The rapid pace of change in ICT combined with accelerated retirement and headcount reduction initiatives have resulted in a skills shortage and skills gap across the wider Public Service. This Strategy identifies targeted recruitment of ICT professionals and professionalisation of ICT as critical to future delivery of ICT enabled public services.
Given the importance of ICT in service delivery, it is essential that the correct ICT resource levels and skillsets are in place; and, as with any key business function, that succession planning for critical roles be established.
This objective is underpinned by several key focus areas including:
Delivery of ICT requires a wide range of skills from support services and infrastructure management to project management, systems architecture and software development. Professionalisation of ICT career streams to allow progression within ICT is critical; as is mobility of ICT staff across Public Bodies to develop expertise and provide succession planning.
The Public Service provides a wide range of services across society and ICT is critical to delivery of many key day-to-day services. One of the challenges this presents for smaller Public Bodies is how to ensure that the diversity of skills required for the range of ICT services is available or viable in these Public Bodies. Where this does not exist, a dependency on external bodies is created for initiation of ICT based projects. This can increase risk factors and costs of the associated delivery.
Given the current ICT skill shortages, the variety of careers available to ICT professionals and the continued Public Service headcount pressure, a more flexible resourcing model will be required in some Public Bodies to meet the needs of the future. Analysis will be undertaken in collaboration with each Public Body to identify opportunities for business benefits by blending internal management with external services providers for ICT services and realising the potential to release resources for other business or more strategic ICT activities.