Digital Hume a digital strategy for a smart region. Executive Summary

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1 a Digital Hume a digital strategy for a smart region Executive Summary

2 ii Digital Hume: a digital strategy for a smart region Introduction As the National Broadband Network arrives in the Hume Region there is an opportunity, a challenge and a duty. The opportunity is to exploit this potential gamechanging infrastructure for regional Australia, and the new digital economy for which it is a catalyst. The duty is to collaborate and innovate to secure the best results for our communities in the digital era. There is a compelling vision for the Hume Region as a smart region connected, digitally empowered and innovative with communities and enterprises at ease in the digital economy, ready for all challenges. The challenge is to overcome all barriers to good telecommunications access and to ensure all communities and businesses in the region are digitally enabled.

3 Executive Summary 1 Vision for Digital - A Smart Region Hume by 2017 will be a smart region connected, digitally empowered and innovative. Hume will be a regional leader in Australia by leveraging digital innovation and connectivity to achieve: economic growth and diversity; a strong, skilled, inclusive and engaged community able to participate in the global economy; transformed and accessible public services that exploit digital media to the full; a reputation as a connected, liveable and desirable location to live, do business and visit; and a more sustainable environment. Our target is to have our residents and businesses in the region online, confident with using digital technologies and open to opportunities in the digital economy a fully networked community by Why the digital economy? A thriving digital economy can give us powerful new tools to build a competitive and inclusive region with even greater productivity and innovation. It reduces the distances between businesses and markets with the click of a mouse. In the digital economy, small companies can be global exporters of products, services and knowledge that were never before portable across time zones or borders. Communities can access new jobs, training and economic opportunities wherever they are. In the digital era, schools everywhere can have access to the latest information, tools and teaching. Healthcare providers can connect to leading medical centres and patients to global expertise. Digitisation can reduce the costs of public services and renew community engagement in the democratic process. It can strengthen the resilience of the region in dealing with emergencies. Above all, the digital economy can ensure the region has connectivity and access to services previously only enjoyed by capital cities. It will further enhance the attractions of the Hume Region as a place to invest, work, learn, live and visit. Digital Hume is thus an integral part of the broader Hume Strategy for Sustainable Communities (Hume Strategy) regional plan and it provides a strategic direction and tool for marketing the region. Digital Hume is also based on an essential strategic enabler for the region a best-in-class partnership/working group working across all levels of government, public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

4 2 Digital Hume: a digital strategy for a smart region Focus for the strategy and a Digital Hume partnership/working group Digital Hume s strategic direction is based on: the views of stakeholders from across the region; analysis of the needs and opportunities of the communities and sectors in the sub regions within Hume; alignment with the Hume Strategy, Hume Regional Growth Plan (to be completed in 2013) and the objectives of partners from all tiers of government; local, national and, indeed, global best practice and innovation; and lessons from the early roll out of the NBN in other regions. Digital Hume strategic focus areas 1. Maximising the impact of the NBN 2. Striving to get all online by Encouraging digitally enabled business 5. Marketing Digital Hume. 3. Working towards transforming public services and community engagement

5 Executive Summary 3 Strategic Focus Area 1 Maximising the impact of the NBN The opportunity To ensure internationally competitive broadband speeds and bandwidth are available in the region via: the arrival of the NBN; the continuing upgrade of mobile services; and existing fibre optic networks owned by public sector agencies in the region. The challenge There will be gaps in supply and unmet need such as: the NBN roll-out will itself take at least ten years to reach the whole region; not all areas will have access to NBN fibre offering 100Mbps services; mobile and wireless services, though improving may still leave some areas with black spots, however, satellite roll-out and wireless is expected to be completed by 2015; and barriers remain to wider use of existing fibre networks. The strategy Assisting the NBN roll-out but not waiting for it and taking actions now to fill supply gaps. Actions include: ensuring good working partnerships between the three tiers of government via the Hume Strategy partnership group, the NBN Co and other broadband and mobile providers; increasing use of and access to existing public sector fibre networks; exploring the creation of regional data centre/s in and for the Hume Region; generating innovative solutions for improving wireless broadband supply; aggregating demand for and purchasing of high speed broadband services to reduce cost and improve quality; exploring how partners might aggregate demand for and purchasing of high speed broadband services to reduce costs and improve quality.

