them well. “And try to do it with other people. Find other councils to work with, or partners that have already done something like this.” He emphasises the importance of being very clear over the expected benefits – “the more work on benefits realisation the better” – and the linking of digital and service strategies. But he suggests that councils will struggle if they do not take a more collective approach. “I think local government is good at implementation; it has been able to make 40% cuts because it has implementation skills. The weakness is that implementation tends to be for individual organisations rather than at scale, and if it were done at scale the benefits realisation probably could have been ever greater.”

STP ups and downs

Things get even more demanding when you look at the need for integrating services. The Government has made this a big issue for health and social care with the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) for England, a move for which he sees up and down sides. On the one hand, he describes them as “a really difficult brand”, not helped by many having been drawn up with little or no public consultation; on the other, they could foster a better working relationship between councils and the NHS. They have different skills sets and financial settlements, with councils being accountable to local electorates while NHS bodies report to the secretary of state for health. This fosters different outlooks, but “these are so different that if they work well with each other the prize can be enormous”. He says the test will be in whether they develop the right attitude to working together: “I think STPS should be organisations where they want to work with each other and don’t feel they are being strong armed. They are an organisational development exercise to build trust for people to get used to transacting with each other. “The test of the good ones will be that, after they are abolished, people will want to carry on working that way because they have been successful.”

Sense of place

This will depend partly on how strongly the participants feel a sense of common purpose based on their communities – a “sense of place” as Whiteman puts it – and a willingness to break out of their organisational silos. This is not easy to achieve, as the breakdown of the Total Place policy in the late 2000s demonstrates. But he is hopeful that the move to city devolution, with Manchester at the vanguard, will provide momentum. “My experience is that a sense of place can act as the biggest drive for collaboration of anything that I’ve seen. What I admire about Manchester is that there’s a sense of place, in that people think they are not supporting the public interest as they should if they stick by the present organisational boundaries and siloes. “A sense of understanding the issues of a community and feeling a passion to do something about it is the most powerful.” His other big hope in the technology field is that government makes more of data analytics. He says it could be valuable to local government in plenty of activities, especially social care and public health. “That type of capability has incredible opportunity in other policy areas - identifying children likely to be at risk, people who are likely to be vulnerable, people who are likely to have poor health. There are very real information management and ethical issues about the degree to which the state makes use of data, and we are going to have to work that through with other policy areas, but data analytics could inform on a whole range of policy issues.” Through all this Whiteman conveys a combination of acknowledging the starkness of the financial situation facing local government, and an optimism that it has the qualities to find some long term solutions. There is no doubt that digital is going to play a big part.  
[post_title] => Facing local government’s digital dilemma [post_excerpt] => Tough spending choices for UK local councils. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27122 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-16 10:00:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-16 00:00:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27122 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27117 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-15 17:25:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-15 07:25:03 [post_content] =>     NSW government can learn from other governments internationally about how to develop and promote a culture of open data and data sharing, says a report commissioned by the Information and Privacy Commission of NSW and the NSW Open Data Advocate. The UNSW Law report, Conditions Enabling Open Data and Promoting a Data Sharing Culture 2017, released yesterday (Monday) looks at the progress of five other countries – the UK, France, Canada, the US and New Zealand – towards recognising the importance of open data and doing something about it. All five are considered to be leading the way globally. Open data is data that can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose and offered free or at minimal cost. The data can come from a wide range of sources, including government departments and agencies; universities; corporations; charities; NGOs; groups and individuals and it can encompass statistics, maps, scientific research, reports, and weather amongst other things.   To qualify as open, data should be available in bulk and able to be processed by a computer. The UNSW Law report identified six main drivers for achieving open data and went on to show how the NSW government could use international best practice and put more emphasis on open data. These drivers included:
  • Leadership and public support by government, ministers and agency heads to create processes and a culture that encourage the release and sharing of data
  • Legislation that sets out the rights and responsibilities governing access, sharing and protection of data for those who want the data and those who keep it. For example, the UK, US and France have mandated that data be open by default and be machine-readable and in in a standardised format
  • Policies to guide agency and staff decisions and priorities around open data and privacy, data security and collaboration
  • Regulations to provide certainty and to set expectations and obligations, as well as providing oversight and punishing non-compliance. These should balance rights to data with concerns over privacy and anticipating risk
  • Promoting culture and collaboration that supports open data within government and with the public, for example co-operation between agencies and between international, national and sub-national levels of government
  • Developing strategies to make data open, including funding open data, sharing success stories and engaging communities and individuals, for example the UKAuthority.
