Digital Innovation Forum

Digital Innovation Forum


– Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman, (audience conversing) Good afternoon. My name is Roy Green, I’m the Dean of the UTS Business School, and it’s a great pleasure
to welcome you all here to the new home of our business school, the Doctor Chau Chak Wing Building, designed by Frank Gehry, his first building in
the southern hemisphere, possibly his last, he is
after all 86 years old. Before I continue, on
behalf of all present, I wish to acknowledge
the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cadigal and Guringai
people of the Eora nation, it is upon their ancestral
lands that UTS stands. I also pay respect to their
elders past and present, acknowledging them as the
traditional custodians of knowledge for this place. So it’s a great delight to see so many friends
and colleagues here today, for the Digital Innovation Forum. And we’re very pleased
to be hosting this event, with the Minister for Communications, the Honorable Malcolm Turnbull, and the Parliamentary
Secretary for Communications, Paul Fletcher, and members
of our distinguished panel, Vivek Kundra from Salesforce,
Kate McKenzie from Telstra, Sahil Merchant for McKinsey,
David Curran from Westpac. Before proceedings get under way, I just have to do a bit of housekeeping, so please bear with me. In the case of an emergency,
please leave the room via the closest exit beyond you or here at the front of the room, and follow the direction of UTS security. This event is being
photographed and recorded. Content may be used in printed
publications and online. If you have any concerns
about your image being used for these purposes,
please speak to an usher. The recording from today will be available from the department’s website soon after the event has concluded. The hashtag for the event
is #digitalinnovationau, so please Tweet during the event today and include this hashtag. Towards the end of the event, there is an opportunity for
questions from the audience, and we will be using the table microphones that you see in front of you. To ask a question, please
press and hold down the small button on the microphone base while you are talking. You’ll see a red light on the microphone to indicate that it’s on. So, turning to my introduction now to our major speaker, the Minister. It’s in the digital economy, it’s not about running business as usual. It’s about imagining the future. And as we know, the future
is difficult to get to, it’s very precarious. It means convincing those
who fear that they will lose and encouraging and identifying those perhaps most who will
gain but remain silent because they don’t realize it yet, that’s Machiavelli of course. And we have a minister
with us who is very adept at making such a case about the future, who engages with the public. And it is of course important to remember the words of
Jeffrey Garten in this context, the former adviser to President Clinton, who said, “Vision without
execution is hallucination.” And the future vision that Malcolm represents is also represented in
microcosm here at UTS, and in the precinct around us, which is an extraordinary vibrant precinct of creative digital activity. Some of you may have seen
the Startup Muster Survey from the ABS indicating that we have three times the density of
entrepreneurial startups here, compared with the next
ranked postcode in Australia. And much of this activity
is technological, but it is also features
non-technological innovation around business model transformation, around systems integration,
around design thinking. And we’ve formed a company
that will be the network broker together with UTS and Microsoft and PwC, Telstra and many other organizations, who contribute to this vision
here, called Intersection. And the building that we’re
in exemplifies the ethos of this emerging creative
precinct for Australia. We’re in the post-mining boom era and we are looking for new sources of growth and value creation. And those are sources which will be found in the skills and
knowledge of the graduates that we produce here. Skills that include boundary crossing, skills such as design
thinking, communication, creative problem solving, as
well as specialized skills. The students that come
from here are the students who will shape their own destiny, and they will shape ours. And digital transformation is a very, very important part of it. And with that, I’d like
to welcome the minister to give his opening remarks, thank you. (audience applauds) – Well, thank you very much, Roy. And isn’t it wonderful to be in this amazing feat of imagination, this extraordinary building here at UTS. My friends, we are in
the most exciting time in human history. There has never been a time that is more disruptive, more subversive, more exciting, than what
we have at the moment. The pace of change is unprecedented, and it is all driven
by digital technology. And we have an abundance of technology. There is no shortage of technology. What is often missing, and particularly missing
in large organizations, often missing in government, hence the Digital Transformation Office, is the imagination, the
attitude, the culture, that enables you to think laterally and think creatively and be
prepared to say everyday, the way we did things yesterday may not necessarily be the way we will do them tomorrow. Just as technology is
reinventing our world, so we have to reinvent our organizations, reinvent the way we
deal with our customers. Now the critical focus of the Digital Transformation Office is customer centricity. What we need always to do in our work, as a government serving the people, or as our friend Kevin Rudd would say, “Wèi rénmín fúwù,” serving the people, what we have to do (chuckles). There’s always a few people that can understand my Chinese here, but what we have to do is
focus on that customer. You know for too long, businesses, banks, telcos, big
organizations, governments have been focused on themselves, you know how do we make
life easier for us, how do we save cost for
us, instead of saying, as you would do in a
competitive commercial business, “How can I meet the customer’s needs?” Because obviously, if you don’t
meet the customer’s needs, you’re going to be out of business, because someone else will meet them. And it’s that kind of culture that we want to now imbue the federal government services with right across the board, and the Digital Transformation Office, that is already up and running within the Department of Communications. Acting Director David Hazlehurst is there, he’s been doing an incredible job, sitting next to Drew Clarke, the secretary of the department. What they’re doing is focusing on ensuring that citizens
who engage with government can do so as seamlessly, as compellingly, as enjoyable even, as they can deal with their bank, or with their telco, or
their online retailer. In other words, to move
to that application layer, to move everything, that everything you
can do with government, of any volume, of any major transactions, should be able to be completed end-to-end digitally by 2017, that’s our goal. Now, you know, I’m not promising that we will achieve that, that is certainly our
goal, that is our aim. And if we can do it sooner,
we’ll do it that way too. Now a lot of this cultural change is often overlooked, or the importance of it is overlooked. The big characteristic, the prevailing
characteristic of our times, is, as I said earlier, disruption. Or, you could put it another way, you could say it’s
uncertainty, it’s volatility. And so the question is, how do you make volatility a friend, as opposed to your enemy? That’s why I hate the
term future-proofing. You know, because it suggests that the future is something we’ve got to protect ourselves against, you know build a big
(mumbles) or a big wall. What we should be doing
is embracing the future, recognizing that it’s volatile, recognizing that there’s unpredictability, but of course, that’s good. Because if you’re nimble, if you’re agile, if you don’t lock yourself into policies that are immutable, and keep yourself focused on the customer, or in our case the citizen,
then if you are flexible, you can take advantage
of all those changes. It might be in technology, it might be in the
geopolitical environment, it might be in terms of the way in which cities are operating, because of changes in families, or in the changes of how people work. All of those things are
moving all the time. But if you are (mumbles), you can take advantage of that. And that is the critical difference. And of course digital platforms
are so easy to adjust, to modify, to amend. We are not locked into a
single approach all the time. So that’s why I’m so excited about it. You know, being easily bored, I like to do new things all the time, so the digital age I find very exciting. Now we’re gonna talk, the
panel, a little later, about how exciting government is going to be in the digital age. You are going to find, seriously,
you are going to find– (audience laughing)
You are laughing. (audience laughing)
You will be so excited with the Digital Transformation Office, you won’t have time to laugh.
