Technology giant Google has published a Northern Grampians Shire Council digital-transformation story in a cloudcomputing environment, giving the council international exposure.
The council has established significant operational efficiencies as part of digital redevelopment involving Google.
Mayor Kevin Erwin said council representatives had mentioned to senior Google staff during a trip to Canberra earlier this year how the council had achieved organisational efficiency ‘by going Google’.
“This chance meeting triggered a series of online video conferences with senior Google staff from Singapore and Sydney, plus a public-relations team from London,” he said.
“It soon became apparent we are one of Google’s highest client users internationally, having successfully integrated the entire organisation to a cloud-based computing environment.
“Added to this was the captivating story of a small rural community that is doing big things with technology.
“When you include what we’re doing with the search for dark matter at the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory and our new sustainable jobs at Nectar Farms and Bulgana, it’s a story that’s not only captivating but unexpected.
“These projects not only create the jobs of the future economy but will leverage innovation in our schools and become a source of excitement, pride and inspiration for the broader community.
“People expect governments to move at a glacial pace, but that’s not the way we are doing things.”
Northern Grampians Shire Council is one of 10 government-sector organisations Google is promoting as a customer success story.
It sits alongside the likes of Manchester City Council in England and the City of Los Angeles in the United States of America.
Cr Erwin said the move to a complete Google environment had transformed the way the council operated and collaborated, ‘creating a smarter, more flexible and efficient workplace’.
He added that one of the other big results since the transition in 2014 was the council becoming a paperless office environment, reducing printing costs by 90 percent in the process.
“Led by a mantra of ‘anytime, anywhere and any device’, the council has achieved major productivity gains with workplace flexibility, improved collaboration and a massive reduction in the downtime of IT infrastructure,” Cr Erwin said.
“Our story also demonstrates the opportunities that can be unlocked for rural communities when they have access to mobile telecommunications, plus fast and efficient internet.
“I’d like to mention our local farmers who are doing amazing things with technology as they find new ways to maximise production in a drier climate.
“While I’m pleased it’s rural communities leading the way, it’s time more governments got on board the innovation train.”