A Tale of Two Cities-Australia

A Tale of Two Cities-Australia

The growing customer base of Washington's DIS includes school districts, cities, counties, state agencies, colleges and universities, public utility districts and tribes. As its customers identify business needs, DIS builds solutions by selecting the proper tools from its array of available information technologies. This includes not only mainframe computing and data and voice telecommunications, but also facilities management services, technology brokering and acquisition, and multimedia services.

If Rodgers' experience is representative, the federal and state governments around Australia have two chances to achieve anything similar: none and Buckley's. Among reasons why Rodgers left the public sector without a backward glance are the determination to empire-build, the lack of motivation to work collaboratively, and remuneration that makes it impossible for the government sector to compete with the prevailing IT market for skill sets.

"I've been disenchanted with government. If I had a choice of doing this all over again, I'd probably elect not to go into government," Rodgers says. "I think it's disappointing that there isn't that focus on collaborative problem-solving between agencies and departments.

"But I have also been frustrated by the fact that it takes so long to make a decision. I have a mentor who runs a semi-government agency in Queensland. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow when I was discussing this at the Gartner forum [last year] and said: ‘Don't you realise that government processes are designed to slow things down; they're designed to slow the decision-making process?' "I think he's right. One of the things I learned in the public service is that things don't happen quickly and the process of putting forward initiatives does take a very, very long time."

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