ACT Appoints its First CDO

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By Matthew Egan, Editorial Director, OmniChannel Media

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Photo Source: ACT Government

The ACT has appointed the territory’s first Chief Digital Officer (CDO) who will be working to drive digital innovation and further establish Canberra as a leading digital city.

Jon Cumming will be the ACT’s new CDO. Cumming has spent time in both the private and public sectors, most recently working with the New Zealand Government to deliver digital solutions for government, including cloud based and mobile first modernisation programs.

Cumming’s job will be to drive the ACT’s first digital agenda, an agenda that will look to take a whole of government approach to digital strategy.

Speaking from New Zealand, Cumming said he was excited about his new role:

‘The ACT Government is already creating a leading digital city that is proactively embracing technology as a way to improve the lives of its citizens. I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring my experience to Canberra, to help shape and deliver on the key priorities of the ACT Digital Strategy,’ Mr Cumming said.

‘The digital revolution can make people’s lives better. My role as CDO is to facilitate the community’s digital knowledge, to take them on a journey and change mindsets about the infinite possibilities, wonderment and experiences that a truly connected city and world offers.’

In the role Cumming also stated that he was looking forward to opportunities to collaborate with the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Office, as well as other jurisdictions.

This announcement highlights the seismic shift of Australia’s state and federal governments with regards to digital transformation. Coupling this with ‘whole of government’ technology asset strategies, the public sector sees the opportunity to use digital as a form of cost reduction, much like the private sector.

On top of the cost savings, the ACT Government is looking to deliver on key digital priorities to ensure a vibrant and diverse digital economy. In the same media release announcing Cumming’s arrival, Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s office noted:

[The digital priorities will focus] on the creation of capacity, collaboration and workforce participation; the enhancement of Canberra as a truly Smart City with the roll out of CBRfree Wi-Fi network, digital arts and digital spaces and; encouraging a connected and inclusive community by improving digital access, promotion of digital skills through government/community partnerships and the creation of online tools to assist parents and students to access information.

Source: ACT Government Release

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