(audience laughs) You will just be
quivering with excitement. (audience laughs) It’ll be like one of those
old evangelist radio programs, and they used to say, “Put
your hands on the radio.” I’m gonna be putting your
hands on the smartphone, and going
(audience laughs) for the MyGov applicaton, and
you’re gonna be so excited, what can I do with the government today? (audience laughs)
What incredibly cool things (audience laughs)
is the government gonna have for me today? And that’s gonna come from the Digital Transformation Office. And in case you think that’ll be more than you can cope with, it won’t just be the federal government. (audience laughs)
Because we’re gonna make these platforms available
to all governments. And we’re gonna make them available free, that was our election commitment, and we did that for a reason, because we want to break down silos, we want to break down all of the inertia that comes from empire building, so that citizens, private citizens, or businesses, will have a seamless straightforward way, easy way, of dealing with government, federal, state, local,
from a single platform. That’s the big idea. And all of us are very well versed in constitutional law and
entirely understand the difference between state and
federal responsibilities. By the way, if any of you do, just apply for you PhD
in constitutional law. But the fact is, citizens just want to get good service from the government. They don’t care, they’re
not very interested in all the different layers of government. And so that’s why these platforms should be open to all levels. But anyway, we’re the federal government, we’re the national government,
so we’re starting with that. Now one of my great colleagues and my buddy in
communications and technology is Paul Fletcher, the
Parliamentary Secretary. I’m gonna ask Paul to say a few words to us about this as well. (audience applauds) – Well thank you very much, Malcolm. And it is a pleasure to be here in this magnificent UTS
business school facility. I’m sure everybody in this room who has had the benefit
of a graduate education in business studies is like me feeling that
slightly sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, thinking, “Shouldn’t I have read 300 pages “of case material last night, (Audience laughs)
“before I came “into this lecture.” But we need to work through that. Look, as Malcom said,
today’s citizens are used to getting streamlined digital services from their banks, from
their insurance companies, from their airlines, and they expect the same
thing from government. And one of the points that Malcolm made, that I just wanna pick up on very briefly, is the notion that not
all wisdom, shockingly, resides with government, and that there is much
that we can usefully, in fact valuably, and to uniquely draw on from the private sector. Last year, NICTA issued a paper entitled New Models
for Digital Government, The Role of Service Brokers
in Driving Innovation, which argued that there is big potential in not having government do everything, but finding service brokers who can be the front end to the customer, use those skills in
engaging with customers, which the private sector, frankly, just tends to do a whole
lot better than government. Now I thought that, as a story, it was a very compelling story. And it was even more compelling when I had the chance
to meet Ruby O’Rourke, who’s the founder of HubCare, which is an example cited
in that discussion paper. And their particular angle
is providing services to people who have children
in a childcare center. Now this really resonated with me, having a six-year-old, having
gone through the process of filling out the forms
for the childcare rebate, filling out the lengthy
and incomprehensible forms, and thinking to myself, I’m finding these forms extremely
difficult to understand, and I’m sure my experience is not unique. What that particular
organization’s been able to do is stand in between the
government and the end users to deliver a web-based service. And so the notion of drawing on the skills and capabilities of private sector players is something that is absolutely essential to what we want to achieve. And that’s why it is tremendous to feel, as Malcolm said, the
enthusiasm in the room. And so I’m very pleased
to be part of today. Thank you. (Audience applauds) – Thank you very much, Paul. Now one of the commitments
of our government is greater transparency
and accountability. And so we’ve asked NICTA to
develop for us a dashboard, and this is live, and this showing you the number of transactions
government is doing online, share of all government channels,
cost users, and so forth. And this is the type of transparency which we will build on, and evolve over time, so that we are all of us
better held accountable. And you can imagine the impact that that is going to have as it gets into richer and richer detail. Now, and I so want to thank
NICTA for that fantastic work. Now, our next speaker is Vivek Kundra. Vivek is an executive vice
president at salesforce.com, but prior to that has had
many roles in government, and there is a theme today, as you’ll see with the rest of the panel, of experience both in the
private sector and in government. Vivek’s worked in local government, he’s worked in state government
in the United States, and he was, as you all know I’m sure, the first Chief Information
Officer of the White House. Vivek’s going to give us his insights on digital transformation and government. And Vivek, we’re honored
to have you address us. (audience applauds) – Good afternoon, and thank you for that kind introduction, Malcolm. I want to begin by just saying that in Malcolm you have a
leader that is transformational. And I’ve traveled all over the world and I’ve met a lot of
people in government, but his passion is unparalleled, and what I love about what he’s doing, is he’s not asking the question about just minimalist, iterative change, how do we go from point A to point B, but is asking the question, what should government look
like in the 21st century, what do we need to build to put citizens at the heart of government operations? What I wanna do is take you
back to November of 2008, when President Obama was elected, and one of the things
that the president did is for the first time, in the
history of the United States, he put together a transition team that focused on technology, innovation, and government reform. And that was so important to him because he recognized that in
order for the United States, as a country, to compete
in the global economy, it had to recognize that
the battle for the future would be won and
prosperity would be gained by focusing on technology and how it would transform a nation. And I remember, the first day
I walked into the White House, I was handed a stack of
documents by my new team, who said, “Congratulations, Mr. Kundra. “You are now responsible
for $80,000,000,000 “of IT spending for the
United States government, “and here are $27,000,000,000
of technology projects “that are hundreds of millions
of dollars over-budget “and years behind schedule.” And shortly after that, I
remember being in a room, very similar to this, with bright lights, in front of the US Senate, the Homeland Security and
Government Affairs Committee, where I was being grilled,
and one of the senators said, “Mr. Kundra, what are you
going to do differently “to manage this money
better for the republic?” And I remember responding, and I said, “Senator, in 60 days, “I’m going to launch an IT dashboard, “where we will take the picture “of every CIO in the
United States government. “Right next to their picture, “we’re going to put every IT project, “how it’s doing in terms of
cost, in terms of schedule, “in terms of performance,
when they receive the budget, “and the names of all the vendors “that are working on these
technology projects.” And you could hear a gasp
from my team behind me, and they said, “Vivek, you don’t realize, “nothing in the federal
government gets done in 60 days.” And I think one of the biggest
assets I brought to the job was that I had never worked
in the federal government. (audience laughs)
So I came at it with a beginner’s mind,
I wasn’t locked in, you know, “We can’t do it
because of procurement, “you can’t do it because of culture, “you can’t do it because
it’s never been done before,” but it was more about what is true north and how do we get there. Within six months of
launching that IT dashboard, shining a bright light
on government spending, we were able to save over $3,000,000,000. The second thing we did is
we focused on cyber security, recognizing that it was no longer a threat of kids and teenagers hacking
into government systems, but it was about organized
crime and nation states, and really focus on moving away from a culture of compliance, and treating cyber security like you’re running a
financial organization, where you would write these
super-expensive reports, file them away in cabinets
throughout Washington, and those files were far more secure than the very systems they
were supposed to protect. We moved away from a
culture that was much more about building red teams and blue teams and going after our own systems to really make sure we we’re
addressing vulnerabilities, but we also realize
that there was a truth, that the government was not
going to be able to compete, when it comes to salaries and talent. So we had to find the innovative way, in terms of how we were
deploying technology. So I remember going to Silicon Valley, sitting down with the best entrepreneurs, that I could find, and
