Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 4 2009 Contents 24
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“ICT touches each and every person in
Defence. When it works well, it enables great
results. When it works badly, it causes delays and
prevents successes. It’s the ultimate example of
why Defence can’t function properly with a broken
backbone,” Mr Warner said.
For ICT, this backbone refers to the less visible
parts of the Defence business, such as business
systems and processes, information management
and supporting ICT technologies.
One of the first steps in fixing the ICT
backbone was to appoint Defence Chief
Information Officer Greg Farr as the Coordinating
Capability Manager for all of Defence’s ICT.
The appointment will oversee the entire ICT
portfolio across Defence to ensure that there is
greater visibility and improved accountabilities for
all ICT stakeholders.
“Hopefully what the Coordinating
Capability Manager can do is make sure that
we are all working towards the priorities
the Secretary and CDF have set out for the
whole of Defence, whether it’s major projects
or minor projects, business as usual or
sustainment activities,” Mr Farr said.
At the moment, there are a large number of
systems all operating independently. The new
changes will see an information environment that
is architecturally integrated giving Defence the
ability to take advantage of new technologies and
more easily share information.
“What we currently have at the moment is a
very big, very complex ICT platform. I am looking
at how we can better balance the spending we do
on servicing the equipment we already have with
spending on buying new equipment – we need to
do that better,” Mr Farr said.
“Developing our Enterprise Architecture will
also provide agility in a sense it will assist us in
future proofing the integration of existing and new
information and supporting ICT systems, while it
will also reduce time to deliver new capability,”.
WhaT WIll IcT remeDIaTIon
anD reForm DelIVer?
• Address overdue ICT infrastructure upgrade
• Improve Defence ICT to better support
operational business needs
• Reduce potential for business continuity
• Deliver improved ICT services at a lower cost
As part of the ICT reform process, a number of
new specific investments will be made including:
• replacing old hardware, across all Defence
• a new desktop solution that can display
multiple security sessions from a single
• wireless technology, and
• more money put into capabilities like a new
high speed network, satellite capabilities,
cryptographic equipment and applications to
support command and control.
The appointment of the CIO as Coordinating
Capability Manager will have positive flow on
effects to other groups such as Defence Materiel
Organisation (DMO) and Capability Development
Defence Magazine spoke to Head of DMO
Electronic Systems Division Shireane McKinnie
and Head of Capability Systems Air Vice Marshal
(AVM) Brian Plenty about what the appointment
will mean for their respective Groups.
From a DMO perspective, Ms McKinnie is
looking forward to the developments and sees the
changes as being an important reaffirmation of the
CIO’s role within Defence as well as an opportunity
for IT Architectural Standards being developed.
“When we are specifying requirements for
new equipment that we buy, we need to do this
against an architectural framework but at the
moment there isn’t one. We are looking forward
to the development of this, hopefully with CIO
coming up with a work plan for when they’re
going to be able to deliver on these standards,”
Ms McKinnie said.
“Getting our Enterprise Architecture
documented is critical as it addresses our
organisational ICT maturity in both strategy and
governance. It does this through standardised
business processes, clear information management
requirements, and approved supporting
technologies,” Mr Farr said.
AVM Plenty said the appointment presents great
opportunities and is looking forward to a greater
integration between CDG and CIOG staff work.
“The changes are about getting better
processes in place because we’ve been doing
things to a large degree in the right fashion
and heading in the right direction but there are
improvements that can be made. There will be
more certainty about what staff know they’ve
got to do, to what level and at what stage,” AVM
Mr Farr understands the importance of the
role he has been given but is looking forward to
the challenges he is facing.
“The reform and remediation program will
take time. It will be staged and prioritised over
several years to achieve short, medium and long-
term business outcomes for Defence. But there is a
sense of urgency to move forward now.
“My appointment as Coordinating Capability
will give better control to the development of the
different architectures and technical solutions
which currently prevent information sharing and
interoperability, increase sustainment costs and
hold up our ability to quickly take advantage of
new technology. It’s a big role but I am looking
forward to the opportunities and the challenges.
We have a lot of work to do and a lot of committed
people who are getting on with it,” Mr Farr said.
CHIeF InFoRMAtIon oFFICeR gRouP
continued from p.23 >
The changes are about getting better processes in place because
we've been doing things to a large degree in the right fashion and
heading in the right direction but there are improvements that can be
made. There will be more certainty about what staff know they've got
to do, to what level and at what stage.
Head of Capability Systems Air Vice Marshal Brian Plenty. Photo: Gina Vanatter
The reform and remediation program will take time. It will be staged
and prioritised over several years to achieve short, medium and long-
term business outcomes for Defence. But there is a sense of urgency
to move forward now... We have a lot of work to do and a lot of
committed people that are getting on with it.
Chief Information Officer Greg Farr. Photo: Bryan Doherty
When we are specifying requirements for new equipment that we
buy, we need to do this against an Architectural Framework but at the
moment there isn’t one. We are looking forward to the development of
this, hopefully with CIO coming up with a work plan for when they’re
going to be able to deliver on these standards.
Head of DMO Electronic Systems Division Shireane McKinnie
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