The Government has outlined the priorities for New Zealand's digital tech future through its intention to create a 'Chief Technology Officer' (CTO) position. This role will lead the development of a blueprint for national technology initiatives and digital innovations in the next few years, according to Beehive media release.
This move is overdue after years of lobbying from leaders in the IT and technology sector, and indicates a drive for a clear vision of how New Zealand can develop in the next few years. But what does appointing a CTO mean for the future?
Tech industry leaders determine a national goal – developing the sector to become the second largest contributor to export GDP.
A single source of authority
A single outlet for interaction between government bodies, private interests groups and NGOs invested in improving the digital future of New Zealand will ensure everyone is on the same page.
This way, deciding on actions that can boost digital connectivity and encourage business innovations, from a national to regional level, will be more efficient. It also means experts from all fields can inform government policy about how to improve New Zealand's digital culture.
A digitally connected nation
Further benefits to appointing a CTO for New Zealand's tech future could be a greater exchange of information between government bodies and citizens.
The New Zealand Digital Technology Manifesto, signed by industry leaders from across the sector, claims the country's reputation for high-government transparency and low corruption can only be sustained by openly engaging with citizens regarding their digital rights and business' access to private data. A CTO will be responsible for more accessible updates on how technology is changing across the country and how it may affect people.
A blueprint to improve NZ tech from the bottom up
Part of the CTO's responsibility will be to come up with a plan, from a national to a local level, on how businesses, interest groups and educators can work together to develop a more digital-savvy generation of Kiwis.
As many as 77 per cent of CEOs worldwide are concerned about a lack of digital skills holding back the growth of their enterprise1. With a CTO in place to improve IT and technology infrastructure in New Zealand, businesses can be assured more will be done in schools, both at primary and secondary level, to make children digital natives to the tech of the future.
The Manifesto establishes a clear goal for New Zealand to expand its technology sector to improve its performance as the third largest contributor to export GDP. This goal also aims for New Zealand to be a world leader in digital openness.
A Chief Technology Officer, working at the head of a think tank of technology industry leaders, will be vital for the future of New Zealand tech.
A CTO will go a long way to securing a defined path for the future of New Zealand tech. A more robust IT and digital sector requires a workforce ready to meet the demands of the future however. For more information on individuals who can help boost your business' digital abilities, contact the 920 team today.
1– PwC survey of world CEOs 2017.