As reported by Ben Woodhead in Australian IT, the Department of Defence has advised that it will release its long-awaited new IT strategy "by the middle of the year".
Work on the Defence IT strategy has continued following criticism of the agency's IT organisation contained in the April 2007 Defence Management Review. Finalisation of the IT strategy has been a priority for the new Defence CIO, Greg Farr, who was appointed in October 2006.
Amongst the issues that will be addressed in the strategy is the future of Defence's Enterprise Resource Management System application that supplies the HR and Payroll system - a tender for this upgrade (worth an estimated $100m) was suspended in 2006.
According to the Australian IT article, Greg Farr plans to address the ERP issue by the middle of the year. One of the recommendations of the Defence Management Review was that Defence more towards a single ERP platform. The decision on whether to maintain multiple suppliers or move towards a single ERP supplier will be one of the elements of the new strategy. This has implications for major Defence suppliers SAP, Oracle and Mincom.
Following suspension of the PMKeyS upgrade tender process in 2006 (at the stage of contract negotiations with Oracle), the future of the upgrade remains unclear. As noted in the Australian IT article, Defence previously indicated that it would go to tender for a new contract this year, but Greg Farr said he was unable to confirm whether or not this upgrade project would go back to the market by the end of 2008.
Confirming that he has a big job ahead of him, Greg Farr is quoted as saying "I wouldn't have thought, quite frankly, that we would be doing much technology this calendar year unless things go a lot more easier than I suspect."