At Thursday’s NZTech AGM, it was a pleasure to host several members of the Digital Economy Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Board who provided an update on their work. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of their strong focus on the role of Government procurement. Not only the $1.3 billion a year the Government spends on ICT, but how a more agile approach to most procurement may be the solution to a more adaptable country. While this Ministerial Advisory Group is very passionate about the potential, anyone who has been involved in trying to encourage the Government to change its approach to procurement knows this is an incredibly difficult thing to do. It’s not for lack of desire within the Government, it is a system wide cultural challenge.
Improving Government procurement could have many advantages. Some analysts report the global GovTech market is worth more than US$400 billion. If we master procurement in New Zealand, we could use GovTech exports as a means of growing our local tech sector while bringing new wealth into the country.
Already, there is growing activity in the GovTech space in New Zealand with a Lightning Lab GovTech Accelerator underway, the Government’s Govt-to-Govt Partnerships Office (G2G) helping take New Zealand’s state sector solutions to the world, plus the GovTech World group bringing Government and tech together to help accelerate the positive benefits of GovTech for New Zealand. It feels like GovTech momentum is gathering with better Government procurement from every angle, so there is definitely cause to be positive about the potential.
On another note, we are looking for a new member of the Techweek team, a Partnerships Manager, to help craft mutually beneficial corporate partnerships across the programme. If you know anyone who would be a good fit please send them here.
Finally, I would like to send out a big congratulations to the team that put on the Digital Nations 2030 Summit this February. The project team partners, NZTech, Conferenz and DIA staff were recognised at the prestigious International Conference Awards with a Silver gong for the Collaboration and Partnership Award. A well deserved recognition for an incredibly collaborative team.