The accelerated adoption of technology in recent years has meant customer expectations have shifted quickly to rely on seamless digital experiences – whether they are purchasing products or relying on services from the government. At Microsoft, we’re committed to empowering both private and public sector organizations to embrace digital transformation to stay ahead of these expectations to deliver the best service possible to their customers and citizens.  

Real people. Non-profit, non-partisan government organization. The executive director brings a diverse range of corporate, public, and non-public leaders together, to build effective networks of collaboration, service, and community at a state level.

Our work with the Ontario Public Service (OPS) is a great example of this in the public sector. OPS has embraced a digital-first culture to continually innovate and modernize the delivery of essential services across healthcare, transportation, social services, education and more. But to enable digital transformation and continually innovate, you first need to empower your employees with the skills they need build and manage digital solutions. This is particularly important in the public sector, which has unique privacy, data residency and compliance needs. 

The OPS Microsoft Hackathon was created to confront these challenges head on. This annual initiative brings together employees across both organizations to collaborate, share digital skills and solve for real-world challenges that will make a difference in the lives of Ontarians. In previous OPS Microsoft hackathons, we’ve seen OPS employees create innovations such as the development of a single repository where Ontarians can create personal profiles to easily apply for government services, and a smart license plate solution. 

The 2022 OPS Microsoft Cloud Hackathon challenge was “Faster, Simpler, Better”. This aligns to the need for government ministries and departments to urgently identify the opportunities for automation, as well as the technology solutions to deliver. Immediate opportunities exist across the spectrum of common processes and procedures that government organizations must provide across the front and back office, such as Freedom of Information requests, contract management, employee, stakeholder and citizen engagement, grants management and corporate policy, to name a few.   

The annual 3-day hackathon hosted more than 800 attendees and resulted in 18 submissions from hackathon teams. Keynote addresses, ideation sessions and training workshops with the Microsoft Technology Centre around innovation with Power Platform, Security, Microsoft Teams helped participants showcase creative ideas around security, accessibility, and collaboration.

Microsoft is dedicated to ensuring that Canada stays ahead of the curve by empowering all government employees with the skills they need to face today’s challenges. Canada (along with the rest of the world) is experiencing a talent shortage, and through our skilling initiatives and programs, we’re helping governments narrow this gap by providing job-candidates and employees with the knowledge and skills they need to build and execute digital strategies.  

Our Microsoft Canada Skills Program is now available at 22 post-secondary institutions across Canada, including 9 in Ontario. This program allows students to acquire in-demand cloud, data and AI skills and Microsoft certifications alongside their institutions’ credentials, enhancing their employability as they enter the job market in the public sector and beyond.  

To learn more about Microsoft’s skilling initiatives and programs, visit Microsoft Training Days 

To learn more about how Microsoft empowers Canadian governments to find smarter, more efficient, and more cost-effective ways to work and serve citizens and residents, visit  Empowering Canadian Government to do more.