venture capitalists, and looking at how they
were building the future. And one of the things that
struck me at that moment, was that none of them were
going out there and saying, “You know what, give me
a year, and $20,000,000, “and I’m gonna build up my email system, “or my ERP system, and
a I need a data center.” They were actually focused
much more on their customer. They were obsessed with their customer, and building solutions
for their customers. That is why when you look at the landscape of these
companies, such as Netflix, and the killer user experience you have, it’s because they focus on the customer, but their technology runs
on top of the Amazon Cloud. When you look at what Uber does, it leverages the mobile experience and artificial intelligence, it isn’t going out there
building massive infrastructure. But the government was stuck in the 1960s, in the era where you
had systems of records, with databases and ERP systems, and supply chain optimization. But the world had moved
towards a different system, a system of intelligence. And so that is why we
focused on Cloud first, and mobile first, and making sure that every investment we were making was going in that direction. And we shut down 40% of the data centers in the US government
because in the last decade, there were 432 data centers, and when the president took
over, there were over 2,000. But the utilization of that
infrastructure was under 20%. That was $600,000,000,000
of IT spending over a decade that was going to a waste. And we recognized what
the departments were doing was not focusing on their mission, because the mission of the
National Institutes of Health was to advance by medical discovery, and find the cure for cancer, not to build yet another data center. not to build another data center. And the third big area that we focused on was unleashing the innovation and the entrepreneurial
spirit of the American people. So we decided to look
at two policy decisions, in that it fundamentally
changed the course of the world for that matter. One was just a simple decision to say that GPS was originally used
for precision-guided missiles, but what if you could commercialize it? What would happen? Same thing with the Human Genome Project. What if you could make
that available for free, instead of locking it up
in government offices? You started seeing massive innovation in terms of personalized medicine and services all over the world, that wouldn’t have been possible if that policy decision wasn’t made. So we decided to unleash
this movement of open data. We started with 45 data sets, and have over 400,000 data sets on every aspect of government operations. And what that did is three things. Number one, it enabled entrepreneurs to start building the next
billion dollar companies on top of government data,
creating immense economic value. You had entrepreneurs that were building applications
on your mobile devices that will let you actually
walk into a hospital and see what the mortality
rate of that hospital was, and whether you should walk in. The rating of the doctor,
the outcomes associated, let’s say you were getting
a knee replacement, in that hospital versus other
hospitals across the country. Number two, the ability
to fight corruption. The American people could go online and see, on a real-time basis,
credit card transactions of public servants, and figure out if there was corrupt
spending going on or not. Contracts and who was being
awarded what contract. A whole host of data
that was made available around the healthcare system too. Number three, lowering the
cost of government operations. Because now all of a sudden, agencies wouldn’t hide
behind just regulations. They could actually share
data and build applications that were impossible before. And the last area that
we really focused on was to figure out how do
we really engage the public and fundamentally change the
default setting of government from one that is normally closed, that is secretive, and that is opaque, to one that is open,
transparent, participatory, engaging people in the
public policy debates, and asking for opinions, and
getting votes in a direct way. And what we found was, the level of engagement helped
restore trust in government, because people felt vested
in their own government, and felt they had a voice
that they never had before. And as we look forward, when we talk about this transition from a world of systems of records, where billions of dollars of IT spending in the public sector goes to die, to a new world of systems of intelligence, citizens’ expectations have been changed. They’ve been permanently
reset by consumer companies. They’re used to tapping and
swiping on their mobile devices, and having a car show up and pick them up. They’re used to tapping
and swiping on their phone, and making a reservation to
any restaurant in a city, or anywhere in the world
and getting a flight. And in the same way,
government has to transform. We live in a world today,
where in your everyday life, there’s an app for that. But when you’re dealing
with the government, there’s a form for that. And what we have to be able to do is get to that future faster, in terms of the systems of intelligence. And the way to do that is recognizing that the average citizen doesn’t care whether it’s the central
government, a state government, or the local government, as Malcolm said. They want you to demystify the process of engaging with the government, whether you’re an entrepreneur
who’s starting a business, or whether you’re the
single mother with two kids who’s looking to get
your child to a college and need to apply for scholarship. It’s too complex. And I would argue that, it is going to have a massive impact on elections and outcomes, because citizens are not going
to stand for a government that doesn’t respond their needs. And this is why the DTO and what the minister is doing is amazing, because it moves Australia
to that future faster, and it demystifies how you
deal with your government, and puts the citizen at the center of its government operations. Thank you very much for
having me here today. (audience applauds) – Oh, thank you Vivek, that
was wonderful and inspiring. Now our panel, I’ve
already introduced Vivek, and starting down at the end here, is David Curran, who is the Westpac Chief
Information Officer. There’s Vivek, who we’ve met. Sahil Merchant who is at McKinsey now. You’re the Senior Vice President and head of Digital McKinsey. You’ve been at McKinsey in the past. And like most people at
McKinsey, you went off and started your own
entrepreneurial businesses, so you’ve had experience in retail. You’ve been awarded a prize as Victorian Best New Retailer
of the Year in the past, he’s got a very good understanding of the centrality of the
customer in all of this. And of course, Kate
McKenzie is like Vivek, somebody with experience
both in government and in the business world. Kate was head of a big
government department here in New South Wales, moved to Telstra, had a number of important positions there, and is now the Chief Operations Officer. So why don’t I start with you, Kate? Telstra has evolved from the postmaster general’s department, it’s the PTT, a member of the PTT. And it was notorious for
being very conservative, a monopolist, not invented
here, bland sort of culture. And David Thodey and you and
the rest of your senior team have really been shaking that up. How is it possible to change the culture of big organizations so they can be as agile as a startup? – Clearly, I believe the answer is yes. And I wouldn’t say we’ve
completed that job, but the organization now
compared to even five years ago, is vastly different, just in terms of the way
we think about the world. I think there’s a lot of things that you’ve gotta do to make that happen. And you can make assumptions about this. At the end of the day, one of the things that I like about what you
said in the opening is, you have to have a mission and a purpose that you’re very clear about. And I think the journey
that we’ve been on, putting customers at the
center of everything we do has been at the heart of being
able to disrupt ourselves, being able to reinvent ourselves, being much more open and creative in terms of where your ideas
are going to come from. Really, a lot of that came
from thinking about customers, where they were hindered, what we needed to do to stay relevant to the people we were serving. And the more we got into that journey and the more we could see how many points of value we had, the more you start to go, “We can’t keep doing things like that.” And I think innovation and
creativity can come from anybody. I gave out an award to one of my senior people this week. He’s been in the company for 65 years. And that guy is still
innovating every day. Now he’s got permission,
he’s teaching the young ones different ways to think about things, they’re teaching him things. You gotta create that environment where people have a mission, a purpose, and they’re free to be able to create. I think we’re all creative. – Yeah, I think that’s right. It’s one of the things
we’ve gotta be careful of when we talk about
innovation or creativity, which is another way of describing it, is we’re not just talking about a bunch of kids
going off into a garage and coming up with the next Facebook, we’re talking about people having an innovative
attitude to every business, even the most long-established business. Because whether they may not
