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Qld councils making strides towards digitisation

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 11 December, 2017

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Queensland's local councils have made major improvements to the way they manage the huge volumes of data they collect, but are still facing barriers towards gains in digital productivity.

These are the key findings of the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) latest Digital Productivity Report.

The report found that 88% of councils are collecting data which is considered a critical asset to the council, 82% have or are preparing an information management plan and 84% are undertaking some sort of activity to help foster the digital economy and encourage digital literacy among their constituents.

There is also strong support for the potential of digital transformation to improve productivity, with 85% of councils agreeing that the digital economy will help them deliver better services and 79% believing that it will enhance interactions with the community.

But the report also found that just 48% of councils are actively deploying information and data to increase productivity and efficiency.

Major barriers to this goal include a lack of skilled workers, with 75% of councils agreeing there is a skills shortage for the digital economy.

In addition, just 55% of councils reported that their community has access to high-quality internet services, which is an improvement of just eight percentage points from when the survey first started in 2013.

“Local governments are now treating data as a core asset. They are engaging with residents and visitors using the platforms the community has chosen and are starting to ensure that their community has access to valuable data to feed the next generation of businesses and the creation of long-term and sustainable jobs,” LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said in his forward to the report.

“While there has been a substantial increase over the last two years in the use of these technologies and the benefits flowing from them, there are still several challenges. Chief amongst them is the continuing issue of access to reliable and, most important, affordable digital connectivity at the community level and to some extent at the council level.”

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