The NZICT Group was established last December to “position information technology as the key ingredient to New Zealand’s development and competitiveness”. It recently celebrated its first landmark with its AGM to elect the new board and has so far being going great guns.
CEO Brett O’Riley said its success is evident in the “contestability” of memberships at all membership levels. These members range from vendors to societies and associations such as the Wireless and Broadband Forum, which voted to become the fi rst NZICT forum as The Channel went to print. The NZICT Group has taken the deliberate approach not to become involved in a “land grab”, working rather as an enabler to “facilitate a common industry view”.
O’Riley noted that historically ICT has not been very collaborative, but the numerous cluster groups around the country and organisations such as The Ice House have demonstrated how success can be generated through collaboration. “It’s when we get the industry together and people talking that we see the benefits,” explained O’Riley, adding that the more people the group has conversations with, the more common areas they find to work on together. These discussions provide opportunities that, in O’Riley’s view, are likely to be bolstered by a government that is very focused on ICT as a key enabler for the economy.
Although as an industry ICT tends by nature to be broken into factions, O’Riley said there are important common issues that affect us all. These are the key issues that the group intends to address, and include the matter of skills and education, the government’s use of ICT as a facilitator, and the concerns surrounding procurement by government departments (for more on procurement, turn to O’Riley’s guest column on page 48). Finally the group’s innovation framework aims to have a vision for New Zealand andset goals that the ICT industry can take a role in leading.
O’Riley concluded: “The significance of that is that we have a role to play as a vertical industry, making our own industry stronger and more vibrant, but the real contribution that we make is the horizontal contribution in the economy, and that is the role that ICT has to play as an input and an enabler in every industry.”