The Future of Government and Infrastructure
Last week our sister event, Integrate - the leading AV and tech event in Australia, hosted their first Virtual Speaker Series where they discussed the future of AV in our changing world and "The Future of Government and Infrastructure".
Below is a recap of their panel discussion on “The Future of Government and Infrastructure” where they discussed how COVID-19 has impacted critical infrastructure and government bodies. There was some great takeaways from the session, including a section on cyber security, which we wanted to share with you.
From bush fires to COVID 19 to imminent cyber threats, the last 12 months have seen the establishment of new control centres, increased security of our systems, daily press briefings and generally a more transparent communication style by our state and federal leaders. The AV community has been instrumental is designing and installing the systems to facilitate this new normal. Integrate’s Virtual Speaker series discussed the learnings and where to from here. If you missed the session or would like a recap of the session check out our 5 takeaways below!
1. Altering the Workflow
The pandemic has dramatically changed how we conduct business and it has resulted in remote working strategies being brought forward at a scale previously unseen, with AV technologies leading the way.
“Even before the pandemic we saw a move towards more flexible working options across many government agencies,” said Nick Orsatti from Fredon Technologies. “Cloud technology has become a business requirement to enable this shift, but this has also opened up security questions for many agencies.”
Claudio Cardile, Barco Australia and New Zealand agreed, “There’s been an acceleration in the UC space. The adoption rates [of UC technology] in the industry have been brought forward by 2-3 years”. This is particularly the case in critical infrastructure, he added, creating new opportunities and business for the AV industry.
2. Redefining Collaboration
Initially, when the world swapped the office for home, we adopted systems and processes that we’re necessarily built for purpose, finding workarounds and relaxing some of our stricter security protocols. Now that we’re used to hybrid meeting structures and the new requirements of the information workflows, it’s time to rethink and revisit how we work.
In our panic, we accepted lower levels of collaboration experiences, but as we shift our view to the longterm reality of the ‘new norm’, clients and users will not be as forgiving when it comes to poor audio quality, wireless presentation latency or poor contactless collaboration. Businesses will need to rethink their security approaches and technology infrastructure to maintain quality collaboration experiences.
3. Compromising Cyber Security
“Cyber Security is now a mainstream conversation,” said James Riley of InnovationAus. “The Government has recognised that this is a legitimate issue, offering $1.3b over the coming years to combat Cyber Hygiene issues.”
Riley said it is easy to be caught up in the ‘Big State’ threats, when the real and far more dangerous threat is more mundane with data phishing and financial security posing a bigger worry to our own personal security. So have we compromised our level of security?
The pandemic has heightened the cyber conversation on many levels, but Riley says there’s still hope and that the ‘moment’ has arrived for B2B technology and Government to transform the way they work. It has also exposed skills and technology gaps that many Australians might find surprising -but now they too are on the agenda to be fixed.
“Australia, with its 29 years of economic growth, hasn’t had a burning need to drive reform…the pandemic has changed that and there’s a renewed appetite to drive future change.”
4. Broadcasting Control
AV platforms and integrated control rooms were front and centre during the Bushfire Crisis earlier in the year and they continued to adapt and run 24/7 as each new crisis unfolded in 2020. Not only did they highlight to a wider audience the integrated technology, IP connectivity, multichannel feeds and more used to run theses command centres but their presence in our news feeds is changing the way we disseminate critical information to the public and changing the narrative.
“Press conferences are going straight to the public via live-streamed feeds powered by AV, without the need for journalists or governments to filter the message,” remarked Riley.
“We’re rethinking how we use these control rooms and broadening our mindset as to how we can utilise this infrastructure further to be more efficient and dynamic,” added Cardile. “The next 12 months will be interesting as we approach these [control cenrtres] with a different take on the requirements.”
5. What does the future hold?
While they all agreed there will be greater demand for multitask networking, integration of multichannel data sources, BYOD and source streaming in the future, they also highlighted that we need to better understand data security across networks. Despite all this there is still an overriding sense of optimism.
“I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s certainly a difficult time for everyone at the moment but governments are trying to prop up the economy and that means that there is increased opportunity in our space to education and implement in UC platforms and ultimately kee our workforce employed,” surmised Orsatti.
Cardile’s outlook was more focuss on his direct client base. “Our experience has been varied depending on the client. We’ve seen organisations bring projects forward and accelerate roll out in this ‘downtime’, while other are taking the time to rethink strategies on digital activation. Overall I am postive neutral.”
Meanwhile Riley was “completely pumped” saying, “There is an incredible opportunity for Australians to move into this phase of innovation.”
“We’ve exposed weakness and capability gaps – and they are being acted on at a speed that we haven’t seen in this country for decades. The disruption in this space shows there’s incredible opportunity. Local companies have grown much more sophisticated and their more capital floating around the ecosystem. I’m very much looking forward to what the Government has to say about the Information Technology and industry development in the Octber budget.”
So maybe Australia has learned to never let a good crisis go to waste.
Claudio Cardile, Barco Australia and New Zealand
Nick Orsatti, Fredon Technology
James Riley, InnovationAus
For more updates from Integrate, visit their website here.
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