Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2009 Contents 29
efence’s strategic Information
Technology (ICT) priorities
have been further
the establishment of the
Defence Information Communication
Technology Committee (DICTC).
Chief Information Officer Mr Greg Farr is
buoyed by the level of interest and discussion
occurring in terms of determining Defence ICT
“It’s definitely encouraging to be amongst the
committee members discussing, considering and
questioning the Groups’ and Services’ priorities in
the Defence ICT work plan. I don’t believe we’ve
ever had this level of visibility and conscious
decision making around current and future ICT
planning in Defence,” Mr Farr said.
The Defence ICT Committee was reinstated as
a senior Defence committee in August 2008, as the
predominant ICT Committee for Defence, with its
role to provide strategic direction on the planning,
expenditure and allocation of ICT resources
across Defence. The committee is also ensuring
alignment between Defence priorities and ICT
investments and providing support to the Secretary
and CDF by facilitating a focussed forum to assess
competing ICT investment priorities for Defence.
With Defence operating one of the largest
and most complex ICT domains in Australia, its
ICT provides support across a broad spectrum of
Defence roles from command and control systems
required for war-fighting through to personnel,
finance, logistic and administrative support systems.
“We have to avoid duplication of applications
and systems that provide the same functionality
or business outcome and move forward
together through standardisation, consolidation,
rationalisation and re-use,” Mr Farr said.
“We can’t do this without an integrated approach
and a focus on an integrated system. This is being done
with a level of discipline that has not been seen in
Defence previously and it’s all looking very positive.”
With many Groups reliant on the successful
delivery of high-quality ICT services, the CIO is
therefore required to coordinate and provide
advice to the committee on whole-of-Defence ICT
investment priorities – including ICT reform on
behalf of the Secretary and CDF.
As part of the Strategic Reform Program,
the Government is investing $940 million during
the next four years to reform and remediate the
Defence Information Environment.
The investment will see $204 million spent on
replacing obsolete infrastructure that currently results
in unacceptable levels of fragility, while $74 million is
being spent on improving the security of information.
A further $660 million will be spent on reforming
access to and management of Defence information.
This investment by Government means that
by 2012 Defence will have an improved Defence
Information Environment that supports both Defence
ICT operational and business reform through to
2030, as well as produce significant savings through
efficiencies of $1.9 billion over the decade, including
$468 million in the forward estimates to 2013.
This will enable the Defence Information
Environment to be managed as a single network
based on one enterprise architecture rather than
the individual silos that currently exist.
The ICT reform program will also produce
savings through new approaches to partnering with
industry and the standardisation and consolidation
of ICT assets across Defence.
Defence ICT will implement faster decision
and delivery cycles to further reduce costs and time
Defence will consolidate infrastructure – for
example, the number of data centres to prepare
for the inevitable requirement to reduce its carbon
footprint and to reduce maintenance costs.
To reduce the clutter and need for multiple
desktop systems, Defence will provide a single
desktop that provides access to multiple networks,
resulting in the introduction of multi-level
information sharing across security domains.
Secure voice and video will be available to the
desktop in most fixed and deployed locations to assist
communications and reduce the need to travel.
“However, to achieve these outcomes we
have to make choices. We simply cannot meet
every business demand while, at the same time,
undertaking fundamental remediation to the
Defence Information Environment,” Mr Farr said.
Defence business priorities are consolidated
into one Defence ICT work plan and brought to the
table for consideration at the DICTC. This occurs
after consultation with appointed Group and
Service portfolio coordinators; through our CIOG
Military, Corporate and Intelligence stakeholder
“That’s why it’s critical to have the final
decision making and priorities agreed at the
highest levels so they are understood and we can
get on with the job and not be distracted.
“The most rewarding outcome thus far is that
I’m not, as CIO, doing the prioritisation of Defence
business requirements. This is all stakeholder-
driven now. I’m looking at the technology,
investment and resources required to achieve the
ICt committee gets
CHIeF InFoRMAtIon oFFICeR gRouP
By Denise Thomas
The DICTC meets on a monthly basis and membership includes:
Chief of the Defence Force (co-chair)
Chief Finance Officer
Chief Information Officer
Chief Executive Officer - DMO
Deputy Secretary, Strategy, Coordination
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