Key ICT benchmarking data is set to be shared across Australian Federal and State and Territory Governments on an ongoing basis, according to an EOI released by the Department of Finance and Deregulation on 30 April 2011.
The EOI requires potential suppliers to respond on how they would provide either or both a static report of their analysis of cross-jurisdictional ICT benchmarking data and a web-based dashboard to give access to the data.
In November 2009 the intergovernmental Online and Communications Council agreed to the “identification of standardised ICT performance measurement across government commencing with a progressive implementation of a common ICT taxonomy”.
The Council, which includes Communications Minister Stephen Conroy as well as representatives of each of the state and territory governments and the Local Government Association, gave the green light to the initiative as part of the Connected Government scheme, which was launched in 2004.
The metrics to be shared initially will relate to ‘commodity items’ and ‘service towers’. These are the metrics which offer the most value at the least cost according to the EOI documents.
Each of the participating jurisdictions will need to provide the selected supplier(s) with the necessary benchmarking information to allow the supplier(s) to analyse, report on and display the data.
According to the EOI, “about 40” initial metrics will be used to measure the following categories:
- End user infrastructure;
- Midrange (servers);
- Local Area Network and Remote Access Services;
- Facilities (Data Centres);
- Applications; and
For each of the above categories, the benchmarking metrics are likely to include
- Proportion (%) of total “business as usual” (BAU) expenditure;
- Proportion (%) outsourced;
- Annual per unit operational cost;
- Annual per unit capital replacement cost;
- Capital replacement timeframe;
- Proportion (%) vendors of total ICT vendors;
- Percentage (%) mix ICT internal vs. external full time equivalent (FTE); and
- Percentage (%) proportion ICT FTE of total end users.
Many of the nominated categories have been subject to a variety of procurement strategies across the different jurisdictions, including whole-of-government panels.
Amongst other outcomes, measurement against standardised benchmarks should allow for a comparison between the procurement strategies that are effective and those which are not.
However any evaluation of procurement as well as BAU efficiency will need to be conducted in light of the context of the agency, including its size and core functions, as well as the service level requirement and the typical length of service of its ICT assets.
The initial round of cross-jurisdictional benchmarking will be conducted on 2010-11 data with the initial static reports due in February 2012. About five jurisdictions are expected to participate in this first year, according to the EOI document
It is likely that both the list of categories for benchmarking, and the number of jurisdictions involved will increase in later rounds of the benchmarking process.
Suppliers are given the choice of responding to the either the static analysis component of the project, or the web-based dashboard, or both.
Submissions to the EOI close on 24 May 2011. Following the EOI a shortlist of suppliers will be invited to tender to supply these services.