A Gold Coast company has targeted local government as the next big opportunity for digital transformation. ICON Software, which has developed an e-Planning software suite called PLAN, recently won a large tranche of business for local government in Tasmania.
According to chief executive Marie Phillips, the local government area is ripe for transformation because much of the material used for development and planning is simply hosted in unstructured word processing documents.
“Some of these documents can run to thousands of pages, and it’s not easy to query them,” she said.
ICON has around 50 councils currently using PLAN, which also allows council staff and citizens to track the progress of planning applications, as well as add audio, video and other rich data.
The company, founded in 2008 in Phillips’ garage and currently employing 13 staff, does all the software implementation itself. Councils can choose to host the software either locally, or in a private cloud, she said. “Tasmania has elected to host it with the Tasmanian department of treasury,” she noted.
The PLAN web-based software is the first step for council transformation, she said. “We are amalgamating the best of breed products from around the world into a complete council platform,” he said. “This will not only enable planning transformation, but also the online booking of council facilities and citizen participation in local egovernment.
“I think in the past councils have shied away from digital transformation for a number of reasons,” said Phillips. “One of the problems has been that there’s not a lot of software out there tailored for the local government environment.
“Having said that, this creates the perfect opportunity for a company like ours to work with councils and bring them online,” she added.