NSW Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Tydd said the independent research report was the first of its kind in Australia. “The research demonstrates how open data is being achieved internationally through an examination of leading jurisdictions,” Ms Tydd said. “The research acknowledges NSW’s progress and, importantly, offers new and significant insights to inform our approach to opening up valuable NSW data resources.”   She said opening data was “an impactful, contemporary approach to opening government” that promoted “effective and accountable government and enables meaningful public participation”. A recent IPC community attitudes survey found strong support for Open Data in NSW with 83 per cent of people agreeing that de-identified information should inform government service planning and delivery. The report provides suggestions on how NSW can move further towards open government and open data. These include recommendations to:
  • Publish a complete catalogue of all datasets, including restricted datasets
  • Moving from a legislative framework authorising data release to one that proactively encourages it
  • Mandating departments to open specific datasets and set quotas for datasets to force collaboration
  • Identify which datasets are important economic drivers for growth in regional areas and prioritise these
  • Mandate departments to create machine-readable standardised formats for datasets to allow analytics and linked data applications
  • Explicitly fund departments opening up high-value datasets in machine-readable format
  • Adopt an anticipatory regulatory approach that promotes open data but ensures ongoing evaluation and assessment of security and privacy risks
  • Develop in-depth guidelines on anonymisation and de-identification
  • Identify workforce skills/knowledge gaps and opportunities to work with local government and other government agencies
  • Adopt an incubator model where an open data company is embedded with an agency to co-develop ideas and applications on models, or engage with entities such as Code for Australia to bring in ideas and expertise
The research underpinning the report was guided by a steering committee comprising NSW agencies and experts, including the Data Analytics Centre, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Data61, the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation and the Department of Justice.  [post_title] => Global open data leaders give NSW lessons in data sharing [post_excerpt] => Promoting a culture of open data and data sharing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27117 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-16 11:54:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-16 01:54:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27117 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27106 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-12 11:29:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-12 01:29:31 [post_content] => First medicinal cannabis import: CanniMed cannabis oil.    Seriously ill Australians can now access imported medicinal cannabis after the first licensed imports of the drug arrived in Perth last week. The drug was imported by Australian wholesale company Health House International and ASX-listed cannabis company Creso Pharma, a Swiss company. The cargo contained three different types of cannabis oil from Canadian company CanniMed, each designed to tackle different symptoms and retailing for about $350 a bottle, which should last patients about a month. The federal government gave the go ahead for companies to grow and manufacture medicinal cannabis late last year but it will still be a while before patients can access Australian product, said Health House Director Paul Mavor. Mr Mavor said it would take some time for companies to get permission to set up their operations and then get them reinspected and licensed. “Within 12 to 24 months we will be starting to see some really good [Australian] product and hopefully we will be exporting that,” Mr Mavor said. Health House International was granted one of the first medicinal cannabis import licences in February, soon after Health Minister Greg Hunt gave the go ahead to fast-track medicinal cannabis imports while local cultivation catches up. Australian product should be cheaper for patients as there will be much lower shipping costs and no freight duties but this will also depend on domestic (and possibly overseas) demand and whether companies can achieve economies of scale. Around 100,000 Canadians currently use medicinal cannabis and Mr Mavor is predicting about 70,000 Australians will eventually follow suit. Interestingly, Mr Mavor said that he had been speaking to some private insurance funds who had indicated they may be interested in subsidising the drug for some people, for example, those involved in car crashes or war veterans, because it could keep them out of hospital and keep costs down. In a few years it is possible that medicinal cannabis will be listed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, once it has been tested in the local market, says Mavor. “It is likely. Some conditions that some patients are using medical cannabis for, they don’t have any other options.” Cannabis is cost-effective because it has five different uses in one hit: it can relieve nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. Health House International's Paul Mavor. Pic: Supplied.   But Mr Mavor said while demand in Australia is strong, the process for prescribing medicinal cannabis had been made torturously difficult by the federal government, which has left states and territories to set their own rules. Many demand that patients get approval from both the federal and state or territory health departments because the drug is listed as a Special Access category B drug. Federal legislation to make the drug category A, which would have allowed doctors to complete online form and obtain instant approval, was blocked in the senate this week by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and the Nick Xenophon team. Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale said he was deeply disappointed that politicians had put the needs of terminally ill patients second to “their own political games”.  “Patients are currently waiting weeks and sometimes months for access to these treatments. This motion could have reduced that to a day or possibly hours,” Mr Di Natale said. “For some of these patients, speedy access to medicinal cannabis is the difference between being able to eat or wasting away. These changes add time, stress, and difficulty for terminally ill patients accessing medicinal cannabis.” Mr Mavor says the strictest prescription regime is in Western Australia, where a huge amount of information is demanded and approval must be sought from federal and state health departments and from the practitioner’s ethics board. He said the easiest system was in South Australia, where doctors could prescribe the drug for two months for patients at any one time and Queensland, Victoria and NSW were passable. Once prescription problems are ironed out the industry looks set to have a bright future ahead of it. David Russell, Chief Operating Officer of Creso Pharma said the first successful import of medicinal cannabis products into Australia was “a ground-breaking moment for patients and the medical industry”.  “The Australian market has been catching up with community expectations while the regulatory framework around medicinal cannabis was being developed,” Mr Russell said. “Now these products will allow patients to have the option of medicinal cannabis treatments if it is prescribed by their physician. This is particularly important given the unmet but often immediate need to access a timely medicinal cannabis supply across Australia.” To be prescribed medicinal cannabis products, patients must see a physician who is an authorised prescriber, or apply for SAS Category B prescription under the Therapeutic Goods Administration regulations. [post_title] => First medicinal cannabis imports arrive in Australia [post_excerpt] => Prescription rules hold patients up. