Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Australian government spending on information and communications technology is steadily increasing.
According to the latest forecast from Gartner Inc., annual spending on information and communications technology (ICT) services by Australia’s public and private sectors will reach $65 billion ($93 billion Australian) in 2019. This represents an increase of 3.5% over 2018 levels. For Wisconsin companies interested in entering the growing Australian market, government agencies represent a significant opportunity and it is important that new ICT products meet Australian standards.
Since 2015, the Australian government has been progressing a digital transformation agenda, with federal government agencies spending nearly $7 billion ($10 billion Australian) on ICT products and services in recent years.
As part of the digital transformation agenda, government has sought to streamline and simplify the procurement process by establishing a series of ICT panels and arrangements.
The key agencies involved in setting standards and coordinating panels and arrangements are the Australian Signal Directorate (ASD) and the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).
The ASD is the national agency responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign signals intelligence and the provision of cybersecurity advice and assistance to Australian government agencies, and also works closely with industry to develop and deploy secure cryptographic products. The ASD is responsible for:
- the production of the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), which is the standard that governs the security of government ICT systems;
- providing certifications based on the ISM and producing lists of accredited ICT providers to government, such as the ASD Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL); and
- overseeing the Australasian Information Security Evaluation Program (AISEP), which tests ICT security products for possible inclusion on the Evaluated Products List (EPL).
The DTA is an executive agency within the prime minister and Cabinet portfolio, established in 2015 to help government departments and agencies undergo digital transformation. It is responsible for managing the ICT Procurement Portal, the online marketplace that connects government buyers with eligible ICT suppliers, which are listed on different panels and arrangements according to which products and services they offer—e.g., the Whole-of-Government Cloud Services Panel (CSP).
Wisconsin companies interested in supplying ICT products and services to Australian government agencies are encouraged to:
- download and familiarize themselves with the relevant sections of the ISM;
- register on Austender to receive updates on "approaches to market" for new panels and updates to existing panels; and
- consider appointing a local partner for sales and support.