be great leaps of innovation, they might just be
tweaks, it’s that mindset, it’s that culture of constantly improving that’s so important. Sahil, you at McKinsey, you are the sort of corporate consultant to the universe. Many people have said that just about every financial bubble is caused by brilliant
people like yourself armed with a McKinsey background and a PowerPoint presentation. (audience laughs) There’s almost no amount
of money you can’t extract from the financial
community for a proposal with those key ingredients. But tell me, what are you seeing. You advise governments and
companies and so forth, do you think government
is capable of being as agile as the private sector? I mean, is it possible for
the federal government, do you think, to be as agile as a bank is, in terms of its online engagement? And then I’ll ask David what he thinks. – So I think the answer is yes, but let me put a caveat on that. I think the private sector
has a long way to go as well. – Right. – And I should also just say that I try to avoid PowerPoint
whenever I possibly can. But I think when we look
at the private sector and how the private sector is
responding to this challenge, we see a couple of things. And I think this has parallel lessons for government as well. Customer centricity is a nice concept, and it absolutely is key
to what we all need to do. But it’s very easy to talk the talk, and actually much more difficult
to really walk the walk. And what we find is that a
lot of large organizations think about this from a
point solution perspective. So they look at an
interaction with a customer, and say we’re gonna digitize that. And they see another
one there and they say we’re gonna digitize that. As opposed to thinking about
the end-to-end experience, and I know you used those words in your introduction, Malcolm. And it’s very easy to look
at those point solutions and say, “Okay, we have benchmarks, KPIs, “and we need to get certain
amounts of interactions “through an online channel.” But still that’s taking it from the perspective of the company rather than looking at
the customer’s experience. And we see a lot of large organizations going half-hearted at this. I’ll give you an example, just last week, I took a cab and I booked it via a normal cab route via Uber, and I had a wonderful experience in the interface that I used via the app. I booked the cab at 5
o’clock the next morning. I turn up the next morning
outside my house at 5 o’clock, there’s no cab. It forced me then to go
and call the cab company. So the interface that they
provided for me was wonderful, but they didn’t follow it all the way through the customer journey to allow me to complete that online. And a lot of the research
that we have done around the world with government, and this is replicated in
the private sector as well, shows that if government
is going to be serious about digitizing, processing,
and (mumbles) experiences it has to go to the whole way. Interestingly, when you take
an end-end government journey and digitize it and then you measure customer satisfaction or net
promoter score in this case, it actually turns out to be far higher than if you left it through old channels. However, and this is
key, if you go through and only do some touch points and not the whole end-to-end journey, the customer satisfaction scores go well below how you left it alone. And I think the key here
is that, I presume– – You break their hearts,
you sort of lead them along (audience laughs)
and then you dump them. – It’s you create an expectation,
and then you fail it. So I call it full-body commitment. If you’re gonna do it,
you’re gonna have to do it really well. And we’re seeing in the private sector there’s a lot of examples
of half-heartedness, which I don’t think works well. – Okay, David, Westpac,
Australia’s oldest bank, prospective Australia’s oldest company. – Oldest company, yeah. – And my ancestor John Turnbull was the thirteenth customer of your bank. (audience laughs) Westpac, or Bank of New South Wales, lent him 25 pounds in 1817. And your new chief executive
told me, I hope in jest, that they couldn’t find any
record of him having repaid it. (audience laughs) I’ve never been very good at doing compound interest in my head. (audience laughs)
I’m getting truly anxious. Anyway, leaving that aside, David, your bank, you’ve had
big systems of record, huge systems of record, going
back for a very long time. Banks were obviously one
of the first companies to introduce computers, on a large scale, naturally, given the scale of their operations, so you’ve got a lot of
legacy systems there. How have you been able to manage multiple legacy systems, develop the intelligence that enables you to then have the customer experience that we all have as we engage in our pretty straightforward
satisfying online banking? – Certainly. I’d think I’d answer that
in a couple ways, Malcolm. Firstly, when it comes to what
we’re talking about there, and what resonated with what
you’re saying at the start, is the organization
has to have the intent. It has to have the intent. Banks worked out a little while ago that you were no longer a
product-selling company, you were a customer-servicing company. And that transition, the mindset, putting the customer at
the center of what we do, similar to what you’re
talking about, citizens at the center of what you do, but it had to have that change, and
that gave people permission to innovate and people
permission to do that. We then had to deal with the structures and the problems we’ve got underneath it, not least of which is our data
and the things there with it. I think one of things in there, and it’s interesting
we’re in a Gehry building having this conversation. Architecture becomes so
important in that conversation. If you actually don’t
know where your things are and how they work, and how you can represent
them as services, you just continually
go on work around them and create replication of other things and the things you need. Whereas, you actually
understand where they are, you start leveraging what you got, providing them as services,
and at that point there, you can actually move
into the digital age, leveraging what you’ve got,
rather than just building new on top of things you need to deal with. It does still leave us though
with one major challenge I think, which is still structural. And we are, particularly if
you look around the room, the generation of people who still like working in hierarchies. And I suspect the
government’s even more strong in that regard than in the private sector. When you work in hierarchies, you then tend to work in vertical silos, and you tend to then reinforce
that into your systems. Luckily the new millennials
are coming through, they’re very happy working
in a network manner, they’re happy working
across the boundaries. And again, that comes back
to allowing the permission in your organization to
think across the boundaries, rather than just working
in your verticals. And that’s still a major challenge for us, in industry, certainly in banks. But I think that’s one
of the major challenges to actually get through, this concept of actually
unlocking what we’ve got, and presenting it to the organization rather than continuing
to work within the silos and locking it down inside
those systems of record. – Let’s talk about that. Because I think this issue of culture is extremely important. And I didn’t see anyone shake their head when I said we’ve got
plenty of technology, the issue is how we use it. And if you’ve got a hierarchical culture, a blind culture, where
people manage things up, so to avoid taking the
risk of making decision, then you’re not going
to get any innovation. Vivek, you’re working
in the private sector, but you’ve worked at all three levels of government in the United States, which, in some respects,
is even more political than it is here. Because so many government positions, what we would call senior
public service positions, are, in fact, appointed by the political party that’s won office, and then lose office when their party loses. So it’s a more political environment. How do you go about
creating that kind of agile, innovative culture in government? Do you think openness has
got to be part of this? And you’ve been a real leader in, as you’ve said, in open data. And just opening up government’s data sets so that anyone can do
as they will with them, build a business, an application, good, bad, or indifferent. How do you think that culture is changing, and do you think the millennials, as David suggested, are having an impact in the States as well? – So I think, first it’s recognizing that government, no matter where you are, is very much like the human body. And whenever there’s a
change agent introduced, it’s seen as a virus and the
white blood cells just attack. (audience laughs)
– Yeah. – So you have to sort of recognize that. And then what you have to be able to do is when you launch these initiatives, you’ve gotta recognize that
most people are not waking up and going to their
government jobs and saying, “How do I make sure I
screw over the citizens?” I think a lot of people have
their heart in the right place and want to do a good job, but they may have a
completely different view and, frankly, I look at most
government organizations, they go through so much change, their view is they’ll just
wait and see what happens. And so I think the key is when
we identify the initiatives, and I think at the local government level it’s very different, because
