IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

There’s a cost to not innovating and the public sector risks paying full price

By Contributor
Wed 9 Jan 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Rimini Street general manager APAC, Andrew Powell.

The public sector, by necessity, has always been constrained when it comes to spending on innovation. Budgets are often tighter and even if they’re not, the public purse is under constant scrutiny from taxpayers and citizens.

Regardless, most organisations are moving towards some form of digitisation, and government agencies need to keep pace with the rate of innovation for the sake of taxpayers – and there is a significant downside risk to not innovating.

Rimini Street recently commissioned research from Vanson Bourne into “The State of IT Innovation” which surveyed decision makers across the globe, including in Australia and New Zealand and across both the private and public sector. It found that, on average, all respondents wanted to increase their innovation spend by 15.89 per cent but their organisations planned an increase of 10.94 per cent.

But diving deeper into the findings, public sector respondents wanted an increase of 14.38 per cent, yet their organisations planned to increase it by just 8.52 per cent.

Further, the Vanson Bourne research found that organisations – both public and private – in the A/NZ region plan to spend the second-least amount on IT innovation in the next 12 months, beating only Israel in surveyed regions across the globe. Further, A/NZ organisations plan to increase their IT innovation spend by just 6.31 per cent in the 12 months following the survey, well below the global average of 10.94 per cent.

There may be reasons for public sector agencies in particular to be somewhat reluctant with IT innovation spend, such as recent headline-grabbing IT issues: for instance, My Health Record has come under fire from a sceptical public due to concerns around privacy and data security.

But these headlines should not deter agencies from innovation, because the pros to upgrading and innovating far outweigh the cons, perceived or otherwise.

Let’s take cybersecurity as a prime example. In 2017 alone, cybercriminals shut down millions of computers across the globe through the WannaCry and Petya cyberattacks, taking down the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and Ukraine’s electricity networks in the process.

These attacks are only going to continue in some form or another, that’s why the Australian Government continues to invest in its Australian Cyber Security Centre, with a new office recently opened and a new threat and advice website created. There is a tangible benefit to being able to respond to cyber threats, but also a benefit to providing constituents with the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing their government is investing in the issue.

Or what about improving our grids? With energy availability now firmly on the Federal agenda, agencies need to find ways to address the need for energy availability – and it’s hard to do so without spending on innovation. South Australia’s proposed $100 million battery scheme, in which the government will subsidise the cost of buying a home energy storage system for up to 40,000 South Australian households, is a prime example of a government thinking forward and investing in the future to deliver an outcome for its constituents.

There are countless examples of Australian government agencies innovating successfully: The Australian Tax Office’s Single Touch Payroll reporting system promises to streamline reporting for companies and taxpayers across the country, and Australia Post’s SMS alerts system is arguably among the best services within parcel delivery anywhere in the world, ahead of many private sector services.

You might ask what the risk is in delaying innovation spend until solutions are well-established – but innovation is moving at a frenetic pace and no agency can afford to be seen as archaic. Further, there is real risk in not keeping up.

In 2016, the world was stunned to learn that the nuclear program in the U.S. was still being run on floppy disks. And one of the chief reasons hackers were able to exploit the NHS in the United Kingdom was because the service was still running the vulnerability-heavy Windows XP in 2017.

So how can agencies, which must always be conscious of how the public purse is used, find the budget to spend on innovation?

They could start by finding ways to do more than spending to keep the lights on – an issue the private and public sector share. The Vanson Bourne research revealed that 89 per cent of organisations across the globe agree they should spend more on innovation, but 77 per cent believe they are spending too much just on keeping their systems up and running.

Government organisations should start there. They need to find ways to minimise the costs of upgrades, support and maintenance among other operational expenditures, and ensure the public purse is spent instead on driving their agenda forward and delivering outcomes.

Additionally, the A/NZ region is an outlier from the rest of the world in understanding the true benefits of innovation spend – and that, too, can be a hindrance to getting initiatives off the ground in the first place.

In a world which is adapting to a digital way of doing business, just 36 per cent of A/NZ respondents believe it will lead to greater competitiveness. The rest of the world is much more positive, at 45 per cent.

There is no easy fix, particularly when it comes to not only spending the public dollar but justifying that spend.

But agencies would go a long way towards doing so by finding cost efficiencies within their systems where possible, and better educating taxpayers on the benefits of innovative new services and ensuring no stone is left unturned in getting the best version of that service ready to go.

Innovation is moving at what seems like an impossible pace to keep up with – but the public sector cannot afford to fall too far behind on delivering better services and outcomes for taxpayers.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
Story image
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Wasabi Technologies
Wasabi opens new cloud storage in Australia with Equinix
Wasabi Technologies has opened a new hot cloud storage region in Sydney, Australia, using Equinix services. This is the company's 12th global storage region.
Story image
Decision Inc. Australia enters partnership with Alteryx
Independent data and analytics consultancy Decision Inc. Australia has partnered with automated analytics company Alteryx, expanding its offering to clients.
Story image
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Telstra, Google and Accenture launch 5G AR experience for AFL
Telstra, Google and Accenture are developing a new 5G powered augmented reality (AR) experience at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for the footy season.
Story image
Public Cloud
Cloud adoption still a work in progress, NetApp finds
NetApp has announced the results of the annual Cloud Infrastructure Report based on a survey of public cloud business and IT decision makers.
Story image
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Fortinet's Security Fabric hits new record for integrations
The Fortinet Security Fabric has surpassed 500 technology integrations with more than 300 Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance Partners.
Story image
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
SmartCIC, BICS partner to expand wireless service options
SmarCIC has partnered with BICS to increase choice for organisations using fixed wireless services, expanding existing carrier relationships for its CELLSMART division.
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Story image
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Atturra partners with Focus HQ to support Aus organisations
Atturra has executed a partnership agreement with Focus HQ, to resell and support the company's Australian developed SaaS-based portfolio management platform.
Story image
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital delivers 5G to the cinemas
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital say they've launched Australia's fastest and most secure delivery of content over 5G for cinemas.
Story image
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Voxel hits total funding of $18M following ongoing wins
Since raising its seed round in September, Voxel has grown at pace, by decreasing on-site injuries by upwards of 80% and increasing operational productivity.
Story image
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
Siemens showcases new automated solutions for data centers
Siemens has implemented new automated solutions and AI in the Baltic region's largest data center, providing insight into the future of data center management.