Advocacy Action Alert: Canada’s Information Technology Strategic Plan
July 6, 2016

alert2.jpgCanada’s  Information Technology Strategic Plan


The Government of Canada has released its Information Technology Strategic Plan, outlining key activities to ensure the provision of secure, reliable, responsive and innovative IT services. Please review the 4 strategic areas of action presented in the Plan, notably: Service IT, Secure IT, Manage IT, and Work IT and then confirm your interest in engaging in CATA led public policy advocacy (email CATA CEO, John Reid at jreid@cata.ca)  on desired Plan improvements and implementation approaches.


Organizations are also reminded that CATA has developed a new CATAlog of technologies and solutions (https://vimeo.com/channels/catalog) to assist with outreach to customers, markets and media, including special Social Networks such as the CATA Group (12,300 members) at: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Canadian-Advanced-Technology-Alliance-CATA-37239/about


Executive Summary Full report URL: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/oversight-surveillance/itpm-itgp/it-ti/gcitsp-tigcps-eng.asp


Traditionally, government organizations have set up and run their own IT infrastructure and services in order to carry out their respective mandates. Over the last few years, the Government of Canada has taken the first steps to transform its approach to IT infrastructure and service delivery. These steps have included initiatives to transform the “back office” services provided to employees, such as human resources, financial services and records management, and to provide IT infrastructure, email, data centres and network services across government through Shared Services Canada.


This IT strategic plan builds on the lessons learned from these initiatives, and seizes on the opportunities created by technologies such as social media, mobile devices, analytics and cloud computing to fully maximize the benefits of an enterprise approach to IT. This plan will deliver to Canadians the kind of government they expect – one that is open and transparent yet safeguards their personal information, one that delivers effective and responsive programs and services while being fiscally prudent, and one that makes decisions based on sound evidence while seeking meaningful engagement and collaboration with Canadians and other stakeholders.


To deliver on these citizen expectations, employees require modern and effective tools for their day-to-day work. They demand a modern workplace with digital tools that are integrated, collaborative and efficient. Along with these requirements, constantly evolving technology and the need to protect vital data and information from malicious cyber threats, make it essential that we renew our aging and mission-critical IT systems. At the same time, we must balance the growing demand for IT services with realistic capacity limitations.


Building on these key drivers, the overarching goals of service, security, value and agility set the direction for the strategy. The Government of Canada is committed to responsive and  innovative IT services that meet business needs and enhance the end-user experience, to a secure and resilient enterprise infrastructure that enables the trusted delivery of programs and services, to smart investments across the board that ensure high-value and cost-effectiveness, and to an agile, connected and high-performing workforce with modern tools. Four strategic areas of action will achieve these goals over the next four years and beyond.  Each area of focus, Service IT, Secure IT, Manage IT, and Work IT details specific actions and activities that are currently underway or that represent new enterprise directions.


The first, Service IT, calls for the use of cloud computing, information-sharing platforms, and technologies and tools to manage service delivery and improve client satisfaction. These actions are necessary in order to develop a modern, reliable and sustainable IT infrastructure that allows for the secure sharing of information. This in turn will ultimately result in better internal services for government employees and improved external services for Canadians and other users.


The second area, Secure IT, focuses on layered defences to reduce exposure to cyber threats, increased awareness and understanding to proactively manage these threats, and protective measures to enable the secure processing and sharing of data and information across government.  These actions will ensure that Canadians and others who access online services trust the government with their personal information.


The third area, Manage IT presents a strengthened governance approach, the evolution of IT management practices, process and tools and a focus on innovation as well as sustainability. Implementing these strategic actions will ensure that IT investments are sustainable, take advantage of economies of scale, and demonstrate value by helping departments deliver on their mandates.


The fourth area, Work IT, introduces actions to build a high-performing IT workforce and a modern workplace that provides public service employees with the tools they need to do their jobs. This is vital because the Government of Canada’s employees are its greatest asset when it comes to delivering the kind of government that Canadians want.


Progress towards achieving the strategic goals outlined in the IT strategic plan will be tracked, evaluated and reported. As it evolves, the government’s IT strategic plan will require the government to make investment choices. It will be reviewed yearly to ensure it stays up to date and relevant, supported by an implementation roadmap to track and report on progress (Appendix A). Departments and agencies through their investment plans, will detail how this enterprise approach will be implemented in their organization.


With this strategic plan, the Government of Canada has set out a clear path to getting the maximum benefit out of the money it spends on IT. Implementing this agenda is crucial to ensuring that the Government of Canada is ready and able to meet the needs and expectations of Canadians in the years ahead.

++ Action Item Mobilization & Engagement: If you have an individual or organizational interest in advancing public policy in areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and techology, please contact CATA CEO John Reid at jreid@cata.ca. Please socialize this communique to your network of social and business contacts, including media.


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