there isn’t a political way of addressing particular issues, whether it’s picking up garbage or filling potholes or
delivering electricity, right? So what you have to be able to do, is you’ve gotta be able to, number one, articulate the agenda, as you have, number two, you’ve got
to be able to make sure that you’re not only thinking about it in the context of the government, but you bring the customers with you. So a lot of what we
would do is, essentially, town halls with citizens and customers to introduce the government folks to realize, “Why are we doing this?” Make it human in terms of the change that you’re trying to
drive, so it’s not just seen as some loser IT initiative, you know. But put a face to the change
that you’re trying to drive. So you move the energy away from the internal politics to outside. Who are you really serving? Next, I think what you
have to be able to do is you’ve gotta be able to
make the tough decisions to literally end a cultural
faceless accountability by holding people accountable. Because there’s an inherent public trust. And if you’re acting in the
interest of your citizens and there are people
getting in the way of that, you need to move them out of the way. And one of the ways to
be able to do that is to leapfrog and go to the people who are doing the great work. So part of what we did when we’re trying to drive these initiatives
is we would tap in and say, “Who are the hungry people, “who are the ones that
have the beginner’s mind, “who are the people on the front lines?” And literally brought
them into the White House, and said, “Hey, how can we
help you drive this agenda?” And you what you will find out is immediately magic starts to happen because the bureaucracy
starts to collapse in a way. So all the people that are in the middle, kind of guarding and
protecting the status quo, suddenly start to see,
“Wow, this is the reason “we’re marching in this direction, “and here are the change agents “that are gonna bring it to life.” And so either you become
very quickly a value creator or a value destroyer. – Hm, what about, Kate, in Telstra? One of things that I think you’ve done, which is very interesting, is you’ve established
a couple of incubators, startup incubators. Muru-D is the one up in the old telecom OTC building, in fact, in Oxford Street and Paddington. And you have another one as well. And these, while I’m sure you
hope that they will come up, they’ll sponsor and invest in some startup that will then be worth twice the market
capitalization of Telstra, the prospects of that happening
is probably quite low, but nonetheless, you’ve clearly done it as a means of changing the culture
of the organization. And other companies have done it. Some financial institutions have put money into incubators and startups as a means of trying to permeate the culture of the whole organization. Some governments have done that. Can you think of a more boring business than the water utility? The Israeli water utility, Mekorot, has a big technology startup program where they’re funding
and test-vetting startups with technologies that are relevant, with a broad sense of
relevance to their area, and it all seems to work. What do you guys think about that? Do you think government should do more, I don’t just mean by
giving grants to startups, but actually trying to encourage
more of a startup culture within their own orbit,
in areas that are relevant to what governments are doing, taking a piece of the action and getting their own people
involved, is this (mumbles)? – I would say there is. I think you rightly point out, for us, those initiatives including things like setting up a bench’s group and investing in more startups, getting that incubator environment going, it is a big important part
of changing the culture, because people get excited about it, they can see success, they can see that it’s okay to experiment, that it’s okay to take some risks. You know people say that–
– And it’s okay to take a risk that doesn’t work out? – Yep, that’s absolutely gonna– – That’s so important. – And it does sort of encourage people to think again about, “I can
take control of my own destiny, “and think differently about what I do, “and I can contribute
to these environments, “and I can think of…” You made the point about
you need to do it at scale, but you’ve gotta start somewhere too, when there’s nothing like
some early experiments that are successful to
build a bit of momentum around a different way of
thinking about the world and making that technology
useful for the citizens. You’re not gonna have
a beautiful blueprint, but you can see and
imagine right up front, you’re gonna have to do a little bit of, “Let’s experiment and see what works.” And if you don’t change the culture, then I think eventually
you run into roadblocks in terms of that momentum
continuing to build. – What do you think, Sahil? – I’ve had an interesting
experience in the last ten years, where I’ve launched, I think
now, seven different startups. So I’ve been in the startup world. And I’ve also then seen
it from the perspective of large organizations. And I think it depends
upon how it’s incubated. Because you can create a nice
startup environment incubator within a large organization. And the minute you (mumbles) what I’ve now got at
McKinsey, it’s very similar. It’s a startup mentality within an existing legacy business. But it needs to permeate its way through and not just be seen as isolated. So we talked about before
that, Kate you mentioned, the risk of failure
and permission to fail. In many parts of corporate
Australia, however, that still hasn’t
permeated its way through. And so to me it’s more than just about creating the
structures of incubation and saying that that’s a nice little thing we have on the side if
it works, it’s great. How it permeates culture
is really important. And we’re finding that it needs to have some formal mechanisms. And some of those formal mechanisms sound quite trivial in nature, but actually have a major impact in bringing senior executives
along for the the ride in terms of understanding risk
and what it’s like to fail and actually applauding failure because we don’t seem to do that here. I compared it, for example,
to what happens in the States. And so even things like programs, formal programs like
reverse mentoring programs, where you have the more digitally savvy sitting with senior executives
and taking them through and getting them familiar
with the technology business. Often fear, it stops them
from embracing these things. Or getting the senior
executives to spend days within the incubation unit or the startup. Understanding what stand
up meetings look like, understanding what agile really means, because people talk about it in abstract, but senior executives don’t always know what it really means to be agile, They don’t understand it’s a mindset, they think it’s an approach as opposed to a mindset. Some of these formal mechanisms are more important than
the incubation itself. – Okay, so that’s the
permeation technique. David, would you have a view on that? – Yeah, I think we put– (microphone feedback)
Excuse me. We’ve coined the phrase, thinking like a 200-year-old startup. Done that deliberately. To create again that permission in the organization to think that way. If you’re not prepared to disrupt yourself in the modern age, you’re
gonna be disrupted. – That is so true. – Decades ago, when you were disrupted, you had time to deal with it. In the digital world,
we live in the moment. Once you’re disrupted,
you’re on a very slow path. – Yes, if you’re not prepared to cannibalize your legacy business, that’s fine, someone
else will do it for you. – Someone will do it for you. And so we have a reinvention business, similar to what you were
talking about with Telstra, those types of things where we’ve gotta fund, and other things. And that’s all good and sensible from an investment point of view and a learning point of
view, but it’s also a way to start challenging yourself internally. So you know for example we’ve just, through Reinventure, have a stake in a
peer-to-peer lending business, which is completely
uncomfortable for a bank. But it’s forcing us in
our lending business to challenge ourselves
and what that means, because if we don’t and
we don’t think that way, then our culture will never adjust. So we see it as a decent thing to do in an investment portfolio,
for all those good reasons, but similarly it’s
creating that permission within ourselves to think differently so we can disrupt ourselves before we have disrupted and gone the way
– Okay. – of Kodaks, as the example Rowan uses. – Yeah, well there’s a few local ones we’ve not mentioned for fear
of upsetting some people. Now let’s have some
questions from the room. I know, is Chris Vein here? Where’s Chris? There you are, now,
good you’re over there. Chris is, until very recently, the Chief Innovation
Officer of the World Bank, now down in Australia. So Chris, you had a question, I think. – [Chris] Well, I think that… – You have to press the button, sorry. – [Christ] Oh. So I guess the question really becomes how does this get designed? I mean, it does require some
architecting to that point, so are you thinking in
terms of a common platform that will be built or created or jointly designed, upon which government
services will be built, and that will become
the intersection point between agencies? I’m just a– – Yeah, and Chris, by the way, your work with DFAT is
public, now isn’t it? Yeah, phew.
