The Department of Defence has named Mohan Aiyaswami as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), following the appointment of Matt Yannopoulous as the CIO at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in August 2013.
Since then, Major General Michael Milford has been serving as CTO. Aiyaswami will commence in the CTO position on 11 June 2014, reporting to Defence’s CIO Peter Lawrence.
Defence did not advertise publically for the role until February 2014.
The core functions of the role, as contained in the job advertisement were providing ‘strategic guidance and technical direction for Defence ICT’ and ‘ensuring appropriate commercial arrangements are in place’.
The CTO has responsibility for:
- Defence ICT Strategy;
- Defence Enterprise Architecture;
- Defence ICT Security, and;
- Group Commercial functions within CIOG.
The job advertisement stated that ‘To be a strong contender for this role, you will need to have extensive experience in the ICT industry, especially managing and delivering ICT strategy, architecture and direction in a large, complex and diverse organisation’.
The following summary is taken from Aisyaswami’s Linked In Profile.
In a thirty year career, Aiyaswami has worked in multiple industries (Transport, Financial Services, Logistics, Retail and Telecommunications) and multiple countries. He "has handled budgets ranging from a few million dollars to close to $500M. He has led teams of various sizes up to a more than a hundred people".
Prior to accepting the CTO role, as the General Manager Strategy and Architecture at Toll Holdings Limited, Aiyaswami was responsible for “group wide IT strategy; service strategy and planning for global information services; IT capital and operational planning; end to end solutioning; innovation; enterprise and solution architecture as well as security and risk management.” He held this role for almost 4 years.
Prior to Toll Holdings, Aiyaswami was the Head of Architecture Transition and Governance at Optus where he reported to the CIO of Optus and was responsible for assisting in establishing and articulating enterprise IT strategy and architecture and governance; establishing enterprise wide governance frameworks and processes and standardising systems management, monitoring and development guidelines. He held this role for almost two years.
Prior to Optus, Aiyaswami worked for Satyam as their VP & Global Leader, Manufacturing Enterprise Technology Solutions. Before that he held the role of Manager, Enterprise Integration at Coles Myer. Aiyaswami commenced his career as a software engineer in India in 1984.
Aiyaswami takes up the role after Defence’s January 2014 deferral of a planned approach to market (ATM) for its Distributed Computing Bundle. Defence decided not to proceed “as the projects currently underway [required] a focused and sustained effort”, suggesting it had too much on its plate to proceed with the planned market testing of the bundle.
Defence instead extended its contracts with its incumbent suppliers of distributed computing services, Fujitsu and Unisys. The Unisys contract for Defence Regional Information Services (DRIS) has a value of $69.9 million for a period between March 2014 and October 2016. The Fujitsu contract for Distributed Computing Central Services (DCCS) has a value of $201.0 million between March 2014 and June 2017.
Defence has since informed Intermedium that it “will advise industry on its intentions regarding medium to long term Distributed Computing Services arrangements prior to the calendar year of 2016.”
In light of the deferred procurement, and with Defence military (capital) allocations fairing extremely well in the 2014-15 Budget, Aiyaswami joins Defence at a time where he will be able to significantly influence future strategic directions and bring his experience in logistics, telecommunications and IT services to bear on what has been a complex and difficult journey of ICT rationalisation to date.