By Meg Beretta, Director of Digital Strategy – Cyber Security and Digital Solutions

In November 2023, CSDS took part in the Atlantic Technology Summit, our first since becoming a department, and what felt like one of the first big opportunities to connect in-person with the technology community since COVID-19.  The Summit has been running since 2020, in various hybrid formats, by dedicated volunteers who are keen to connect and build the digital economy in Nova Scotia.

CSDS took part as we want to help build our relationships with the technology community and help make our needs and opportunities clearer to local vendors.  We want to make sure we are a good partner in the digital economy for businesses in Nova Scotia by being more communicative and forthcoming about what we require.  Nova Scotian digital and technology companies are an essential part of the delivery of technology and digital services for Nova Scotians.

The day was action-packed with a roster of speakers from across the Atlantic region and the world spanning various industries; all brought together by a passion for technology.  A highlight for me was a guest speaker from the UK, Dr Carissa Veliz, who spoke about AI and the impacts of a loss of privacy in the digital world and inspired us towards being defenders of digital rights.

Graphic art panel from the tech leader panel of the Summit.
Graphic art poster from the Tech Leader Panel

Our Deputy Minister, Natasha Clarke, spoke about the vision for CSDS and our direction since the creation of the department.  We participated in panels on cyber security, digital leadership, and “Everything as a Service”.  We also hosted a booth for chatting with attendees from across the region and shared the many opportunities to work for us!

We hosted a panel with folks from across CSDS on what we want people to know about partnering with us.  Some of what we discussed included:

  • We are moving from a project to a product approach.  This goes hand in hand with moving from waterfall ways of working to agile ways of working, so roles and teams are evolving.  We need talent in product management, user research, service design, and setting teams up to get into a flow of continuous delivery.
  • Partners must bring a cyber security and privacy lens to every digital service we develop; particularly as we build more platforms which are foundational services upon which digital services across government are built.
  • We are undertaking major transformations of the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Land Registry, among others.  We are competing regionally and nationally for talent to support these changes, and we need more partners in the market.  We need vendor teams to build the necessary skill sets and resources who we can hire through a variety of procurement methods.
  • It’s more than just technical skills that help partners succeed.  The factors for success include flexibility, adaptability, political acuity, and becoming part of the team.
  • We buy both service teams and individual developers, product managers, or designers; so we are a diverse buyer of skills and services!

We are looking forward to building relationships with the digital community in Nova Scotia and throughout the Atlantic provinces.  We connected with many universities, colleges, and programs training the next generation of tech talent as well as associations like Digital Nova Scotia looking to connect the dots between all players across the industry.  The Atlantic Tech Summit was a great opportunity to shine a light on the bright future of Nova Scotia’s digital economy.

Graphic introducing Cyber Security and Digital Solutions.
Graphic art poster from the introduction of CSDS