Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 9 2009 Contents 37
ChIef InformAtIon offICer GrouP
he 2009 White Paper directed a
new focus on standardisation
of Defence’s business operating
environment through single
desktops and common systems.
Since the release of the Defence
White Paper and Strategic Reform Program (SRP),
the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Greg Farr, and
his executive team have been working collectively
to establish the governance and programming
frameworks for the Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) reform effort to
deliver these outcomes.
The year has culminated in the public
endorsement and recent release of the Defence
ICT Strategy by Minister for Defence Senator
“The Defence ICT Strategy will strengthen the
relationship between Defence’s strategic objectives
and enabling ICT capabilities,” Senator Faulkner said.
“It focuses on a coordinated approach to how
we govern, prioritise, resource and support our ICT
investments across Defence.”
Delivering the opening address at the recent
2009 Military Communications and Information
Systems (MilCIS) Conference, Chief of Navy Vice
Admiral Russ Crane highlighted the importance of
standardisation across Defence’s ICT systems.
“Our systems must match the men and women
at the frontline in flexibility and adaptability in
different threat environments,” VADM Crane said.
“The same must be true of support systems:
personnel management, training, communications
and others. “To maximise operational efficiency, we
need to employ up-to-date technology to train our
people quickly and thoroughly, and we need to do so
with ICT systems which are the same as those we
ask them to use on operations.
“ICT systems must offer sufficient
commonality amongst the three Services, and
between sea and shore, to enable effective
operations,” VADM Crane said.
The Chief of Navy is also looking forward to the
introduction of the Wide Band Global System (WGS)
satellite constellation – a global network allowing
“I now have fleet units accessing this very
capable broadband satellite system in the Pacific,
the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. I am looking forward
to the phased introduction of this global network,”
VADM Crane said.
ICT is an enabler to operations in an immediate
and primary sense, but also secondarily because it is
critical to the business and support system needed
to put ships to sea and troops in the field.
Throughout 2009, the Chief Information
Officer has worked to build a more stable Defence
ICT network. Partnering with industry to improve
network stability has also resulted in less outages,
higher availability and an improved user experience.
“This has been made possible through key
improvements in our change management processes,
resulting in greater visibility of the impact of change
to our ICT customer base,” Mr Farr said.
“An improved customer engagement process has
been initiated, CIOG is better informed on the impact
that change has, and is in a position to manage the
change timings to reduce this impact to a minimum.”
In other achievements, CIOG successfully
transitioned regional ICT support services to
industry. Defence delivers regional ICT support
services in 12 regions covering more than 100 000
desktop computers at 460 Defence bases and sites.
These support services are now managed by Unisys
Australia after an 18-month transition period.
In a recent media statement, Parliamentary
Secretary for Defence Support, Dr Mike Kelly
noted that the “close cooperation between Defence
and Unisys meant the transition was carried out
with minimal disruption to services and service
levels, and against a background of significant
Defence operational tempo”.
Improved service delivery from CIOG’s decision
to outsource regional ICT support has resulted in a 45
per cent reduction in the number of outstanding jobs.
This year also saw the introduction of a single
Defence ICT portfolio work plan to improve alignment
between ICT and Defence investment priorities.
Working collaboratively with the Capability
Development Group, Defence Materiel Organisation
and other Groups and Services, the Chief Technology
Officer, Mr Matt Yannopoulos, has started
socialising the suite of governance reference
models and standards to guide future technological
development across Defence.
“The main message and focus is on consolidation,
standardisation, rationalisation and simplification of
Defence ICT systems,” Mr Yannopoulos said.
The primary focus for 2010 is to deliver the
savings outlined under the SRP and work towards a
single Defence information environment.
Defence ICt 2009 and beyond:
rAtIonAlIse AnD sImPlIfy
Key Highlights for 2009
In early 2009, CIOG completed the upgrade of the SAP
Resource and Output Management Accounting Network
(ROMAN) finance system, coming in at almost $1 million
under budget. This was a significant development.
An automatic power-off Green ICT initiative was implemented.
In Defence alone, this workstation automatic shutdown
software has saved the department more than $5 million
per annum. This equates to an estimated 31,000 tonnes of
carbon dioxide prevented from entering the atmosphere.
CIOG successfully delivered a networked wireless
e-learning capability to support the Adaptive Army
Initiative Classroom of the 21st century.
CIOG effectively delivered a range of communications
services to the remote Bradshaw field training area in the
Northern Territory, and Shoalwater Bay at Rockhampton to
support Exercise Talisman Saber 2009.
CIOG introduced a new Google search engine to assist
Defence users in discovering and sharing information
across the Defence network.
The Group developed a successful concept demonstrator
for the Defence Secret Network Unified Communications to
deliver a secure, scalable and survivable voice-over IP solution,
which has now been deployed to all senior leaders in Defence.
CIOG has developed a concept demonstrator to deliver
the single desktop for Defence ICT users to meet the
Strategic Reform Program outcomes.
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