6 4 Digital Hume: a digital strategy for a smart region Strategic Focus Area 2 Striving to get all online by 2017 The opportunity To engage, up-skill and benefit all our communities in the digital era and to promote Hume as a networked region by: raising awareness of the roll out of the NBN, the objectives of Digital Hume and the benefits of participating in the digital economy; ensuring partners and all relevant agencies enable appropriate skills development; improving public access to digital technologies; and profiling the region as collectively engaged in creating a digital future. The challenge To ensure no community is left behind and all can maximise the benefits of the digital era by: coordinating all agencies and partners public, private and not-for-profit; identifying the key target groups and interventions required; providing the right communication and support interventions; and ensuring all relevant organisations are participating so that the burden for getting all online does not sit with a few organisations. The strategy A broad campaign and program of projects to raise enthusiasm, skills and digital inclusion. Actions include: setting a target to strive to get all all online by 2017 to drive and motivate partners and the community towards the goal of a networked region; developing tools to assess broadband readiness and use of digital media; ensuring best practice is shared and activities coordinated; focusing on groups at risk of digital exclusion such as over 60s, the indigenous community, people with a disability, recent migrants and refugees; focusing on businesses that historically have low take-up, such as those in agriculture and hospitality sectors; and small business enterprises; exploiting libraries and other relevant public infrastructure to act as key digital hubs for access and skills; driving up community acquisition and use of digital skills and demand for broadband through increased digitisation of services and engagement with residents via online platforms and social media; and developing a high profile campaign to promote the importance of digital inclusion and ensure digital inclusion a priority and are digital champions for their area, client or community group; focusing on re-skilling and/or up-skilling those in work or seeking to enter the workforce; ensuring public spaces have Wi-Fi connectivity/ availability.

7 Executive Summary 5 Strategic Focus Area 3 Working towards transforming of public services The opportunity To use new digital media to create smarter, better designed, more accessible public services with reduced costs and higher impact, tailored to local communities and businesses by: increasing use of digital technologies and social media for engagement, services and transactions; exploring innovation such as tele-working, smart gathering and use of data and insights; identifying and spreading innovative best practice across the region, sharing experience and costs where possible; exploring opportunities to involve residents in service design and delivery; opening up online access to key data useful to local business; and enabling more efficient integration of emergency services on digital platforms. The challenge For public sector partners to view high-speed broadband not as an engineering project but as an inspiration to review and change business models, becoming champions for digital innovation and online engagement by: creating a virtuous circle between public sector digital innovation, up-skilling of local communities and new opportunities for local business; filling any gaps in resources, skills or knowledge by sharing best practice across partners in the region; overcoming resistance to change; encouraging a culture of local engagement and the actions and technologies that support it; adapting to diverse social and economic needs of a region with multiple regional cities/centres and four distinct sub regions; and working collaboratively with local not-for-profit/ community organisations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The strategy Stresses the importance of public service transformation via digital innovation and uses case studies to show how to achieve it in different sectors and different tiers of government in health, education, local government services, transport, economic development and care of the elderly and people with disabilities. Actions include: reviewing the design and delivery of their own services in a digital era including using digital channels for engagement and transactions as well as exploring tele-working/monitoring opportunities; identifying the specific needs in terms of digital infrastructure; reviewing the digital skills of staff and their actual or potential use of smart phones, tablets and social media; establishing digital champions within their organisations to promote change; committing to a regional and partner-open data Policy; reviewing how the NBN itself and other existing fibre networks might be used to deliver services going forward; ensuring all not-for-profit organisations, companies or other partners delivering programs for the public sector have their own digital strategies and digital inclusion policies; and reviewing by emergency services of how they can share online platforms for emergency management purposes.