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => first-medicinal-cannabis-imports-arrive-australia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-12 11:29:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-12 01:29:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27106 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27090 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-09 11:46:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-09 01:46:02 [post_content] =>   By Professor Gabriele Suder, University of Melbourne Democracy has won. On Sunday 7 May 2017, France elected its new President - pro-EU political outsider Emmanuel Macron defeated anti-EU, xenophobic extremist Marine Le Pen. President-elect Macron beat his far-right competition easily, with roughly 65 per cent of the vote, to become the country’s youngest president. The election of Mr Macron is bad news for populist authoritarianism – at least for the moment. The looming dangers of extremism will remain in the background of Mr Macron’s presidency, at least until the French economy moves to growth and recovery. These elections have told us much about the current state of France and tell us even more about people’s attitudes towards the future of the EU. The majority of the French electorate has expressed its belief in democracy and with it, in the European project, and have rejected Marine Le Pen’s promise to hold a referendum on exiting the EU. President-elect Mr Macron is a leader who can play a constructive role in reform of the French and EU systems, they hope. The liberal centrist, 39-year-old President-elect, founder and leader of the recently created En Marche! (On the Move) movement, proclaimed his intentions to work on “the place of our country in globalisation”, and help solve the dysfunctions of the EU so it has a more positive impact on its member states and their economies. FULFILLING ELECTION PROMISES MAY BE CHALLENGING A major challenge will be a constitutional crisis that will come from the elections of the French parliament in June. Under the current system, Mr Macron will not have a majority in the lower or upper house, which will severely constrain his capacity for reform. It is likely we could see the emergence of a coalition of the type that functions in the rather different German system, but that has not been used in the same manner in France. Also, voters have expressed great concern about the economy and security, so they will very closely watch what their new President delivers, with no excuses accepted for that systemic challenge that he will face. Mr Macron’s promises include importantly, public investments worth €50 billion spread over five years for environmental measures, apprenticeships, digital innovation and public infrastructure budget savings of €60 billion so that France respects the EU deficit limit of 3 per cent of GDP (total output), and a reduction of the French corporate tax to 25 per cent (from 33.3 per cent) to stimulate private sector activity, and much more. In addition, he plans a boost of purchasing power by cutting social security contributions. Pro-Europeanism, that is, the willingness to work with and reform the EU, will also supports business through the exceptional cross-border trade and investment conditions that the EU provides to European business. President–elect Macron also endeavours to lead reform of the EU by giving the Eurozone a separate budget, finance minister and parliamentary group of the MEPs from the 19 countries that use the Euro. In addition, his plan is to promote the creation of a 5,000-strong force of EU border guards, but to continue freedom of movement of goods and labour across the EU because it boosts cross border revenue. This will disappoint rural and former industrial area voters who want their government to retake control of France’s borders from the EU, slash immigration, and who have little interest in mobility across borders. The President–elect will need to demonstrate that his plans will deliver solutions for unemployment caused by industry automation, and demonstrate that it is not necessarily caused by free trade and economic integration. GERMAN ELECTIONS AND GEOPOLITICAL TURMOIL MAY BRING HURDLES Since last year’s Brexit vote, the remaining 27 EU member states have found a new sense of solidarity and a new impetus to analyse and discuss new models of cooperation. This will influence the Brexit negotiations and the ongoing negotiation of free trade deals, with the UK and other partners. It will also influence the stance that will be taken on Greece’s debt. We can expect that President–elect Macron will oppose any further significant financial support to Greece. The Greece issue is also one of the main differentiating factors between the two most likely candidates in the German elections of November; and thus part of the issues of how far EU interdependence should go and how immigration issues are dealt with. Centre-right Christian Democrat Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic challenger Martin Schulz, who enjoyed a steep career progress through his role at the EU, are both pro-EU so there is no doubt on that front of Germany’s future with a focus on ongoing integration. What form this will take will be the centre of discussion and their manifestos. Mr Schulz argues that austerity requirements on Greece should be relaxed and more funds may need to be granted. This is unlikely to be supported by France unless conditions change, and some discords are likely if he were to become the new Chancellor. In particular, the southern EU members are also known to be more protectionist in the internal EU negotiations. This may hinder some, though not all, reforms that the EU needs to undertake – institutional and political reforms to allow for deeper integration of all or a part of the member states, or alternatively, adjustments so that some EU competences that were given by member states to Brussels in the past years, may even get repatriated back home to reinforce national sovereignty. It may therefore also hinder President-elect Macron’s plans. Consider also the vastly unpredictable geopolitical context, here to stay for several years through the current US Presidency; Russia’s increasing expansionism; China’s moves; and tension with North Korea – and we need more than ever a strong Europe that provides a level playing field for recovery and stability. Not an easy time to start one’s presidency in a country of France’s importance, and a great responsibility. Democratic values have won, but proving the electorate made the right choice is absolutely vital. This article has been co-published with the University of Melbourne’s Election Watch This story first appeared on Melbourne University's Pursuit website.  [post_title] => The new French President's role in saving Europe [post_excerpt] => Can Macron help shore up the EU? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-french-presidents-role-saving-europe [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-09 11:46:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-09 01:46:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27090 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27086 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-09 11:31:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-09 01:31:40 [post_content] =>   By Anthony Wallace Australia and New Zealand have been named among the top nations in providing open government data. The latest results of an global open data index reveal that Australia is ranked equal first out of 94 countries. Tying equal first with Australia was the nation of Taiwan. New Zealand also had a strong result, beating the Unites States and Brazil to take out number seven on the index. The Global Open Data Index (GODI) aims to provide the most comprehensive snapshot available of the state of open government data publication. Published by The Open Knowledge Institute annually, GODI ranks how well nations publish open government data against 14 key categories. Australia scored full marks in three of the spatial categories including, “Administration Boundaries,” “National Maps,” and “Locations.” The datasets where Australia did not perform well include “Land Ownership,” “Government Spending” and “Water Quality.” Australia’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, said the GODI results confirmed the Australian Government was on track with its commitment to making data more openly available. Read more here.   