Defence turns to collaboration tools on ICT

Online portal needed to manage tenders being issued as part of ICT reform program

The Department of Defence is turning to online collaboration tools to manage tenders issued as part of its ICT reform program.

Defence documents show the department is seeking what it calls a “centralised virtual data room” to facilitate communication between it and bidders.

“As a part of Defence ICT Reform, the Sourcing Reform Branch (SRB) has been established to rationalise ICT infrastructure services through the delivery of Terrestrial Communications (TC), Centralised Processing (CP) and Distributed Computing (DC) bundles,” Defence documents read. “In order to assist with the above tasks SRB is seeking a centralised virtual data room for the management of tenders.”

In April, pressure on Defence to ensure success of the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) was ramped up, with the Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, linking the full implementation of the program to Australia's ability to defend itself in the future.

The Force 2030 report identified that Defence's ICT environment is fragmented to the point that less than half of the $1.2 billion spent by the agency is visible to the CIO, resulting in inefficiencies in delivery.

“By 2012, the Information and Communications Technology reform program will build an improved Defence Information Environment to support both Defence war fighting and business reform objectives through to 2030,” the report reads. “To drive this deep reform, an investment of around $700 million is required. Through this investment, savings of $1.9 billion over the decade and around $250 million per annum thereafter would be achieved.”

Also in April, Defence announced it will start deploying virtualised thin clients across its user base by the end of 2011.

Defence is seeking a contractor to tender a thin client solution, with trials looking to commence for 500 users early next year.

Interest in a thin client solution has been evident for some time, with chief technology officer Matt Yannopoulous recently saying it was key to the department retaining control over its IT environment.

The deployment is part of the wider, $940 million reform that aims to save $1.9 billion of ICT spending over the next ten years. Other aspects of the reform include the consolidation of 200 data centres to ten and consolidating telecommunications providers.

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Tags department of defenceICT reformMatt YannopoulousForce 2030

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