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(ICT) reform agenda will be made
available through a single ICT
work plan and an overarching
ICT strategy with a mission to enable
improved Defence capabilities through
the effective use of ICT.
The ICT Reform Program will build an improved
Defence Information Environment and Governance
Framework that can effectively support war-fighting
and business reform efforts to 2030. The Government
will invest more than $940 million over the next four
years to reform and remediate the Defence information
environment and its supporting infrastructure.
Delivering the Defence ICT Reform and
Remediation Program will address overdue ICT
infrastructure upgrade, improve Defence ICT to
better enable and support operational and business
needs, reduce potential for business continuity risks
and deliver improved ICT services at a lower cost.
“A typical desktop set up available to all Defence
sites will be a single screen that can display multiple
security sessions. Secure voice and video will be
available to the desktop in most fixed and deployed
locations,” said Chief Information Officer Greg Farr.
“Much higher levels of consolidation and
standardisation of equipment will be introduced
to drive down costs. Our remediation program will
deliver a reduction in the number of computing
facilities and data centres from approximately 200
to less than 10,” Mr Farr said
Procurement and approvals for ICT investments
will be modified to shorten time to market while
maintaining high levels of project assurance.
The strategy is based upon developing a single
Defence information environment, new governance
arrangements and an investment program clearly
aligned to Defence priorities and directed towards
achieving a considered architecture. In essence, the
ICT strategy will be a roadmap for our future.
The Defence ICT Strategy will provide guidance
across all elements of Defence’s ICT operating
model and has four strategic imperatives.
The first imperative is to optimise the
value of defence’s ict investment. This
imperative requires Defence to clearly define
ICT accountabilities and responsibilities,
improve ICT cost transparency and stakeholder
communication, establish governance forums for
resource allocation, and improve the efficiency of
ICT services and support.
ChIeF InForMAtIon oFFICer grouP
Defence’s CIO Greg Farr was recently appointed
by the Secretary and CDF as the Coordinating
Capability Manager for the whole Defence
Information Environment (DIE). The newly formed
Defence Information Communication Technology
Committee (DICTC) is chaired by Secretary CDF
and comprises senior Defence leaders, “where the
ultimate decisions on prioritising expenditure on all
ICT investment in support of the Strategic Reform
Program will be made,” Mr Farr said.
“This high-level committee has ultimate
responsibility for ensuring our ICT Portfolio spending
is aligned to Defence priorities. This will enhance
the development of the DIE, control sustainment
costs in addition it will allow Defence to take
advantage of emerging ICT technologies.”
The second imperative is to better align ict
and stakeholder needs. With this imperative we
have migrated to a stakeholder-aligned organisation
model designed to improve understanding of
stakeholder business needs, improve engagement
and collaboration to resolve problems, and implement
Defence-wide ICT governance mechanisms.
Based upon the Defence Business Model,
stakeholder engagement teams have been formed
to support the Intelligence and Security Portfolio,
our Warfighter Portfolio and Corporate Business/
Support Services Portfolio.
“While meeting the particular requirements
of these groups we recognise the overarching
imperative to ensure interoperability between the
groups, and our blueprint for that will be our target
ICT architecture which will be governed through our
Defence ICT Infrastructure Portfolio,” Mr Farr said.
The third strategic imperative is to deliver
agreed current and future ict solutions by
establishing an enterprise-wide operating model
and enterprise architecture, underpinned by the
stabilisation, standardisation and optimisation of
existing technologies. We have recently appointed
a Chief Technology Officer who is working on
establishing the Defence wide or Enterprise
Architecture Standards that will underpin our whole
of Defence business process reform outcomes.
“To support and enable business process
reforms across Defence we will work collaboratively
to introduce new capabilities such as the
automation of procurement, personnel and pay
administration, vetting, recruitment, estate
management and management reporting.
“Capabilities will be introduced to easily
retrieve, display and analyse information regardless
of where it is held in Defence,” Mr Farr said
“Our standards and ICT architecture will be
built to support Defence business process reform and
support our ADF (Warfighter) we are working very
closely with CDG and DMO to achieve this outcome
for Defence,” Mr Farr said.
The fourth strategic imperative is to
strengthen ict capability across defence
– including culture, leadership, processes, skills,
sourcing and resource planning – to deliver against
the needs of the Defence organisation.
ICT services will be procured through more
centralised frameworks and processes and through
more strategic and enduring arrangements with
“In considering our people, the Department
of Defence decided that it must take a holistic
approach to the management of its ICT workforce.
Our future workforce will be built on creating
centres of excellence and on building Defence’s ICT
professionalism,” Mr Farr said.
ICT workforce planning across Defence
will be consolidated. The ICT reform program
will deliver improved Defence ICT career path
management and workforce planning, including
optimising the workforce profile mix between
APS, ADF and contractors.
“It is important that I stress that these
initiatives do not amount to a reduction in our ICT
workforce. Rather it is a rebalancing between APS,
ADF and contractors," Mr Farr said.
“Taking a whole-of-Defence approach to
the management of ICT personnel will also
deliver to Defence the flexibility to reassign this
valuable resource across the portfolio as our ICT
“Times have changed. The ICT personnel
market pendulum is now swinging in our favour.
Broadly speaking, this means that we will be able to
fill APS ICT positions more readily.”
A number of ICT positions with Defence
were recently advertised. These were categorised
in the following professional streams of
Spectrum Management Engineers, Satellite
Communications, Network Specialists, Enterprise
Architects, ICT Business Analysts, Applications
Developers, and ICT Project Managers.
As the economic environment rebounds, and
it inevitably will, these ICT professionals will
again be tempted to head to the private sector.
“We need then, to create an environment
now, a value proposition — a career path, that
encourages ICT professionals to stay within the
Defence environment for the long term regardless
of the economic environment,” Mr Farr said.
And when asked what he sees as the
biggest challenges to Defence ICT reform, Mr
Farr said: “We have a comprehensive reform
agenda; however standardisation, consolidation,
rationalisation and reuse will allow us to move
forward quicker with our agenda. It will allow
us to control costs and focus our efforts on new
technologies and solutions to support the ADF
and Defence Business Reform.
“This is going to require new ways of
working. We will need to ensure that everyone
who works in Defence ICT has knowledge and
an understanding of the Defence ICT Reform
Program and work with us collaboratively to
achieve the outcomes sought for Defence as
outlined in the Strategic Reform Program.”
defence magazine ›
aBove: defence employees at work with
the many different types ict services that
will come under the defence ict reform and
top right: chief information officer greg farr
is at the forefront of reforming the defence
a typical desktop set up available to all
defence sites will be a single screen that can
display multiple security sessions. secure
voice and video will be available to the desktop
in most fixed and deployed locations
- chief information officer greg farr
By Denise Thomas
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