This story first appeared in Spatial Source.  [post_title] => Australia leads the world in open govt data [post_excerpt] => Ties with Taiwan. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27086 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-09 11:31:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-09 01:31:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27086 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26990 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-04-28 11:36:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-28 01:36:28 [post_content] =>   By Charles Pauka To misquote Mark Twain ‘reports of the death of developments in the international trade agenda have been greatly exaggerated’ with the recent announcement that Australia has successfully concluded negotiations with New Zealand and 12 Pacific Island countries in Brisbane to implement the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus). Australia was a party to the original PACER for some time but the development of PACER Plus has taken longer than anticipated and most recently a prospective date for completion of negotiations of June 2016 did not come to fruition. However, these types of negotiations rarely run to an exact timetable and the announcement comes at a welcome time, even though the deal has been struck without Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji who had earlier withdrawn from the negotiations due to their reservations on what economic benefits would actually be delivered to them. It is not clear whether the deal would allow for PNG and Fiji to join before the final agreement is entered into. Interestingly the absence of PNG and Fiji from the deal does not appear in the press release by our Trade Minister. The specific details of the agreement have yet to be released ahead of signing in Tonga in June.  However, according to the press release from the Minister of Trade: “PACER Plus is a landmark agreement covering goods, services and investment. It will remove barriers to trade, including tariffs, increasing the flow of goods and investment in the region, generating growth, jobs and raising living standards.  This agreement will drive economic growth and raise living standards in our region.” Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport and Logistics News.  [post_title] => PACER Plus: a ray of sunshine in a gloomy trade world [post_excerpt] => PNG and Fiji's position unclear. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26990 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-28 12:16:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-28 02:16:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26990 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26984 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-28 11:24:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-28 01:24:55 [post_content] =>   Will Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce succeed in herding public servants out of Canberra?   The recent controversy surrounding the relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) away from Canberra to Armidale and the National’s push to force government departments to justify why they should remain in Canberra has helped reignite debate around regional development. So too has intensifying anxiety around house prices in Sydney and Melbourne and the rising despair of first home buyers and renters, which federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has indicated will be a cornerstone of his May Budget. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, whose New England electorate takes in Armidale, and National’s Deputy Leader Fiona Nash have led the charge to eject cadres of Canberra’s public servants into the regions, despite the APVMA relocation failing the government’s own cost-benefit analysis and being fiercely opposed by most of its workers and the National Farmers’ Federation. More than 80 per cent of APVMA staff, many of whom are highly specialised scientists, have refused to up sticks for Armidale. APVMA’s chief Kareena Arthy quit the agricultural chemicals agency one week ago for a job as Deputy Director-General of Enterprise Canberra, rather than move. But Nash and Joyce won’t let go. Ms Nash has said that regional Australians “have just as much right to a government career as Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra residents”. “The fact is most moves of government departments to the regions will save money on rent and rates. It’s also fact the vast majority of employees in government departments don’t need to visit the Minister’s office in Parliament House,” Ms Nash said. “Indeed two thirds of Australian government jobs are already outside Canberra, many of them in Melbourne and Sydney.” Sydney University Emeritus Professor Frank Stilwell, a political economist who has written widely on regional development, says targeting public sector jobs in Canberra is a furphy when Sydney and Melbourne are the most overheated. Prof Stilwell says Canberra’s creation back in the early 1900s as the nation’s independent capital city, was designed to decentralise economic activity away from Sydney and Melbourne. “It was a counter magnet for the overdevelopment of the eastern seaboard. Frankly [moving jobs out of Canberra] just doesn’t make sense to me,” he says. Creating Canberra was “socially legitimate and long-term and did not involve politicians pork barrelling for their own electorate”. The critical mass of public servants in Canberra allows for interactions between agencies, knowledge clusters and greater staff mobility. Australian National University Emeritus Professor of political science John Warhurst agrees that Canberra is the wrong target for decentralisation. “It is actually the best Australian example of decentralisation to the bush that there is. It is a bush capital. The Nationals should be proud of this national achievement rather than try to undermine it,” he wrote, in a piece for Fairfax yesterday (Thursday). “Furthermore, Canberra is still quite a small city, dependent on public service employment.” Prof Stilwell says APVMA’s relocation looks especially ill-advised since it is not backed up by the Ernst and Young cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the government and foisting the move on staff was unlikely to be popular. “It is very disruptive for anybody. Many people have already invested in homes and have kids in schools. Not that Armidale is a backwater. It’s great for education and affordable real estate prices that are much more attractive than our overstressed capital cities. “If this [move] can’t work, maybe there is something wrong with the process. Shifting around the federal public service is just not really addressing the problem.” Prof Stilwell says that what is needed is a coherent strategy backed by all three tiers of government with state government leading the way to address the overcentralisation in Sydney and Melbourne, “that’s where the action needs to be”, he says. While he won’t be drawn on which state government departments or agencies should go bush, he says he would target relatively autonomous, footloose agencies that were not linked into a political cluster where staff needed to interact. There has already been some decentralisation, such as moving the ATO to Gosford. But he says it takes political will to plan decentralise jobs and growth and this kind of co-operation and nation building has not happened since Whitlam’s national regional strategy in the 1970s, which bit the bullet after three years when Malcolm Fraser was elected. “It’s not pie in the sky, it just hasn’t happened for a long, long time in Australia. It needs to have cross-party support or it will get switched on and off when the government changes.” He says this vision has never been reinstated, other than the Building Better Cities program under the Hawke government and led by Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe. A national strategy would need to be underpinned by research to investigate