(audience laughs) – I thought I was about to commit a massive breach
of national security. But no, Julie Bishop has established an innovation hub within the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade, and I introduced Chris
to Julie, and vice versa, and it’s fantastic that you’re helping us really to identify more innovative ways of delivering that foreign aid, which is a big issue obviously. Look, the answer is a
common platform, yes. I’ll give you an example. Clearly the interface, if you like, the customer interface, myGov, which will become the way of accessing most, if not
all, government services, is one. But you take something a little bit further back from the customer, for example, grants administration. Now just about every
department has a grant prorgram of some kind or another. And there should be one grant administration system for the government and maybe it should be
available for all governments, cause it’s all pretty much the same, the differences are relatively modest. But instead of everybody
designing their own mousetrap, have one that is available
across the board. And again this where you’ve gotta break down the silo mentality so that people understand
the object is the customer or is the object is
delivering the best service to the customer as seamlessly as possible. And of course, if you
have a common platform, for example, for grants, people are accessing grants
from different departments, so it’s actually better for them if they’ve got a familiar experience, regardless of which department
they’re dealing with. So perhaps there are some other, please. (audience member speaking indistinctly) – Yep, yep. – [Inquirer #1] And this one’s for you. – Yeah, this is for me. – [Inquirer #1] Yeah, hold it okay. – Yeah. – [Inquirer #1] So with the DTO, there’s a tremendous
opportunity in Australia to do something innovative, creative, not just within government, but using what we’re investing
in government externally and taking it internationally.
– Yep. – [Inquirer #1] Do you
want to comment on that? – Well, I’m a great believer in being much more global in our approach. I think governments have
historically been much less global in their research, in their awareness of policy
responses than businesses. You work for Cisco,
it’s a global business, you are aware of what all of
your competitors are doing, and all of your customers are doing, in every single market,
that’s your business. Government’s less so. And yet we’re all dealing with the same problems, pretty much. There are variances, but
they’re basically the same. And so we have to be more aware, we have to share more. We’ve taken a lot of inspiration and help from the Government
Digital Services in the UK, which is being very successful, and done a much better job for customers, and actually saved a lot of money as well. And indeed, I said to Francis Maude, who’s the Minister of State
that’s responsible for that, who sent me a note when he saw that we’d announced the Digital
Transformation Office here. He said that was terrific, because he’d been helping us
with it, as had his people. And I sent him a note,
I said, “Well Francis, “if plagiarism is the
sincerest form of flattery, “you should be sincerely flattered.” And I hope that we will make our code available to others, we will be as open to others as the UK government is to everybody else. And I think it’s very
important to do that. This should be a very, very open and collaborative business. Vivek, you’re the government person here, or ex-government person, what
do you think of that approach? – Absolutely, and I think the model of creating an app exchange, where you can literally exchange apps, not just internationally but even locally. I had the opportunity
to spend some time today with Service New South Wales, and they’ve done a phenomenal job in terms of creating that
21st century experience. That could easily be exchanged with ACT or Victoria or Tokyo or London or Washington. And I think it becomes
this race to the top, which is so exciting. And I think what happens is you create value in every city, and people just kind of starting building on top of each other’s work. And that is a huge opportunity. And I also think the other opportunity is for startups in Australia
to be able to go out there, build these applications. Because with new models that you have, once you solve the problem for
the government in Australia, whether it’s at the central,
state, or local level, the ability to sell
that to other countries is frictionless. So it’s an amazing opportunity to also spur entrepreneurship, when you start thinking about
a whole host of services that need to be transformed. – I know Pip Marlow had
a question, where is Pip? Oh, sorry, there you are. This is Pip Marlow, manager and director of Microsoft in Australia.
