Size of IS shop: 330
Mobile PCs: 1141
Hand-held devices: 4990
Total screens: 18,550
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Windows 2000, XP, Vista; Dell
Server environment: HPUX; Sun; Linux; Windows
DBMS: Oracle, SQL
Address: Bowen State Building, 32 Bowen Street, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: Windows XP/Vista desktop project; HRIS Phase II; identity management; digitisation; client voice identification; social service mapping; student loan redesign; application rationalisation.
The ministry is tasked with providing care and protection to New Zealand’s youth, income and employment support, funding to community service providers, social policy and advice to government, and assistance to students through allowances and loans. To achieve this wide-ranging brief, it has to maintain a presence in almost every town and staff have connections to every community in New Zealand.
For CIO David Habershom and his team, the focus is on “using technology to make a difference”.
“The way people manage their day-to-day transactions has changed dramatically in the past decade. They don’t organise their lives neatly around how government agencies are configured, and we don’t think that they should have to,” says Habershom. “Technology is at the forefront of the way we are changing how we do our business. Being able to deliver our services in a way that meets the future needs of New Zealanders is what drives our IT strategy.”
He says the ministry’s key IT strategy themes are around:
• ‘Channel shift’ — to provide enhanced self-service via the web, kiosks at service‑centres and over the mobile-phone channel.
• System simplification - for the front-line staff.
• ‘Mobility’ — to better enable front-line staff to deliver services while in the field.
• Collaboration — with other government agencies, community groups and NGOs.
• Real-time outcomes measurement and reporting.
A key component of the IT strategy centres on its Cúram platform, a social services framework designed by the Irish company Cúram Software. In 2007, the MSD made a strategic investment in this platform and has ongoing plans to use it as the cornerstone system for its frontline delivery.
Other key IT initiatives (many enabled through the Cúram framework) include:
• Using voice biometric technology that allows clients to record a ‘voice print’ unique to them.
• Enhancing existing suite of online services to improve the client experience and our service offering, thus reducing the need for phone or face-to-face contact.
• Enhancing self-service areas to enable clients to perform more activities themselves.
• Expanding the payment card system for all one-off, hardship assistance payments.
• Progressing the rollout of the programme to digitally capture a coherent view of client documentation. This will mean core client information will be available for reuse by our staff and clients will not need to provide the same documents each time they apply for assistance.
• Introducing workflow management systems for collection units so they are supported by the appropriate processes, practices and tools to be truly effective in increasing collection rates and delivering efficiencies.
• Piloting a mobility service allowing Child, Youth and Family staff to work away from their office, while keeping connected to the information they require to do their work through mobile devices with remote connectivity.
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