long-term, sustainable policy options alongside a willingness to invest in rural and regional infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, public housing and roads. “State governments have to be the leading agencies but they’re not going to do it unless there’s a national plan because otherwise they are in competition with each other.” The government should also focus on enticing private businesses to the regions, not just the public sector. For example by offering preferential payroll tax rates, developing industrial parks, building public housing and other infrastructure such as fast rail links between state capitals, with stops on the way to develop two or three regional centres in each state. “It’s a complex process. They just need time to get everyone used to the idea, get everyone committed so that eventually it develops its own inevitable momentum. While it’s a [political] football and controversial it’s not going to tick any of the boxes of economic viability,” Prof Stilwell says. Regional development has received further attention with the transplantation of the UK City Deals program to Australia, where capital investment is funnelled into particular regions around cities with targets for infrastructure and growth. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull known to be a fan of the project and early Australian cities deals have already been signed for Townsville, Launceston and Western Sydney. Regional development must be addressed because the consequences of not pursuing it are high: unequal distribution of jobs, wealth and growth and loss of social connection in regional areas on the one hand; congestion, inflated house prices and environmental degradation for city dwellers on the other. “It’s a win-win, when it is done well,” Prof Stilwell adds. The Productivity Commission’s initial report Transitioning Regional Economies says that regional development should be pursued in the light of the end of the mining boom, the slow growth of agriculture jobs due to technology and rising productivity and manufacturing sector shrinkage to make regional areas and their people more resilient. [post_title] => Target Sydney and Melbourne public sector jobs, not Canberra [post_excerpt] => APVMA debate rages on. 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By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier   Hoteliers and the wider hospitality industry are on edge, as they await more details in regards to the Federal Government’s 457 visa replacement. Yesterday (Tuesday), Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the scrapping of the 457 visa program, stating: “We are ensuring that Australian jobs and Australian values are first, placed first. During the press conference, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, announced that 457 visa will be replaced with two alternate visas, that do not foster as much agency for permanent residency. “What we propose is that under the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa short-term stream there will be a two-year visa, with the options of two-years, but there would not be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that. “In relation to the medium-term stream, which as the Prime Minister pointed out, is targeted at higher skills, a much shorter skills list, that will be for a period of four years, can be applied for onshore or offshore, and it's a significant tightening of the way in which that programme operates. According to the Department of Immigration, in 2014 cooks represented the third-largest usage of the 457 visa, after software/application programmers and general practitioners and residential medical officers. The AHA has called on the Government to ensure that the needs of the hospitality industry are met within the new visa program. “The hospitality industry is growing at unprecedented rates at the present and the demand for skilled labour is at all-time highs with this complete transformation of Australia’s hotel industry,” said AHA CEO, Stephen Ferguson. Indeed, the Government’s own Australian Tourism Labour Force Report estimated that the tourism and hospitality sector will require an additional 123,000 workers by 2020, including 60,000 skilled positions. “Australia’s hospitality sector has responded with a wide range of training and career development programs, but with such a rapid increase in tourism it is impossible to meet the demand for skilled labour in the short-term through local channels, especially in regional and remote Australia.” With the exact details of the new Temporary Short- and Medium-Term Visa programs, yet to be revealed, most hoteliers are withholding judgment at this stage, but a few were wary of the additional strain the scrapping of the 457 visa would place on finding kitchen staff. “I am still waiting to hear the finer detail about the announcement from Turnbull so as to fully understand the implications of this for the hospitality sector. But on face value, it does not seem to be founded in a sound consideration of the facts attributable to the current skills shortages being experienced in the hospitality sector,” opined Christian Denny, licensee of Hotel Harry and The Dolphin. For Angela Gallagher, group general manager of Gallagher Hotels, the replacement of the 457 visa program will create another hurdle in finding quality staff. Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout. 
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  By Paul Shetler This blog first appeared on paulshetler.com   When any service can be virtualised, or held to the standards of the best digital companies, then it doesn’t make sense for companies to think of ‘digital’ and ‘the business’ as two separate things: digital is the business.
Keeping digital separate means putting the rest of the business on a path towards decline.
It’s easy for organisations in Australia to be complacent about their future – especially when they’ve reached a level of size and success that allows them to become bureaucratised. Sandy Plunkett belled the cat back in 2014 in her piece Board to death: Our fat, dumb corporations are clueless on innovationSadly, at the time, few appeared to be listening. Too many organisations dismiss the cautionary tales and are only now beginning to respond to digital change, if at all. “Evolution not revolution” appears to be the preferred strategy. Organisations ignore the disruption in entire industries like retail (Amazon), travel (Expedia), hospitality (Airbnb) or in businesses like Kodak or Blockbuster. For many Australians, changes to the economies in the USA and the UK are things that happened ‘over there’ with limited impact on our economy. In fact, Australian consumers have been beneficiaries of the change. In the USA, UK, Israel, China, Estonia, Singapore and other digital economies, organisations are embracing the new economics of IT. There is a realisation that the old strategies that organisations relied on – outsourcing, heavy governance, incremental evolution towards digital – will not help them be competitive. Organisations in these economies understand they need to embrace radical transformation if they want to survive and thrive in the digital era. In Australia, there remains a belief that there is still time, that we can take a decade to manage change, that digital offerings are not going to have an impact on our businesses. Too many of our largest institutions remain in denial. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Australian retail sector is about to see first hand the devastation that Amazon can have on its industry. Take for instance the impact that online shopping has had on traditional retail in the USA. Recently, it was reported that: “Macy’s has already said that it’s planning to close 100 stores, or about 15% of its fleet, in 2017. Sears is shuttering at least 30 Sears and Kmart stores by April, and additional closures are expected to be announced soon. CVS [a shopping centre owner] also said this month that it’s planning to shut down 70 locations. Mall stores like Aeropostale, which filed for bankruptcy in May, American Eagle, Chicos, Finish Line, Men’s Wearhouse, and The Children’s Place are also in the midst of multi-year plans to close stores.” More.

EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED

The rise of the digital economy isn’t new, it’s been happening for a while. The economics of IT have fundamentally changed. Take storage costs. In 1980, it cost $438,000 to store a GB of data; in 2000, it cost $11; in 2012, it cost $0.10. Now, you can have your first 15 GB of data stored free on Google Drive. This is the result of a virtuous cycle of cloud computing. Network effects established early leaders, who invested billions in capital that drastically drove down per unit storage and compute costs. This encouraged more users to consume the cloud leading to more investment by the early leaders. Now, there are really only three players, of which Amazon Web Services is dominant, with Google and Microsoft in close pursuit. It is highly unlikely that any other competitors will replicate the success of the early entrants who made the most of network effects with fast and massive continuous investment. The new economics of IT has radical implications for how organisations should think about their business. Every company is becoming a software company. We used to think some industries were not under threat, but look at what’s happened in transport (Uber), storage and compute (Cloud), media (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Breitbart), payments (PayPal), car share (goGet), publishing (Kindle), music (Spotify and iTunes), education (Moocs and Khan Academy) and recruitment (LinkedIn) – all of these industries have been impacted by hyper digital competition. Users are demanding more products and services that can be consumed online, anytime. Even businesses with digital offerings are finding they have to continually improve their services to keep competitors at bay. Amazon now has Prime, Fresh and Go. Google is buying, developing, refining and retiring offerings to remain relevant. Everyone is on the same network for the first time in history This means that everyone has access to all available products. Every market is now global. This allows for both rapid growth and scale-up as a result of network effects and the fulfilment of niche user needs which has resulted in the growth of internet subcultures and patterns of consumption. You only need to look at Tumblr4chan and YouTube to see the growth of niche subcultures online. Think of Vaporwave as a music genre - it only exists on the internet. The same holds true for blogging, where there are specialised blogs that can reach big audiences because the entire addressable market is global – with this trend being exploited by LinkedIn and Medium. Competition is growing as the barriers to entry fall Cheap cloud computing has flattened barriers to entry, allowing new competitors to challenge incumbents. It’s also opened the door to global digital companies, who no longer obey geographic boundaries: they rapidly acquire market share in new countries. That means for instance, Australian retailers are competing against efficient and low cost providers. Amazon is able to track and respond to demand shifts quickly, because of the data it collects – with extremely efficient processes for payments and delivery. This is competition the likes of which local retailers have never dealt with before. The threat posed by new competitors is even more acute because of the nature of platform economics: the first digital movers – think eBay, Amazon and Uber – have set up rapidly scalable platforms that allowed them to grab huge market share. Companies that wait too long are now being left behind or, worse, are locked out. Soon, analysts will measure the value of a company's share price based on the size, scale and pace of their digital transformation programs and boards will be scrutinised for their success in overseeing radical transformation. The smarter analysts will also be examining the type of investment in digital and quizzing CEOs on the scope, speed and outcomes of their transformation efforts. We’re shifting from CAPEX to OPEX Twenty years ago, when you needed to spend enormous amounts on licences and physical computers just to get started, it made sense to have heavy governance and lengthy contracts with specialised vendors. Today, you can avoid paying for licenses altogether if you elect to use open source software. Startups no longer need physical servers, physical firewalls, physical routers, database management system licences, operating system licences – they don’t need to buy any of the software or the hardware required to run their business. They pay by consumption. This is a radical shift that has levelled the playing field and made it easier for new competitors to enter markets. Institutions can take advantage of the same opportunities. They can begin to act like the very startups trying to disrupt them. They can run experiments, they can do things quickly, they don’t have to go through long CAPEX cycles. Today, they can go onto AWS and quickly experiment to test their ideas. They don’t have to wait for the boxes to arrive before starting, significantly reducing cycle times and cost. Consider the opportunities for large employers who were paying millions for Solaris, Oracle RDMBS, WebSphere, Oracle SOA Suite, Microsoft Windows servers, SQL servers, BizTalk servers, not to mention the physical servers, routers and firewalls. These days, you might lose your job if you do buy proprietary software, or spend money on physical servers and the facilities to host them. With the change to procurement, existing governance structures suited to the age of CAPEX also need to be upgraded.
The low cost of computing means companies can afford to use a credit card to buy services. This provides the single greatest opportunity for established businesses of any size to streamline procurement processes and access the service offerings of lower cost competitors.
The pace of change is fast – and getting faster The low cost of IT is encouraging experimentation and rapid learning. That means the rate of automation is intensifying. It’s not just Amazon that’s rapidly increasing its robot workforcefrom 1,000 to 45,000 units in three years. Machine learning and mechanised processes are playing a greater role in white-collar professions like law and accounting. Consumers consistently demonstrate they want cheap and reliable services, and don’t have much interest in engaging with their advisers, with offshoring customer enquiries to call centres being superseded by cognitive interfaces and voice command. The economics of IT have changed Business processes and products need to change with the new economicsDigital transformation means:
  • Responding in real time to consumer needs, not waiting six months for the next release cycle
  • Expanding the market for a product to everyone with a network address, not just people in geographic proximity to shopfronts
  • Applying cheap modern technology to build great products, not relying on ancient legacy systems
  • Reducing risk as teams experiment with products to see what works, rather than aiming for perfection at the end of a project, before finding out users don’t want what’s been delivered
  • Delivering faster, simpler, better products that meet user needs and create increased profitability.

COPING MECHANISMS AREN'T ENOUGH

Organisations are gradually coming to realise this is a new industrial revolution. It is not a phase. It doesn’t require change management. It does require fundamental and radical change, quickly. A Sloan Management Review survey found that 90% of executives anticipate their industry will be digitally disrupted to either a great or moderate extent. But taking action is much harder; in the same study, only 44% of executives thought their company’s preparation for disruption was adequate. Lord Francis Maude, who drove the transformation of government services in the UK between 2010-2015 recently reflected: “... I was sadly disillusioned by the extent of sheer inertia and obstruction, often passive but sometimes active obstruction in the civil service. The worst thing is when civil servants don’t give advice, saying ‘minister, this is a really stupid thing to do’ and rather go along with it but then don’t do it. That is just intolerable and there was far too much of that. So for me it was a disillusioning experience.” The old strategies for outsourcing, governance, procurement and IT, that organisations think are helping them are in fact often holding them back to the detriment of their shareholders, customers, suppliers and most significantly, to their employees. Applying the old model of outsourcing to the new economics of IT won’t suffice Outsourcing to large vendors made sense in the age of CAPEX, when it was expensive to experiment with IT. Now that organisations are competing against firms iterating thousands of times a day, it doesn’t make sense to wait six months for every release cycle, or to put up with exorbitant fees for changes in scope. Even so, too many organisations still apply the old model of outsourcing to the new economics of IT. This outdated strategy creates an opportunity for new entrants to grab market share from industry leaders. As Jeff Bezos famously observed “your margin is my opportunity”. Companies are being held hostage to the Triangle of Despair I’ve written before about how any bureaucracy holds back digital transformation. When I worked to fix government services in the UK, we used to call it the ‘Triangle of Despair’:
  • inappropriate procurement practices that made it impossible to change course
  • heavy governance from the era of CAPEX, even when dealing with the novel, user-facing problems that suit Agile
  • using ancient, proprietary IT systems with far too much manual processing.
