Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 24 2017 Contents THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 24 • 197
Fourth, rapid change in emerging technologies is a major
influencing factor in acquiring ICT infrastructure and business
applications. There is an increasing push to move towards
'everything as a service' using cloud-based environments, often
with unrealistic expectations of cost savings and operational
efficiencies. Other technological influences include social media,
mobility, information security and open data. Still, research
around ICT in local government highlights the traditional
'bureaucratic' nature of council environments.
Fifth, the socio-economic factors can't be ignored when
considering ICT. The changing demographics of Australian
society mean that the types of services provided by councils have
evolved dramatically over time, and this demand-side pressure will
continue. Many authors use the term 'digital divide' to highlight
differences in ICT literacy across populations. The extent to which
local government is increasingly involved in services to people
is the extent to which they will be under increased pressure to
provide these services for their constituents.
In summary, preferences for ICT adoption in local
government are subject to a range of influences, many of them
particular to local government. The broad range of services and
diverse stakeholders makes the implementation of ICT initiatives
in councils extremely complicated. Yet, this does not militate
against the fact that ICT is still a core component of any council's
strategic capacity. Additionally, it should be emphasised that
a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. IT managers need
to engage with their community, councillors, management
and staff, and they need to take a consultative approach. In
considering options for ICT adoption, councils should be ready
to confront the trade-offs that need to be demonstrated by
About the authors
Bligh Grant is Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Public Policy and
Governance, University of Technology Sydney (UTS: IPPG).
Uday Kulkarni is an experienced technology management
professional with a comprehensive understanding of ICT in New
South Wales local government, and private and not-for-profit
sectors. He is a PhD candidate at the UTS Institute for Public Policy
and Governance (UTSS: IPPG).
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