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ATO New Normal: Systems Integrators Out, Cloud Platforms In

by Jack Le Guay •
Free resource

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is overhauling some of its systems as part of a broader customer-centric approach, supported by cloud platforms.

Its Insights and Analytics request for tender (RFT) was the first of three recent RFTs the ATO intends to use to improve its customer experience via platforms. 

In August, the ATO released an RFT for an ‘Insights and Analytics’ platform to replace the current ‘data and analytics infrastructures’ which are approaching their end of life.

The scope of the procurement includes:

  • Ingest and Store,
  • Data Processing, and
  • Data Consumption.

The new real-time and automated data analytics system must be capable of deeper data-driven insights to aid client-side and internal decision-making processes.

The ATO clarified that the RFT was not open to ‘systems integrators’ in response to industry questions. 

For this RFT, it defined Systems Integrators (SI) as providing ‘professional services, comprising insights and analytics platform establishment and integration, business use case delivery and end-to-end user experience requirements’.

Instead of seeking SIs, the ATO intends to procure a cloud-based solution which ‘will utilise existing resources and contracts to establish the platform within the ATO.’

Digital Experience Platform and Customer Experience Management

In September, the ATO approached the market for a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). The DXP is to provide an end-to-end external and internal knowledge management system. The platform will also make use of analytics, including an ATO-wide ‘search and analytics’ capability.

The DXP will be required to handle 63 million external and 16,000 internal user requests per year. Access management will also be a key feature as the solution will need to deal with over 900 “content owners” and 58 “system administration” user roles.

The DXP will replace ATO’s current knowledge management systems, which include “Ektron, Smart Online, Legacy SharePoint, and internally developed business applications that are approaching end of life”. A ‘market sounding process’ helped form the RFT, according to the tender documents.

The DXP tender also excluded Systems Integrators firms from the tender process in favour of cloud-based solutions.

Online Survey Tool

On 28 September, the ATO approached the market for the “provision of an ‘ATO Online Survey Tool’. The ATO will use the tool to conduct surveys and ‘intercept users on digital platforms’ to generate customer-centric data insights. The solution must integrate with ‘existing system architectures’ and must provide staff with software support and training services.

Systems Integrators changing their tack

The impact of the Government Cloud Policy, which mandates the use of cloud where possible, together with the broader APS pivot to agile methodologies, has meant the traditional systems integrator business model is increasingly under threat.

According to Intermedium’s analysis of contracts data, many SI firms have adjusted their offerings and business structures to reflect the new cloud and agile world. They are offering new capabilities for end-to-end automation, analytics, cyber security, artificial intelligence.

IBM has seen a recent windfall of strategic Federal contracts following the company’s shift to platform-related IT services.

The ATO’s burst of activity further confirms cloud enterprise platforms as one of the foundational ‘New Normals’ of the post-COVID public sector ICT market.


The Insights and Analytics platform RFT will close on 8 October 2021.

The Digital Experience Platform (DXP) RFT will close on 13 October 2021.                                                                                                                                       

THE ATO Online Survey Tool (Customer Experience Management) RFT will close on 25 October 2021.

  • Federal
  • IT Services
  • Software
  • Revenue