How secure tech can improve public service delivery in Australia

  • Gary Griffiths
  • Government
  • Solutions
  • 2022
August 31, 2022

Secure technologies for Australia's public service: Sydney Harbour Bridge

Australia’s government has big aspirations to increase public service capability and capacity. By reducing its reliance on external firms and bringing capabilities in-house, the government hopes to boost efficiency, improve spending, and become a more equitable, inclusive employer.

This transition won’t necessarily be easy. Manual processes and disparate legacy systems will make it difficult for government agencies to deliver great employee experiences. To accelerate and expand its capacity to deliver services, government must streamline its digital infrastructure to:

  • Optimize the way public servants do their work

  • Automate repetitive, manual processes

  • Empower people to do their best work

At the same time, the Security Legislation Amendment aims to improve the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure in response to increasingly frequent and severe cyberthreats. Agencies must align the need for rapid digital transformation with critical security and compliance requirements, but how?

Rising need for public service transformation

Most government agencies rely on multiple legacy systems to complete work and uphold critical security requirements. Take the public service application process, for example. To address the current labor shortage, agencies are expected to hire thousands of new employees. If only 10% of applicants move on to the interview stage (as commonly projected), some agencies could be left juggling tens of thousands of applicants.

Inefficiencies and opportunities for human error abound, from toggling between systems to entering data manually. Add in the need for comprehensive background checks and detailed onboarding for this high volume of workers, and the process quickly becomes unwieldy. It’s clear legacy systems and manual processes won’t be able to keep up.

To improve recruitment efforts and track the talent pipeline more effectively, agencies need to simplify their onboarding processes. Automating an inefficient and error-prone process can exponentially amplify inefficiencies and errors.

When done right, optimization followed by automation can free government workers to focus on high-value tasks, improving employee experiences and satisfaction.

In both the private and public sectors, outstanding digital experiences for employees are the key to unlocking productivity and freeing up time. - Eric Swift, VP, Managing Director, ServiceNow ANZ


Balancing security and compliance

The need for rapid digital transformation is clear, but government can’t compromise when it comes to security. Amid the Security Legislation Amendment, critical infrastructure entities—including government agencies—must adapt while supporting digital resiliency. The amendment emphasizes risk management planning and mandates incident reporting for systems of national significance.

Compliance with these regulations will include giving government agencies:

  • Full visibility into IT and operational technology assets on their networks

  • Complete awareness of vulnerabilities

  • The ability to respond to threats quickly and effectively


Building the future of government

The ServiceNow Protected Platform is uniquely positioned to help address these needs. Built on Microsoft Azure, it gives agencies access to the capabilities and utility of the Now Platform while keeping their data and support in Australia. ​

Because the ServiceNow Protected Platform is a software as a service (SaaS) platform, it’s possible to deploy it in weeks rather than years. The platform is assessed at the PROTECTED level by an independent assessor for the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP), assisting with the security and resilience of critical data and infrastructure.

The secure platform empowers government to rapidly onboard new public servants, expand capacity, and comply with increasingly rigorous security standards.

By using one platform to manage complex tasks and requests, we have improved our automation and streamlined a range of administrative tasks. - Steve Stirling, GM, ICT Operations, DISER


Delivering real results

In May 2022, Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (DISR) successfully implemented the ServiceNow Protected Platform to streamline and automate enterprise service management for more than 4,000 employees. The department procured and implemented the platform in less than six months.

“By using one platform to manage complex tasks and requests, we have improved our automation and streamlined a range of administrative tasks, enabling us to assign team members to more important work,” says Steve Stirling, general manager of ICT operations at DISR.

“In our work with more than 100 Australian state and federal agencies, we see them facing increasing demands to deliver more with less,” says Eric Swift, vice president and managing director of ServiceNow for Australia and New Zealand.

“As a result of this go‑live, DISR will significantly improve its employees’ experience so staff can focus on what’s important: improving outcomes for citizens. In both the private and public sectors, outstanding digital experiences for employees are the key to unlocking productivity and freeing up time,” he adds. “This is driving significant demand from a range of regulated industries for the ServiceNow Protected Platform.”

Find out more about how the ServiceNow Protected Platform helps public services optimize and automate to complete work efficiently and securely.

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