– [Pip] It’s good to know that I had a question, I wasn’t sure about that. (audience laughs)
Thank you for the panel, really interesting dialogue. There’s been a lot of talk about culture and what it takes and in
private organizations. I know Kate, David and
you have done a great job in Telstra in that regard. But when we look at research, and we see some of the differences that are going on in public
sector versus private sector, what can we do to have the
public sector actually lead, do more innovation, test,
try, reward failure? You talked about trying things
and actually having a culture where that’s rewarded and recognized, what do you see we need to do
differently in that regard? – Well, if that’s addressed to me, as the cabinet minister on the stage, I think that moving from a bland culture is incredibly important, and I’ve said that a couple of times, but it is very important. There is, obviously in politics, and hence in the public
service, the civil service, the consequences of the environment, the media environment if you like, has a sort of gotcha culture that makes people often
very reluctant to take risks because something could fail,
something could not work. I think it’s very important to build an agile
attitude into what you do, so that when somebody says to me, whether we have a new application that we’re releasing, someone says to me, “Minister, will you guarantee
that this will work, “and this will be the answer?” The response should
be, “All I can tell you “is this is the best solution we’ve got “to the problem at the moment, “given the information we have, “we are gonna learn a
lot by rolling it out, “it’s only at the beater
stage at this point in time, “we’re gonna learn a
lot, we can change it, “we can improve it, if
it’s a complete flop, “we’ll dump it and do something else.” But just make sure we keep on emphasizing that we are in an uncertain environment. And what you actually
need in your leaders, whether they are in business, like Kate and all you guys, or whether you’re in government like me or the many of my
department officials here or Paul Fletcher who’s also a humble politician like me, what people expect us to be is to have the agility, the attitude, the judgment, the knowledge to be able to make the right decisions as the circumstances change. But obviously always that people have gotta
know where you’re going, they gotta know where your conviction is, and they’ve gotta know that you’re focused on the goal, which is delivering that better
outcome for the citizens. So you see with the
National Broadband Network, the way we’ve been able
to reposition that is to say what is the objective. The objective is not building a particular technology platform. The objective is ensuring
that everybody in Australia gets access to very fast broadband as quickly as possible, and as affordably as possible. What technologies will you use? We will use whatever technologies get the job done, at the time, in the location, for the right price. And that’s why business has gone from being totally locked in to one approach, to now having considerable flexibility. And as we’ve seen the
extraordinary development, well extraordinary to a lot of people, they are extraordinary, the extraordinary developments
in broadband over HFC, you know the idea that you could have, over a hybrid fiber coax, one gig and higher products generally available. Quite extraordinary, no one
would have predicted that. Well maybe some scientists and engineers would have 10 years ago, but frankly the public would have fainted at the thought of that. So again, you give
yourself that flexibility. So I hope that answers that question. Now, any other? Please, sir. – [Inquirer #2] Thank you, on
the basis that we’ve learned– – Can you say… Introduce yourself. – [Inquirer #2] Beg your
pardon, Martin Hoffman, Deputy Secretary, Department
of Industry and Science. Vivek, on the basis that we learn perhaps even more from our
failures than the successes, I’d be fascinated to hear your take on one of the highest profiles problems in government, I’d say, and that was, the initial launch at least,
of Obama’s healthcare system, and your comments on the lessons from that would be much appreciated. – There are actually a lot of
lessons to learn from that. And the president himself has talked a lot about that, right. One of the biggest lessons again comes down to execution. If you looked at what
happened with healthcare.gov, it was very much around the agency deciding to focus on the
past rather than the future. And what I mean by that is they went out there and
bought over 800 servers for identity management, and made sure, in terms of their design principle, that when people came to healthcare.gov, they’d first have to be authenticated before they could shop
for healthcare plans. And part of what I’ve been
talking about today is, learn from the best. When you go to Amazon, you don’t have to first sign in and give your credit card number before you can shop for
electronics or diapers, right? And so the design was all wrong, they focused on building and
owning all the infrastructure, they built everything from a position of fear around security, and then they awarded
contracts to incumbents, not because they were the
best at what they did, but because they had a PhD in how the government procurement
process worked, right? So I think if you look at technology, the history of government IT is littered with high-stakes failures. And a big part of that is recognizing that modern competing
platforms have changed and have moved to this notion of a system of intelligence
that I’ve been talking about. – Okay, thank you, please. – [Inquirer #3] Thank
you, Tessa Boyd-Caine from the Australian
Council of Social Service. And our organization
is fortunate, Minister, to be funded by your department to develop resources for
community sector organizations to engage better with digital business, terrific program. But one of the things
that’s helped us identify is the very difficult environment for community organizations to invest in, not just the technology, but the capacity, in terms of people and cultural change, around digital innovation. Highly innovative sector, challenged when it comes to the level of digital engagement that we expect. And I suppose one of the things that I think today’s session flags for us are the very clear
directions around government and large organizations in this area, and the challenges that we face for the small to medium enterprises, whether they’re not-for-profit
community organizations or indeed SMEs in the corporate world. So I’m interested in your ideas about how government and community organizations can work together to
improve that capacity, but also very much
interested in the thoughts of the panel around that challenge, for what is essentially an
economically significant, but much more diverse part of our economy. – Well, I’ll just be very brief. I think what we need to do is to, as Vivek was intimating earlier, we’ve gotta hear from you and your clients as to how we can make our platforms, our interfaces, more accessible, more capable of being
used by your constituency. This is the customer feedback. This is a collaborative process, it is a collaborative process between government and citizen. – Yeah, shot it downstream there. If you look it at how
startup organizations attract really good talent, most people don’t get
very rich from startups, if you look across the board. – Is this why you couldn’t afford a suit? – That’s right.
(audience laughs) I will call to that,
this is me dressing up. (audience laughs) But if you look at what
they get attracted to, they get attracted to
solving amazing problems. That’s what really attracts a lot of the millenniums. And if you think about
the types of challenges we give in large organizations
or in government, it’s not going to attract
the most amazing talent if you say, “How do we make
things incrementally better?” Okay. But if you think about how do you radically redesign and disrupt, that’s what gets people excited. And so I think, and this goes to the previous question
from Microsoft as well, about culture, all right? How do you create that culture in government and in large organizations. Government, it can’t replicate the
warehouse environment, the trendy ecosystems across the board that you find across all startups. What it can do though, is create some of the most meaty problems that people want to work on. And when trying to talk
about incrementalism versus radical destruction, I like the following anecdote,
analogy I should say, if you said to somebody from the 1950s, and you took them today into
the hospital environment, and you took them to an emergency room, some bits have changed, right? There are computers and
you go to the front desk and they’ll take your data
and they’ll triage you. But if you look at the
fundamental experience, has it really changed, right? You still have to go and
provide some of the information, that information then gets
used in a certain way. What if you told people that
we no longer had a front desk? So, you took away the constraint or the thing that most people think about, in terms of when you go
through a hospital environment. All of a sudden you create an opportunity to radically rethink something which has been in existence
for so many years. People get attracted to
those problems, right? And so I think that the
answer around culture, yes you can try to
replicate certain things, and staff or young organizations have, the reality is a lot of
people don’t want to go to Canberra as well, which is a problem. – Sahil, this is really going to upset all the Canberra civil servants here. I mean seriously, they’ll be seeking asylum here in Sydney. (audience laughs) – But you do have the meaty problems, and I think that’s the key. – Yeah, yeah, now please. – [Inquirer #4] Thanks, Malcolm. I’m Narelle Clark, I’m with the ACCAN, the Australian Communications
Consumer Action Network, by day, and by night I’m
with the Internet Society. So we often think in the Internet Society about the Internet being a platform for permission-less innovation. So I was wondering if
the panel could comment on this tension between the need for consumer protection
and a good marketplace, that means that consumers
don’t get ripped off, they don’t lose their data, they don’t get done over, shall we say, and the need for an exciting platform for permission-less innovation. – Vivek, what about a year ago, you were there side-by-side with the most powerful
person in the world. – So I think– – You could have sent
a cruise missile on us. (Vivek laughs) To deal with inappropriate conduct? – Well I think, when you look at the history of the Internet, and especially if you
look at the principles of the Internet Society itself, right, it’s very much in alignment,
in terms of what I believe, are of an open Internet
that enables innovation. And when you look at the policy frameworks around the world, one of the things that
I really worry about, is in the name of privacy,
and in the name of security, the Internet is becoming
more and more Balkanized. I would argue that it has been
the greatest equalizing force that we have ever seen in civilization.
