There seems to be a growing trend to publish articles that are of interest to a select few of the IT industry, and throw it out to the general population, in an attempt to sensationalise mundane events and occurences in the Australian Government.
Recently, I saw a new article talking about the recent tender release from a department where the brand was named. The journalist seemed to think that this was of the utmost importance, as they had contacted the department to advise of the error, and the department had retracted the tender, only to re-issue it without the offending brand. The thing is, regardless of whether the department re-released the tender, their preference was made known by the first document. How does an IT company respond effectively to the tender? they quote the product that the tender originally mentioned.
How does this effect the greater IT community? well, the department made a mistake. the journalist got them to re-issue the tender, the resellers quoted on it and it was awarded to a successful bidder. If the original tender had been allowed to continue on, without being re-released, taxpayers would have saved about $80,000. Pulling tenders out and re-issuing them is not a cheap exercise.
again, how is this in the public interest? does a technical person really care about a mistake on a tender? does this information allow them to sleep at night? For that matter, does it make me, a sales guy, sleep easier at night? not at all. The current foray into the inner working of government departments is as exciting as watching the grass grow, or waiting for a "scanner mouse" to work.
What is of greater concern is the spate of "public interest" stories. Do we really need to know who is tweeting information, writing blogs, and what their real names are?
I think that the news companies that operate in the IT space need to remember their audience. Most of us don't care where the Government spends its money, just as long as it is a worthwhile purchase. We don't care about mistakes in tenders that don't effect us, we are interested in technology. How many people join our industry to learn about government business, and not for the cool new Technology releases?
By the way, the "scanner mouse" sounds good on paper. a review in an industry magazine would probably be a bad thing, if they recommended it. But that is the point. stop focusing on what people are spending and tell me about cool new stuff. I want to know about new systems, servers and technologies. I don't care about government spending, who gets what or how many, I just want to know that the product works, has a use and is available on multi platform environments...
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