Five minutes with Mark Lenzner, Executive Director, ICT / Digital Sourcing
Can you tell us about your organisation and its purpose?
To enable the vision of the Department of Customer Service to be the world's most customer-centric Government, the vision of ICT / Digital Sourcing is to be the easiest Government to partner and do business with. We aim to realise this vision through our purpose of accelerating digital government strategies and industry growth through conscious, simplified and streamlined procurement. Our role encompasses all facets of the broader role of the Department of Customer Service; a central agency, network leader of service delivery and reform.
As a central agency our role is to set whole of Government ICT procurement policies and frameworks, including the establishment and governance of the ICT services scheme, and the facilitation of innovation through innovation procurement pathways. As a network leader our role is to establish and govern our partnership ecosystem (including whole of Government arrangements, purchasing arrangements and panels), drive and manage the ICT procurement savings program and govern our whole of Government ICT / Digital strategic partnerships such as Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP and Telstra. For service delivery and reform, our role is to transform, manage and maintain our whole of Government digital procurement ecosystem known as buy.nsw.
To realise our vision and deliver on our purpose our current Strategic Initiatives are:
- Category Optimisation - including the ongoing expansion and refresh of our portfolio of whole of Government agreements and panels, optimising our ICT and digital spend and driving ICT procurement savings
- Innovation Procurement Pathways - to make it easier to find and develop the best solutions to problems people face in NSW. Innovation procurement will stimulate growth in research and development and the innovation and emerging technology sector, as well as allow buyers to confidently engage industry to assess, co-design and/or buy leading edge ICT and digital products and services with agility and speed while continuing to meet probity, value, and transparency principles.
- Strengthen partnerships and industry engagement - including our Strategic Supplier Relationship Management program and initiatives to create a more effective engagement with industry to support growth of our technology (and emerging technology) sector and enable the NSW Government to better leverage emerging technologies
- Digital Procurement Transformation (buy.nsw) - Our gateway to NSW Government procurement and resources, with a vision to continuously improve our supplier and buyer experience by delivering smart, seamless procurement services via a connected transactional and informational experience. Buy.nsw is also focused on enabling our social procurement policies by increasing the number of government supply opportunities targeting SMEs, including Aboriginal organisations, start-ups and social enterprises.
- Employee health and wellbeing - including our initiatives to ensure a safe, secure, flexible and supportive culture and working environment, and drive improvements in collaboration, communication and employee growth and development.
Who are your key customers?
With our broad remit across ICT and Digital sourcing and digital procurement systems, our customers include everyone across the NSW public service that is responsible for the procurement of goods and services, ICT and digital capabilities and services and construction. Of course, we have a specific focus on teams that procure ICT and Digital capabilities and services, and in this capacity, we also work with our ICT and Digital partnership ecosystem comprising of our current suppliers and potential suppliers in the emerging technology sector. We also partner with industry peak bodies such as the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) to consult on our reforms and raise awareness of the initiatives we are leading.
Fundamentally our success hinges on working collaboratively with our customers across the sector and within industry in a spirit of partnership, such as that demonstrated by the ICT and Digital Sovereign Procurement Taskforce which is focused on the diversification of our partnership ecosystem (e.g. greater use of SMEs) and driving the growth of our domestic technology sector through partnering with the NSW Government.
What are the key strategic objectives of your branch?
We have four Strategy Outcomes for ICT / Digital Sourcing underpinned by the first four of the Strategic Initiatives described above.
What are you most proud of this year?
Without a shadow of a doubt, I am most proud of the culture we have developed in the ICT / Digital Sourcing branch, as evidenced by last year's results in the People Matters Employee Survey (PMES). From 2020 to 2021 our Employee Engagement rose from 73% to a sector leading 79%! This stellar result was largely driven by our team's continuous focus on our health and wellbeing, teamwork and collaboration, communication and change management, ensuring our employees have voice, our customer-centricity and getting the basics right such as role clarity and support.
The measurable outcomes of this high employee engagement include a proud, inspired, and motivated team that above all seeks to care for each other while striving to deliver service excellence to our customers. This achievement belongs to every member of our team and the many others we collaborate with, who have demonstrated a willingness to share responsibility for this culture and lead from the front in demonstrating and living by our values, whether they are working in the office, from home or the local cafÃ©!
What are your headwinds?
While there are always challenges in negotiating with our suppliers to achieve the most optimal commercial outcomes, the greatest headwinds come from collaborating with and seeking support from NSW Government agencies and our suppliers on our procurement reform programs. Analysis over many years has shown there is a range of barriers and pain points that inhibit NSW Government procurement from being efficient and effective, whilst enabling us to source the best innovative solutions from our partnership ecosystem to help solve the problems we are dealing with. These barriers and pain points include the complexity of the procurement policy environment, risk aversion, lack of confidence within procurement teams to operate differently, disconnected systems and continual loss and recreation of corporate knowledge.
The good news is that through initiatives such as buy.nsw and the innovation procurement pathways, we believe that the solutions we have developed in collaboration with the sector and industry will allow us to face the headwinds. We are calling on all stakeholders across the NSW Government agencies and our partnership ecosystem to embrace these reforms so that procurement can truly be a smart, seamless and a great experience.
We strive to make it easier to find and develop the best solutions to problems our customers in NSW face, whilst meeting the needs of our probity, value, and transparency principles. This will require a change in our mindset; rather than always sourcing known solutions, we need to be more outcomes-focused or problem-focused and allow industry to tell us how they can help deliver the desired outcomes.
Most visited App?
Not sure I can nominate one! Most days I will be scrolling through LinkedIn to keep up with Minister Dominello and making sure I am up to date with the latest news from many of our partners and my network. I am also a fan of WhatsApp for keeping up with friends and family and Instagram for dreaming about all the places I would like to visit or our next holiday as life always looks better on Insta! Other regulars are the BOM app (due to our crazy weather) and anything to do with snow skiing (again to plan our next holiday ð).
On weekends, I enjoy...
With four kids aged 12, 16, 18 and 20, a very active Bordoodle called Bindi, our weekends are always active and generally includes 'checking in' as our busy weeks often mean we are heading in different directions and are rarely together as a family of six. Of course, there is also driving to and watching school sport and playing in the park with Bindi. Despite the often-freezing cold winds and long distances I really love watching our kids play sport, especially since these are the few precious hours they are not in front of a screen!
Outside of my 'Uber Dad' commitments, my weekends include catching up on the week's news, going for a run or two, catching up with friends over good food and wine and visiting family all of which allows me to switch off from work and avoid chores around the house! Now that the rain has (hopefully) stopped and the sun is out, you will also find me in the garden pretending to know what I am doing with my collection of garden tools.