29 October 2018

The Revolution in Aged Care has begun

Author :

The Productivity Commission forecasts that the number of people accessing aged care services in Australia will jump from 1 million to 3.5 million by 2040.

But the numbers are not telling the full story. The profile of aged care consumers has to be taken into account too.  In 2040 the bulk of baby boomers will pass age 85 years, and will have different expectations from service providers.  They will have lived an affluent life and will bring their highly consumerist values and demands into the aged care space. Providers will have to rise to new levels of choice, convenience and service excellence or they will lose out to competitors.

When consumer directed care was first established in the UK and New Zealand, there was a significant shift of services from the NFP sector to commercial providers and new entrants, as NFPs were not able to adapt and change their operating models to be consumer-focused enough to retain clients.

Providers must understand that even now, but definitely by 2040, the consumer is king, unencumbered by brand with greater choice. New loyalties will be developed based on needs, convenience and price and the system will support people to stay at home, and part of their communities, for as long as possible.

It will be critical for providers to build their brands and enhance loyalty by understanding the people they serve, meeting all their needs and maintaining excellent client relationships.  Aged care providers must become acutely customer focused or go out of business.

Providers will also need to be open to using new technologies available in the future to serve their clients’ needs better.  Genius new technologies like robotics and sensors will help providers monitor their clients’ well being in their own homes.  Nestle is developing a device that designs meals around individuals' nutrient needs which would make it easy for older Australians to make healthful food without doing groceries.  Self-driving cars that pick up clients and take them shopping, to medical appointments and to visit friends and family at low cost could reduce the social isolation experienced by older people now.

In order to lead the revolution in aged care, providers must innovate and change their operating models, build agility and adaptability into their systems and understand that free-market forces will reshape the way that aged care is provided by creating competition, fostering innovation and driving down cost. 

Attend the 3rd Australian Future of Aged Care Summit from the 27 - 29 of November 2018. More information here.

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Káti Jahromi Gapaillard, Executive Director, Social Impact, Government, Healthcare, Education

Káti Jahromi Gapaillard has worked for major multinationals such as American Express, Vivendi, Philips, Xerox, Kimberley Clark in Marketing and Communications, in Government for the Department of Education, DFAT and Austrade, and non-governmental organisations such as The National Heart Foundation, Life Without Barriers, Your Side in Growth, Strategy and Engagement and Tour de Cure as CEO.

She is passionate about social impact which can be brought about through the intersection of all three sectors.

12 October 2018

What is Digitisation Anyway?

Author :

Digitisation means different things to every organisation. I’ve just returned from an Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) mission to Tuvalu to undertake an ICT capability assessment for the Tuvalu Parliament. Tuvalu is a small and isolated pacific nation, which is travel brochure beautiful and full of wonderful people. Tuvalu has little in the way of natural resources, and is heavily dependent on imports and international aid. Getting a computer working after something goes wrong is challenging in its own right. To the Tuvalu Parliament, just being able to store parliamentary documents electronically, in a central repository, and then being able to share these documents with the 15 members of parliament electronically, would seem like digitisation.

When Gartner introduced the concept of the Nexus of Forces back in 2014, it was hard for many of us to appreciate the impact the Internet of Things was going to have on our personal and professional lives. Why on earth would you want an internet connected fridge?! The constant improvement in consumer technology, and the increasing ease at which previously complex tasks can be completed by anyone with a powerful enough smart phone, led to an expectation of the same ease and choice we have in our personal lives to also be available in our professional lives.

New Zealand Parliaments journey of digitisation started back in 2013. We started with the vision of “enabling a mobile workforce to work securely anywhere, with fit for purpose tools”. Like most organisations, we knew we would need multiple streams of activity.

We knew we needed to rebuild the parliamentary network to support a mobile workforce. We also knew we would probably want to move to the Cloud at some point, so the network design needed to support this type of traffic. It was when we replaced our 30 year old PABX with Skype for Business (SfB) we had our first reality check – don’t believe anyone who says you don’t need to have some form of Quality of Service (QOS) in place to make good quality phone calls using SfB! Four years later we have just about completed the network refresh – it is hard to make substantive change around the busy business of parliament.