Each of these problems feeds off a deskilled workforce that encourages a company to rely on vendors and apply heavy governance to manage risk, rather than building in-house capacity and trusting in their ability to deliver. Transforming a company today means re-skilling every layer, from the boardroom to the call centre. Organisations think they still have time to move Just last month, Myer’s CEO said that he was confident the company was already well-placed to compete with Amazon. That’s the same thing Macy’s CEO was saying last year, before the company was forced to close 100 stores and cut over 10,000 jobs. We’ve already seen digital disruption in the media industry, with Fairfax announcing another $30 million worth of cost cutting just this week. The pace of change is slower in highly-regulated industries like financial services, but we can already see FinTech start-ups undermining incumbents’ margins. Insurers are said to be preparing for a radical reduction of their advisor network. The world’s equity crowdfunding market is doubling in size every year, and continues to be dominated by start-ups. Consumer financial services are now ranked by executives as the third most likely sector to experience significant disruption in the near future. These startups may not kill off the banks but they’ll focus on the most profitable parts of the business, and leave behind those lines that are unprofitable for the incumbents to manage. While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims in the AFR recently challenged the pace of change in Fintech, Jost Stollman at Tyro made it clear where he thought the challenges lay and more importantly what the future might hold if the industry doesn’t transform itself: “One day we might not be talking about the Big Four but AT&T Financial Services and Alibaba owning banking services in Australia.” Take a moment to consider that the existing financial institutions employ over 420,000 Australians and may be left with the least profitable parts of their current business having moved too slowly to protect their interest from digital competitors to new platforms. Financial institutions that have twigged to the opportunities have moved quickly. Take for instance JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Both institutions are applying digital solutions to transform themselves. They’re becoming different businesses, they’re changing their workforces and their offering: “At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours. The program, called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, does the mind-numbing job of interpreting commercial-loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 hours of work each year by lawyers and loan officers. The software reviews documents in seconds, is less error-prone and never asks for vacation.” More. Goldman Sachs has built an enormous data lake and is applying machine learning to it, with plans to make that information available via APIs: “Historically, the API has been human beings talking to other human beings over the telephone, and all the tools, the content, the analytics, is on the internal platform only. We are shifting this radically and shifting this fast, and we’re packaging everything we do, and actually, we’re redesigning the whole company, around APIs,” he said.” More. What transformation requires If companies are to survive, they need to accept the fact that they are now a software company: that they must own and deliver their digital services, and take full responsibility for their digital offerings. To do that, they’ll need to take three steps. 1/ Re-design their internal structure - It doesn’t make sense to split services between a Chief Digital Officer responsible for the front-end and a Chief Information Officer working on the back-end. Great services rely on a front-office and back-office that work together. Both functions should fall underneath a Chief Digital and Information Officer with responsibility for digital service delivery, while highly commoditised systems like ERPs are handled by shared services centres. Switching to digital also means thinking about the aptitudes and skills of a digital workforce. In Simon Wardley’s parlance Pioneers who are comfortable with Lean and Agile methodologies shouldn’t be allocated tasks involving absolute stability like processing platforms; they need to work on novel, user-facing problems where experimentation and rapid learning is essential. Settlers with the skills to turn MVPs into broader-based products should be encouraged to steal the things Pioneers build, and industrialise them. Town planners skilled in scaling up and perfecting products should be tasked with commoditising existing services. That creates a conveyor built to move products from ideation through to platformization. 2/ Tackle the Triangle of Despair of inappropriate procurement, heavy governance, and broken IT - Procurement should be fast and unbundled, so that companies can reduce costs and access innovative solutions from startups and SMEs; that’s the reason why government agencies are flocking to Australia’s Digital Marketplace and the UK’s G-Cloud. Governance of agile developments don’t involve heavy business cases, which stop teams from changing course based on what they’ve learned; organisations should trust the internal governance built into regular experimentation with users. Legacy systems that leave employees waiting for external systems integrators to give them access to their own data should be retired, in favour of state-of-the-art modern technology they can adapt themselves. Tackling the Triangle of Despair also means solving the deskilling of the workforce on which it feeds. You can’t improve digital capability in a hothouse like an Innovation Lab, and then expect the business to change around it. The small number of employees who get introduced to modern ways of working become frustrated with the bureaucracy around them, and head elsewhere. Instead, there needs to be digital training at every level of the organisation. That includes in the executive suite.
The people running a software company need to know about the software market they are competing within.
3/ Demonstrate political will - Transformation can be painful, especially for people in an organisation’s legacy areas. Too often, that’s an excuse for digital leaders to pull back and create the theatre of transformation – halfway-house solutions they hope will be enough. A range of these is described in my earlier postTransformation requires the political will to see these solutions for what they are: a pretence of digital, that will leave the whole organisation vulnerable to disruption. Instead, leaders need to articulate the need for transformation, and understand that it requires sustained and decisive action, rather than incremental transition. It requires change, not change management. The alternative is to watch the decline of their organisations and plan the transition of workers onto the unemployment queue.