8 6 Digital Hume: a digital strategy for a smart region Strategic Focus Area 4 Encouraging digitally enabled business The opportunity To enhance and learn from the success of existing innovative businesses, to attract further sectors that are knowledge driven, smart and green, and to enable local business to find and form global markets and alliances by: best-in-class public-private partnering supporting the digital economy, including collaborations between business, governments and TAFE/universities; ensuring all business support activity is digitally informed; promoting skills acquisition and knowledge sharing; creating direct opportunities through procurement; targeting support by local governments to promote the economic opportunities of key sectors in each sub region; and promoting Hume as the region for digitally enabled businesses in Victoria. The challenge To ensure the strategy is relevant to the diverse subregional economies and sectors and helps upgrade the digital capacity, skills and understanding of both SMEs and larger companies by: rigorously analysing the needs of the diverse sectors and sub regions; identifying relevant case studies and examples of best-practice innovation; enabling effective partnering and knowledge sharing between the public and private sectors; encouraging new business opportunities; ensuring the right digital infrastructure is in place to grow new sectors; and ensuring the right marketing strategy is in place to promote Hume Region as the place to do digitally enabled business. The strategy Informed by best practice on digitally enabling business, focuses on the needs of SMEs, key existing sectors in the sub regions and on attracting new businesses. It identifies opportunities for the public sector, skills providers and peak business organisations to collaborate to promote the digital economy in the region. Actions include: Hume partners and business groups, as a priority, raising awareness of the benefits of high speed broadband and promoting key knowledge sharing; providing case studies and demonstration initiatives of SMEs finding global markets and alliances online; creating a network of e-entrepreneurs to digitally coach and mentor local businesses; encouraging sector and sub-regional specific digital business support with local governments building on existing economic development initiatives and centres of excellence; ensuring all business support in the region is digitally enabled; using the unique strategic location of the region s relationship to the Hume transport corridor and other major transport links to develop innovative freight and logistics centres of excellence that exploit digital infrastructure and smart data gathering sensors; and ensuring TAFE, university and other skills providers work with local peak bodies and Hume partners to provide relevant training and courses to support SMEs and growth sectors.

9 Executive Summary 7 Strategic Focus Area 5 Marketing Digital Hume The opportunity To use Digital Hume to strengthen the region s branding and identity as a forward-looking and connected smart region with a great environment and a diverse, modern economy that is attractive to current and future investors and communities. The challenge To ensure that the upgrade of the region s digital assets is paralleled and reinforced by a coordinated marketing effort within the region to its communities and businesses, and to key external audiences. The strategy To put Digital Hume at the centre of the marketing and branding of the region. Actions include: making Digital Hume a core part of the suite of initiatives and strategies marketing the region; using Digital Hume to reinforce the wider effort by the Hume Strategy partnership group to market the region for inward investment, lifestyle re-location and to retain key workers; ensuring digital initiatives in the region are promoted under a common Digital Hume branding whether or not the initiatives are undertaken by the regional digital partnership/ working group or partner members; collaborating and sharing best practice and resources amongst communication and marketing professionals of all partner organisations.

10 Digital Hume: a digital strategy for a smart region 8 Conclusion Digital Hume envisages and helps deliver: economic diversification and renewal with a digitally enabled SME sector; re-designed, best-in-class new models of public and commercial services available without longdistance travel; community revitalisation, well-being and engagement; a better demographic balance, retaining more young people and attracting families and entrepreneurs to relocate; innovative approaches to education, health and community engagement raising skill levels and enabling life-long learning; and promoting greater environmental sustainability in the context of climate change and fire hazards. Digital Hume is a core strategy for the region, developing and promoting its viability, assets and attractions. It s that important.

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