Workshop Series: Stephen Smith
This study analyzes the forward looking information technology (IT) and business strategies used for the sustainable adaptation of data consolidation in government since the late 1980’s. Activity theory is used as a framework to elucidate the dynamic complexity of the New South Wales Government’s Green IS initiatives. A multi-method research design links theory and practice for data collection including one-to-one interviews, forum, and secondary data analysis. We find that the New South Wales government has a multi-pronged approach to data consolidation adaptation. An earlier strategy was for agencies to collect their own data according to their own business requirements following applicable legislation or government mandates. Cheaper IT storage available through hardware and software innovations facilitated this evolution. Leading up to the Year 2000 problem government used this turbulent event to start centralizing data storage as legacy systems were upgrade. A little later this approach also included data center consolidation and government portfolio consolidation where 123 government agencies were merged in 13 super-agencies. Agency merging by portfolio (e.g., Health, Education, Law Enforcement, etc.) permitted greater data consolidation because like agencies within a portfolio can share data more easily directed by legislation and ministerial mandate. More recently staff are being encouraged to use links (url) in emails for example rather than attachments. Further data consolidation activity will include data cleansing to purge out-of-date and/or duplicated data.
Stephen Smith is a Senior Project Officer for collaborate.nsw in the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, Department of Services, Technology and Administration, in the NSW State Government. He holds a PhD and Master of Commerce degrees from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science/Chemistry. Stephen is a casual lecturer in IS security at the School of Information Systems, Technology, and Management, UNSW. Publications include: MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Management Journal, The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, and various refereed national and international conference proceedings and book chapters in IS/IT.