– Here, here. – But you begin to see
what happened in Egypt, you begin to see what’s happening in other parts of the world. And I believe that we need to continue to fight for an open
Internet and advance it. And not just think of it
as a technology platform, but on top of it the human rights, and what does it mean from
a human rights perspective, and the role of the Internet itself. Because the very technology
that has been used to build this next generation’s services that we’re talking about, unfortunately, is also being used to target individuals and dissidents, and suppress speech. So I think as a nation, it is critical, and as a civilized society, it is critical for us to continue to advance that. – Yeah, thank you. Please, lady right there in the back. – [Lady] Yes, hi, my
name is Sandy Plunkett. I’m an independent– – Oh Sandy, I couldn’t see
you in the dark there, good. Sandy is a notorious innovator. (audience laughs) – [Sandy] Okay, I’ll
take that as a compliment somewhere there, Malcolm, thank you. So listen we’ve been talking a lot about the customer-driven experience today. And I’m sure you’re all
coming from somewhere great, well-intentioned, but I
personally have lived with, over the years, in various
capacities from journalist and to venture capital
to being in a startup, that I’ve lived that the customer is king, the customer-driven experience, and now it’s sort of
something else about that. But I think we all know mostly here, most of us, that experience
customer greatness, but in terms of it being
in touch with the customer, comes from competition. And we haven’t actually heard that word being used much here today at all. So, competition drives a
new customer experience. A new competitor gives a customer, or a set of customers,
something completely special that the legacy systems,
or the existing market, does not provide, and that creates a new
customer experience, and other people respond to that. I think that’s great, that’s what we want from a market-driven economy. When it comes to government, right, again, well-intentioned to create a Digital Transformation Office, very well-intentioned, but the customer and the
competitive framework that drives that service delivery is very, very different. There was also one last thing about we have to cannibalize our legacy systems. In terms of the delivery systems of a Digital Transformation
Office from government, what is the legacy framework that you’re willing to
cannibalize in that system? – Well, that’s really,
as Tony Jones would say, “That’s more of a
comment than a question,” but I just observed,
(audience laughs) I just observed that when I talk about cannibalizing your legacy business, what I’m really talking about is the old way of doing things. And now your legacy
system might actually be, literally, a system, a network of computers, and associated software
and operating systems that are driving them, but it’s more often than not
a particular business model, a particular way of
dealing with the world. Now one of the most important ways of dealing with the digital
world is through social media. And we have some questions
from social media, so give us what you think are the best, most entertaining, questions
from the Twitter sphere, or Facebook, that we can go out on? – [Inquirer #4] Hi, Malcolm,
one of the questions, which I’m very partial to, because it relates to
the Lord of the Rings, and I’m a closet fan, “How does the vision of one
platform to rule them all, “states, federal government, and local, “avoid being crushed by its own ambition?” – Oh (groans anxiously). Okay what’s the next one? – [Inquirer #4] Okay, yeah.
(audience laughs) “What coercive powers will the DTO need “if it’s going to be truly effective? “You need teeth to bite.” – Well, just the charm of the departmental
secretary, Drew Clarke, (audience laughs)
is all you’ll need. The interesting thing about
the one ring to rule them, was it, “One ring to rule them all “and in the darkness bind them?” I’m also a Lord of the Rings fan. But I think the point about the Internet is the uber-platform, though what is so remarkable about it is, it is one platform, but it’s accessible, subject to the Balkanization concerns that Vivek talked about,
it’s accessible by everybody. And of course it’s available on every device. And this is one of the challenges that everyone is having, that everything is going over the top, whether it is telephony, whether it is video entertainment, everything is going over the
top, because that is the way, getting back to the customer point, Kate. What is the platform on which I can reach all
of my potential customers all of the time? That is unquestionably the Internet, because that’s the ultimate platform. – And without wishing to
put words in your mouth– – Oh please do. – You’re not really talking
about coercive power, because you’re talking
about the viral effect. Because the platform works.
– Yeah. – People wanna come it,
they wanna design new things that are gonna be good for people. You’re trying to get that
kind of ecosystem effect, you don’t really wanna have
one platform to rule them all and a whole bunch of coercive
powers to beat people up. – No, no, no.
– You want to embrace it, and it’s useful and it delivers something, so it sort of grows by itself almost. – Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. And I think the argument,
this is the interesting thing with digital platforms and government, that we know that transacting with citizens digitally is so much cheaper than face-to-face or by letter or phone,
the savings are massive. Citizens prefer it. That’s why people aren’t
queuing up at the bank anymore to write out checks for
cash to take cash out, they’re going to an ATM, or more likely they’re just transferring
cash into their account which they’re then using
on their credit card or in other online applications. So they prefer to deal digitally, so it’s really a virtuous circle there. I think the resistance to, for example, having a common
grants administration platform, is not gonna come from citizens, it’s not gonna come from the treasurer. It might come from somebody that has developed their own
(mumbles) grants platform in their own department, which is clunking along
and costing a fortune. And that is where common sense and charm and so forth will be very persuasive. So, we are just about, he
said, consulting his iPhone, we’re just about at the end, David, why don’t you wrap up for us? – I was just gonna add a
piece, if I could, to Malcolm, that one of the things
I’ve learned in industry that may be relevant to that question is, for a long time the use of
technology was being used by people to make their jobs easier, so we’ve ended up with solutions that technology’s focused on, we’ve ended up with business processes, and catalogs of business processes. In the digital age,
we’re actually learning that digital is represented by customers and citizens are represented
by data and services, so we’re moving to architectures for data and enterprise architectures
and catalogs of services. And once you get that,
in a legacy environment, you can start making choices. What do you put on the Internet versus what do you hold
back for security reasons? What services do you enable that all people can use and consume, versus which ones do you
want to keep in your space, which ones do you share
across departments, which ones do you keep internally, and does that shift from solutions and solution architects
and business processes and catalogs of those, how I do my job, to data and services, how
do I serve my customers, enables that change in what they’re doing. So what we’re certainly
seeing in the banking sphere is how do we start thinking differently? And I know people have suggested, yet we’ve heard it all before,
thinking about the customer. We’re only now working out the customer is represented by data and services, and how do we change through that? And that’s a very
difficult change to make. But only when you get that ability to see across that space
can you make that change. – Yep, well I think that commitment, that objective, that
customer-focused objective, coupled with imagination, and the preparedness to take some risks, to try new things, is going
to be the key to the success of the Digital Transformation Office and the government, and indeed, the digital transformation in Australia. We should never forget that government writ
large is a third of GDP. Every step we take to make
government more efficient, makes our country more efficient, makes it more productive,
makes it more innovative. We will then be leading by
example, and the reality we is, as we all know, that our future depends, our future prosperity,
indeed our future security, depends on us being smarter, more technologically sophisticated, more adept at navigating and rather than proofing ourselves against the digital future, embracing it, and taking advantage of the opportunities, that its volatility and
unpredictability entails. So, lady and gentlemen, thank you very, very much
for being on the panel. Thank you, Roy, for hosting us here at UTS in this wonderful example of creativity. And thank you all for attending, both here in the room,
and of course online. And we’re all looking forward to a very exciting digital
transformation in government. Thank you. (audience applauds) (audience conversing)

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