TUANZ calls for a national digital architecture

Telecom is laying off a large percentage of its workforce and as awful as that is for those involved, the company needs to do this to become competitive in the marketplace.

We have the government investing over a billion dollars in the fibre network and a couple of hundred million in rural broadband, matched and exceeded by the industry’s own spend in the area, yet we don’t have any way of articulating just what that will do to the economy of New Zealand as a whole.

We have research which suggests that ICT will overtake tourism in terms of share of the GDP in the near future, yet we’re also told that only 30% of businesses have a website and a large percentage of business owners don’t see the benefits of digitising their companies.

We have some schools making tremendous use of technology in classrooms and other schools where parents lobby to ensure they don’t have to buy iPads for their kids.

We have politicians who still don’t understand the basics of how the internet works and who treat it as some kind of bargaining chip in negotiations with the US over trade access when ICT could become as large and as important to the New Zealand economy as dairying or dead animals.

If New Zealand is to take its place in the global digital economy we need to consider the ICT industry, the investment in infrastructure and in education and how we tie it all together, otherwise we will struggle to keep our heads up. We need to pull in the same direction and that takes coordination, it takes a strategy. It calls for a plan.

In 2008 TUANZ called for a national digital architecture to be formed, providing some kind of cohesion and coordination for the country as a whole and the time has come to revisit the issue. We need a plan to ensure we take advantage of the skills and experience we have, to invest in the areas that will provide a return and will provide growth in the economy. ICT is clearly the rising star, but we have to do more than pay lip service to it.

What would you like to see in such a plan?

3 replies
  1. Scott Groombridge
    Scott Groombridge says:

    An industry body that governs practice – like charted accountants or registered engineers
    An industry level generic qualification
    Buy in from business managers that they are a big part of this solution
    Buy in from business owners that they are a bigger part of this solution

  2. Sim Ahmed
    Sim Ahmed says:

    Attitudinal change from government is needed. Technology as a business has to mean something to the people in charge and at the moment it looks like it does to very few in parliament.

    This might mean more work done in agritech and with farmers to use that constituency more effectively. From there it can expand. Marrying our two major exports dairy and technology, will help stem our third – the export of talent.


    • Paul Brislen
      Paul Brislen says:

      Absolutely right. The benefits to the economy as a whole are tremendous and apply right across the board. We need to digitise our workforce, figure out where the right investments are, provide a strong education platform for future employment, build the infrastructure to support it… Lots to do.


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