Government to bridge the digital divide

Government to bridge the digital divide

This month ICT minister David Cunliffe will reveal the government’s digital strategy for creating a knowledge society.

Cunliffe says there is a huge discrepancy between what the knowledge within the ICT sector and the general public know about technology.

He is calling for help from the private sector in bridging the digital divide.

“There is a huge potential for New Zealand to be a world leader in technology but at the moment the country is in danger of getting stuck at the email stage. We need to work together to make sure IT happens.” he says.

Included in the announcement will be specific initiatives to inspire productivity and growth within the sector and what Cunliffe describes as a significant amount of money.

He says the industry needs to come to the party by providing an interface to people.

“Go out there an find people and consider every New Zealander as your client. Those who own the customers will win in business.”

With so much of New Zealand business falling into the SMB sector Cunliffe believes the key to success is through providing simple products and mentoring services.

“Small firms says it’s too difficult to bring technology into an established business and that’s why the corner panel beater or dairy is still using an old computer.”

The government will continue to fund technology education to the tune of $50m annually and will make security a top priority with the promise of more online cyber cops.

With in excess of $2 billion a year spent in government IT purchases Cunliffe says the procurement process will be improved with tenders available to both small and large businesses.

“There is a lack of education in the provider community on the tendering process.”

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