Defence appoints Monaghan as new CIO

The lengthy search to appoint a CIO at Department of Defence following the sudden departure of Patrick Hannan has concluded with Air Vice Marshal John Monaghan to take over the role from December 3.

The equivalent of a full, two-star general, Monaghan has been promoted from the Defence Materiel Organization where he holds the position of head of aerospace systems division.

Defence is also keeping current acting Defence CIO Air Vice Marshal Julie Hammer on as Deputy CIO.

Computerworld understands Hammer will assist Monaghan in the reorganization and implementation of the Defence Information Environment, with a specific brief to both rationalize hundreds of siloed applications throughout Defence and improve the efficiency and productivity of Defence IT.

The appointment of Monaghan follows substantial reorganization of Defence's IT strategy which aims to bring order by way of central control to its IT purchasing and deployment strategy.

In August 2004 Defence announced the creation of an expanded CIO Group which absorbed the Information Systems Division from the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Group following recommendations in a report from Boston Consulting.

Speaking at the Australian Computer Society IT in Government conference in Canberra last week, Julie Hammer told an audience of government delegates that Defence was keen to get on with the job of maximizing value from its massive IT shop.

This includes the CIO Group taking control of Defence applications development internally and externally Hammer said.

"What we are moving to after December 3 is the whole cradle-to-grave of [IT across Defence]. We are transitioning the technical development software shops which are scattered around [the Defence organization] into the CIO Group," Hammer said.

Hammer also said new governance regimes would be introduced to prevent unnecessary duplication of IT work, scope creep and help bring costs under control.

"We have to make sure that we don't create a bigger problem than we already have. We are trying to get a grip on the money - you can't control anything unless you know how people are spending the money.

Hammer cited figures of Defence IT annual spending of $1.1 billion based on gross acquisition value accounting for 6.5 percent of the annual Defence budget.

She added the single biggest IT expense in Defence remained user applications which urgently needed to be brought under central control.

"What we currently have at the moment is a lot of people who should not be deciding what applications go onto the [protected and restricted networks at Defence] ...little spurious developments.

"We are now aggregating the technical steps of the applications development process," Hammer said, adding that the "most challenging cultural change is people coming to the realization some things are better managed when centralized".

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