Microsoft has announced it is launching an initiative to deliver critical cloud computing skills to 5,000 Australian public sector workers by 2020. The goal of the initiative is to boost the digital capabilities of public sector workers at the forefront of delivering digital services to Australian citizens.
The digital delivery of government services is currently the subject of a senate inquiry which has heard several submissions calling for the up skilling of public sector employees in digital services rather than outsourcing digital projects.
One of the notable submissions to the inquiry has come from former digital transformation office chief, Paul Shetler, who argued continued outsourcing has undermined the governments ability to deliver effective digital services.
Earlier this month he told the inquiry the government could learn a lot from the private sector’s digital service leaders and their in house digital capabilities.
“Facebook, Amazon, they don’t outsource their stuff to IBM or Accenture – they make darn sure they can actually react in real-time to their understanding of what user needs are, that’s how they survive, that’s how they maintain competitive advantage,” Shetler said.
The Microsoft training announced today appears to be a step in that direction for the government.
Microsoft, along with its training partners DDLS, New Horizons and Advanced Training, will invite key personnel from the public sector and supplier organisations to participate in specialised, Microsoft-subsidised, cloud computing courses. It is anticipated 800 public sector workers will be trained over the next three months, with a goal to upskill a total of 5,000 by 2020.
A comprehensive nine module program will run across six cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, designed specifically for public sector workers. The program is for all skill levels at every stage of the public sector’s cloud adoption journey and is designed to align with the recently released Australian Government Secure Cloud Strategy. This strategy made clear the important role cloud services must play for new or modernised services in the digital transformation of the public sector. Microsoft said this announcement supports and accelerates this process.
The program will accommodate workers across the entire public sector ecosystem, including government partners, solutions/systems integrators and independent software vendors, along with public sector workers preparing to deliver services against the Government Secure Cloud Strategy.
The courses accommodate a range of skills and needs, ranging from integrating on-premise core infrastructure with Microsoft Azure, to operationalising cloud analytics solutions with Microsoft Azure. Participants will come away with a range of skills including being able to move, transform and analyse data, design and deployment skills for end-to-end solutions, and monitoring and troubleshooting in the cloud, according to Microsoft.
Steven Worrall, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia, said digital transformation and innovation are critical to sustaining Australia’s national competitiveness.
“The Federal Government has… commissioned the Australian Public Service Commission and the Digital Transformation Agency to improve the digital capability of the Australian Public Service. Our commitment to provide education and development to upskill 5,000 public sector workers will help complement that process.
“This training promises organisational agility, better delivery of services and faster insights from government data, which will help transform the Australian public sector by providing a better experience for citizens. Migrating from legacy platforms to the cloud is not trivial, so the specialised program we have put together will equip public sector developers and system engineers with cloud-ready skills to design and build digital solutions and deliver their agency transformation initiatives.”