[LINK] Defence & ICT

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Jun 7 16:03:39 EST 2009


Defence to spend $700m on ICT reform

Strategic Reform Program report reveals only half of defence IT budget 
visible to CIO 

Tim Lohman  05 June, 2009 11:13:00 
http://www.cio.com.au/article/306427/defence_spend_700m_ict_reform


Less than half of the annual $1.2 billion spent by Defence on its ICT is 
visible to its chief information officer, Greg Farr, a new report has 
revealed. 

  http://www.defence.gov.au/publications/reformbooklet.pdf


Detailing the shortcoming in its Strategic Reform Program Delivering 
Force 2030 report released earlier this week, Defence said its fragmented 
ICT environment was resulting in inefficiencies in services delivery. 

A $700 million ICT reform program will be initiated to rectify this and 
build an improved Defence information environment to support both Defence 
war fighting and business reform objectives through to 2030. 

The program, expected to be complete by 2012 and flagged in May, aims to 
deliver savings and increased effectiveness through a consolidated, 
standardised Defence Information and Communications Technology 
environment, with a centralised strategy and governance framework, 
according to the report. 

“Through this investment, savings of $1.9 billion over the decade and 
around $250 million per annum thereafter would be achieved,” the report 
said. 

The high level of investment was needed to address the chronic under-
funding of its ICT systems, which the report claims has exposed Defence 
to a high level of risk. 

“There is an urgent need to address long-term underinvestment in 
Information and Communications Technology infrastructure that has 
resulted in a significant proportion of Defence assets being beyond their 
effective life,” the report said. 

“As a consequence, Defence is now dealing with an unacceptable level of 
fragility, cost and risk to Information and Communications Technology 
operations.” 

Defence has flagged that the reform program will also seek to align ICT 
with Defence priorities via a single portfolio of investments. Tighter 
cost control, new sourcing strategies and standardising and consolidating 
assets will be implemented across all parts of Defence to reduce 
high 'business as usual' costs. 

Faster decision and delivery cycles will be implemented, fragile ICT 
infrastructure will be reduced to help mitigate an ‘unacceptable’ 
business continuity risk and data centres will be consolidated to reduce 
maintenance costs. 

Defence also intends to lift its governance and business processes to 
enable the delivery of a more cost-effective and adaptable Defence 
science and technology capability. It will also form an external advisory 
board, technology roadmap and ear-mark funds for its Science and 
Technology Organisation. 

In the report, Defence also detailed a number of specific overhaul 
measures including basing its information environment on one network 
connecting fixed and deployed locations built on a single set of 
standards and products. 

“It will encompass all security levels and will determine that the right 
person has the right authority to access information,” the report 
said. “A typical desktop set up available to all Defence sites will be a 
single screen connected to a wireless network that can display multiple 
security sessions. Secure voice and video will be available to the 
desktop in most fixed and deployed locations.” 

Defence will also integrate its battlefield information systems to give 
deployed commanders and decision makers a single view of the ‘battle 
space’ through a Common Operating Picture accessing a wide range of data 
from sensors and sources. 

New capabilities such as the automation of procurement, personnel and pay 
administration, vetting, recruitment, estate management and performance 
reporting will be progressively introduced, the report said. 

Finance, payroll and personnel information will also be made more 
accessible, and easier to manipulate and aggregate by authorised Defence 
staff.



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