Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents 36
Plan - Build - Run
CIO Group moves with technology to improve our work life
By Michael Weaver
sk commander of Defence
(cDsc) commodore Roger
Boyce, for an overview of his
area and you get an answer
as complex as the cables and
fibre-optics that hold it together.
Working adjacent to some sizeable satellite
dishes at HMAS Harman, CDRE Boyce is at the
forefront of the Chief Information Officer Group’s
(CIOG) management of Defence’s Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) and represents
the ‘run’ part of CIOG’s over-arching ‘plan, build,
“ICT is pretty much like velcro,” CDRE Boyce
“Every bit sticks to every other bit at every
level, so lines of responsibility can sometimes
become blurred, but we’re working to make our
organisation as ITIL compliant as we can because
we don’t need to reinvent ways of conducting
ICT business if there are proven methodologies
already out there” ITIL is an IT best practice
framework that is globally recognised by IT
organisations and industry.
CDSC is one half of the overarching Defence
Network Support Agency (DNSA). The other half
is Defence Information Services (DIS) and CDSC
and DIS work very closely together to bring the
capability to Defence. They are responsible to Rear
Admiral Peter Jones, the Head of ICT Operations,
for the efficient operation of DNSA.
CDSC is responsible for running the Network
itself, including bearers such as satellite, landline and
radio circuits, the mainframe computing environment,
provision of mobile phones, fixed telephone services,
Blackberries, data cards and the like. It also provides
security through the Defence Cryptographic Control
Authority, and Network Defence, Support to Military
Operations and planning and control functions
through the Directorate of Communications and
DIS delivers the customer facing part of the
ICT whole and is responsible for maintaining and
running the two major service provision contracts
Defence uses (KAZ for Central ICT service delivery
and UNISYS for Regional ICT service delivery) as
well as the DRN and DSN helpdesks.
Approximately 800 employees bind all this
together, including a military component of about
280, as well as public servants and contractors.
Not surprisingly, how all this makes our work-
lives easier takes some explaining.
“I think ICT is a bit of a double-edged sword,”
CDRE Boyce said.
“From one perspective it’s easier doing your
job than it used to be due to the access we now
have to data, the ability to get our messages and
work out to many people quickly and effectively
and the more efficient ways we can now store and
recall files and documents.
“But on the other hand, because the ICT
environment speeds up turnover times, we are all
under increased pressure to action the things that
come into our in boxes as soon as they get there.
I think that this can add to our workloads because
so many things can come to you so quickly. And of
course if lots of people are sending stuff out and
they all need action or replies right now it puts a
lot of pressure on individuals to be able to sort out
the really important from the merely important.
That then puts pressure on individuals to manage
their work-life balance more effectively. At the
end of the day we want the ICT to make our lives
easier, not harder and that takes some practice.”
This all-in-one approach already has its
makings in applications such as online automated
document tracking and registry functions and CDRE
Boyce says similar systems also allow us to pay
attention to personal banking and catching up with
the daily news.
However, this added flexibility is of course
a two-way street, as Defence can only provide a
certain amount of bandwidth, which also carries
“We expect all people in Defence to exercise
responsibility and make sure they comply with
all the regulations and instructions that are out
there – at the end of the day, the bottom line is the
DRN and the DSN are there to support Defence
operations and it is important that all users are as
security conscious and compliant as they can be,”
CDRE Boyce said.
CHIEF INFoRMATIoN oFFICER
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