Another major stream of activity was our Line of Business applications. Many of the systems supporting the House were built on old technologies that were either no longer supported or becoming end of life. With an eye to one day moving to the Cloud, we defined a Technical Reference Model (TRM) for parliament that ensured the same frameworks, languages and technologies were used for all of parliament’s applications. Rightly or wrongly we choose SharePoint as the common platform on which to deploy our applications. We now have a stable and supportable stack of applications that, with a little bit of work, can be redeployed to the Cloud when we are ready to do so.

Security is a major concern in itself. Parliament naturally becomes a target for cyber activity by the very nature of what it represents. We are required to implement the highest level of security our users will tolerate, without impeding members rights around parliamentary privilege. Security is a constant tension against usability, and too often if you leave it up to the security experts to determine what is needed, you end up with something not very useful to your users. You can achieve a lot in the security space just through implementing a good user education programme.

Which brings me to our last major stream of activity – supporting our users. User expectations are constantly increasing against a back drop of evolving technology in the consumer space. If you can’t make it easy for them, they will work around you – implementing their own solution is just a google search and credit card away. More than ever you need to be talking to your users, understanding what they are trying to achieve and help guide them towards a solution you will be able to support them on, will also meeting your own standards and requirements.

I’m still not sure if my fridge will ever be connected to the internet, but it is starting to looking more compelling five years on from when I first heard it suggested, and, at some point, the choice may not even be mine to make.

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Michael Middlemiss, Chief Information Officer at Parliamentary Service

Michael has worked within the Information Technology industry for over twenty years and has acquired significant experience across a wide variety of roles, technologies, industries, and business processes. 

Michael has been involved in all levels of Information Technology, from hands on design and requirements gathering, through to roles involving Strategic Planning and thought leadership.
Michael is a seasoned people manager who has built several of his teams from scratch. 

09 October 2018

How can a Virtual Assistant help you?

Author :

“Oh my god, this person’s Executive Assistant is a robot!” A colleague of mine looked incredulously at an email she had received, signed off with the job title ‘Virtual Assistant’.

How many of you would have had the same reaction?

We know the Executive or Personal Assistant is dynamic and has evolved drastically over the past few decades. The ability to remember a coffee order and answer phone calls is no longer what defines an exceptional EA. Rather it is now their ability to navigate complex public relations situations, liaise with business leaders and collaborate across departments.

The boundaries of the role have been challenged again by the possibilities brought by the digital era. The virtual assistant fulfils many of the same responsibilities as a ‘traditional’ executive assistant but correspondence is performed virtually.

What a virtual assistant can (usually) do:

  • Complete time-consuming, repetitive tasks- Data entry and administrative work can be mind-numbing but they’re essential to ensuring the smooth running of your business
  • Bookkeeping- Whilst virtual assistants can help manage your budgets and track your expenses, they cannot do your actual accounting. However you will have a very happy accountant when they find your books are in order.
  •  Lead generation- find more opportunities
  •  IT outsourcing- for the tech-illiterate among us, VAs can often help with website building and graphic design
  • Research- Whether it’s for an event, potential investors or office space, virtual assistants can save you a lot of time in laying the ground work for your biggest projects
What a virtual assistant can’t do:
  • Develop your organisational strategy- You know your business best. Usually Virtual Assistants are based in other countries and simply don’t have the thorough understanding of your business necessary to weigh-in on the business plan
  • Relationship building- While virtual assistants will be able to help you with email correspondence, there is little substitute for one-on-one meetings when it comes to building lasting client relationships

If you’re after someone to alleviate your workload and organise your life, a virtual assistant could be an avenue to explore. However if you want someone to discuss strategy and help build your company’s reputation, nothing will replace your face-to-face Executive Assistant. 

Attend the Public Sector EA & PA Summit NZ from 5-7 of December 2018. More information here

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire is the manager of Akolade’s government and digital portfolio. She’s passionate about emerging digital trends, particularly in the public sector. In her spare time she enjoys picking up heavy things and putting them back down again and animals are her favourite kind of people. 

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts @ Claire Dowler