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT

Australian organisations are unaccustomed to crisis or intense competition. Twenty-six consecutive years of GDP growth have allowed many Australian companies to prosper; but this has also meant that the current generation of Australia’s business leadership has never had to deal with widespread adversity or a serious challenge. Something they have in common with many ‘smashed avocado’ eating millennials. The leaders of the economy's oldest, largest organisations - the brownfields - where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by hazardous legacy IT/culture - cannot compete with greenfield startups by doing the same thing they’ve always done. And it’s not just Silicon Valley we need to worry about. A rising digital China has 800m users, it spends $369bn on research and development each year and only last year filed 1.3 million patent applications. Its universities are graduating over 600,000 engineers. How do Australian companies survive when faced with this level of competition? Waiting any longer to embrace the change driven by the digital economy and its impact means exposing Australia's leading employers to the great risk of being unable to compete. In time, it will mean putting an organisation on a Receiver’s watch list. Organisations that want to survive and thrive in the digital age need to embrace the changed economics of IT and take decisive, sustained action to transform themselves immediately. This means redesigning their internal structure, tackling the Triangle of Despair, and having the political will to transform themselves, even where it’s painful. Only by taking these steps now can an organisation hope to have a future. ............................ Paul Shetler is an adviser to governments and organisations around the world who are transforming their business. He is a speaker on digital transformation and organisational change. Paul was the CEO of the Digital Transformation Office and the Chief Digital Officer of the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency. You can follow Paul on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @paul_shetler and stay in touch with his work at paulshetler.com
 
[post_title] => Paul Shetler on the new industrial revolution: Digital disruption [post_excerpt] => Transformation not transition, argues Shetler. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => paul-shetler-new-industrial-revolution-digital-disruption [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-12 16:00:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-12 06:00:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26887 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26741 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-03 17:31:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-03 07:31:44 [post_content] =>       More research needs to be done to reveal whether going into the public sector for altruistic reasons can lead to extra pressure, stress and eventual burn out, or whether it actually increases job satisfaction and productivity, says a recent academic paper. Researchers from Federation University and Newcastle University interviewed 455 local council workers in Victoria to find out their levels of public sector motivation (PSM) and whether this affected their levels of job satisfaction negatively or positively.  Although there is not one concrete definition, PSM has been loosely defined as wanting to contribute to society/community and to the public policy process and it is often considered to go hand in hand with commitment, compassion and self-sacrifice, an attitude seen as different to the prevailing in the private sector.  In the past, theorists have tended to focus on the positive side of PSM and its possible role in enhancing performance, reducing absenteeism and boosting staff retention. There is also an argument that high levels of PSM make employees more concerned about public service and duty and relatively less concerned about higher pay and shorter working hours.  But the report, Testing an International Measure of Public Service Motivation: Is There Really a Bright or Dark Side? says attention is now being increasingly paid to the ‘dark side’ of PSM and its possible effects, including burnout, which can be characterised by diminished interest, cynicism, or de-personalisation at work.  “High levels of PSM have, for example, been linked to lower job satisfaction due to frustrations with red tape, as well as increased pressure and stress, which in turn may result in employee burnout,” said the report.  “Indeed, motivation to serve the community through public service work may result in negative effects where employees self-sacrifice to a level that it depletes their well-being.”  So PSM can variously act as protection from burnout but too much of it could hasten exhaustion, “PSM may also possess a dark side. The notion of public service has taken on even greater importance in today’s customer-oriented public sector with ever increasing demands for quicker response time.”  However, researchers from Federation University and the University of Newcastle said they were unable to find any meaningful connection between PSM, job satisfaction and behaviour but add: “This may suggest an opportunity for public sector managers to leverage PSM to harness the beneficial outcomes commonly associated with PSM.” Why does it matter?  Well, if PSM is found to have a positive influence on behaviour and cause people to work harder, not ring in sick and refrain from jumping ship then nurturing it becomes of the utmost importance. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The report says: “For example, the level of PSM among employees can be increased through a variety of mechanisms such as attraction, selection, design of job packages and also managers can do more to avoid PSM being crowded out by the use of incentives and command systems.  “Further, transformational leadership can be used by managers in organisations without severe value conflicts to increase individual levels of PSM, which in turn should increase performance. This may be achieved through socialisation, greater mission valance as well as via managers and supervisors and through communication style (Waterhouse et al. 2014).”  Conversely, if high levels of PSM leave an employee more vulnerable to stress, emotional exhaustion and burnout, particularly when combined with budget cuts, bureaucracy and pressure to work more quickly, then aversive action should be taken.  Such conditions can also turn people off working in the sector. A recent Government News story explored how Gen Y’s are avoiding local government as a career. an public sector workers in Victoria,” and says this could be because public sector conditions are generally good in Australia.  This is contrasted with China, where government workers described inferior conditions to the private sector, and those with higher PSM reported higher mental well-being but lower physical well-being than those with lower PSM.  Researchers suggest replicating the study in other states and across all three tiers of government with a larger sample and carrying out in-depth interviews with public servants to find out what being public sector motivated means to them.  “Therefore, to create understanding and better outcomes for deliverers and users of public services, we advocate broader investigation into the bright and dark sides of PSM and factors that can moderate and mediate such relationships.”  The study was published in the Australian Journal of Public Administration and written by Julie Rayner and Vaughan Reimers from the Federation University and Chih-Wei (Fred) Chao from Newcastle University. [post_title] => Public sector motivation: Have we turned to the dark side? [post_excerpt] => Burnout or crash through. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26741 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-04 11:03:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-04 01:03:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26741 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27315 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-06 11:19:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:19:37 [post_content] =>   Governments must consider ways to manage the transition to driverless trucks in order to avoid potential social disruption from job losses, according to a new report published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) with three partner organisations. Self-driving trucks will help save costs, lower emissions, and make roads safer. They could also address the shortage of professional drivers faced by road transport industry, the study says. But automated trucks could reduce the demand for drivers by 50-70% in the US and Europe by 2030, with up to 4.4 million of the projected 6.4 million professional trucking jobs becoming redundant, according to one scenario. Even if the rise of driverless trucks dissuades newcomers from trucking, over 2 million drivers in the US and Europe could be directly displaced, according to scenarios examined for the report. The report makes four recommendations to help manage the transition to driverless road freight:
  • Establish a transition advisory board to advise on labour issues.
  • Consider a temporary permit system to manage the speed of adoption.
  • Set international standards, road rules and vehicle regulations for self-driving trucks.
  • Continue pilot projects with driverless trucks to test vehicles, network technology and communications protocols.
These recommendations were agreed jointly by organisations representing truck manufacturers, truck operators and transport workers’ unions, under the auspices of an intergovernmental organisation. This broad coalition of stakeholders lends the call to action particular weight. Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport and Logistics and News.  [post_title] => Governments must manage transition to driverless trucks and job losses [post_excerpt] => The human side of driverless trucks. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27315 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-06 11:19:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:19:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27315 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 91 [max_num_pages] => 7 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 1ae47e57bfeb145699426cf75b0f43af [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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