Friday, 01 March 2013 13:21

Canberra on verge of ‘ICT boom’ as Henshaw joins CollabIT ACT


Canberra is gearing up for a boom in the ICT sector, according CollabIT ACT, the organisation managed by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) which assists small to medium sized companies in the ACT to grow their businesses.

CollabIT ACT has just appointed 38 year veteran of the IT and Communications industry veteran, Tony Henshaw, as its first ICT SME advocate. Henshaw previously serving on the Industry Research and Development Board from1987to1993, chaired the Canberra Business Council's Innovation, Education and Sustainability Taskforce and is a current Board member at NICTA.

According to CollabIT ACT Chair, Michelle Melbourne, both Federal Government agencies and ACT Government Directorates are increasingly dependent on technology to serve their stakeholders in the new 24/7 world, and for local ICT suppliers, this creates “new opportunities to provide innovative solutions.”

CollabIT ACT, which is an ACT Government-funded program, managed by the AIIA and run by local industry to help ACT ICT SME’s grow, has now,    appointed senior industry expert,  Tony Henshaw to help drive effective connections between large and small ICT suppliers seeking to address these opportunities.

Melbourne said that with the pressure for rationalisation of technology use in the Federal Government sector, CollabIT ACT predicted a “big opportunity ahead for local technology firms.”

According to Melbourne, the Federal Government is already hungry for Subject Matter Experts in both software and services to improve the quality and speed of government service delivery.

“Governments are under pressure to leverage legacy technology investments with the adoption of new methods that progressively or completely revolutionise the way government interfaces with its citizens.

“There are dozens of examples of project success from both established and start-up Canberra-based ICT companies supplying world-class products and services to government.”

Melbourne said the Canberra IT scene was world-class and “well placed to serve governments to meet the innovation challenge.”

“Governments have shrinking budgets and are looking for faster, better, cheaper solutions. They are increasingly aware that there are world-class service providers right here on their doorstep. Canberra companies will be called on to fill the breach left by cuts to budgets where government processes and services still need to be delivered. They need to be ready.

This is why we have appointed Tony Henshaw, who is a high profile advocate for the SMEs; he is a trusted industry figure who can help them to crack in to the ecosystem of supply chains into Federal Government."

Henshaw commented: “I am very pleased to be appointed the Inaugural ICT SME Advocate. It is a vital role that will ensure government can access innovation and quick wins, through the established ecosystem controlled by Prime Contractors who are often global giants. Helping SMEs to access these supply chains is essential and presents a massive opportunity to the Canberra economy.

“Combine this with the rollout of the NBN, we are on the crest of a wave that will broaden the ACT’s economic base and enhance its reputation as a smart digital city," Henshaw said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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