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Winds of Change: The Evolution of Defence IT Managed Services

by Jon Cottam •
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The winds of change continue to blow through Defence IT Managed Services arrangements with the award of recent contracts that have introduced new players over recent years and moved the concept of IT Managed Services well away from the siloed services of end user computing, and central processing introduced by Greg Farr in his term as CIO (November 2007 to November 2012).

Fujitsu, Unisys and the then Lockheed Martin (which became Leidos Australia) were the original providers. Fujitsu was awarded a contract to manage end user computing in the Canberra region, with Unisys being awarded a similar contract to manage end user computing across Australia (at the various military bases and other Defence sites). Lockheed Martin won ‘centralised computing including networks’.

These suppliers benefited from contract extensions and renewals until the first changes occurred in December 2018 when Kinetic IT won two three- year contracts with a current total contract value (TCV) of $104 million.

One contract, since amended eight times, is for the provision of support services for ‘service integration management services’ and the other, amended three times is for the provision of ‘end user support services for ICT service desk’.

In October 2019 in an approach to the market for ‘Sustainment of Deployed ICT’, Defence comprehensively signalled that its decade-old infrastructure-centric arrangements were no longer appropriate and that it needed to move to a ‘to a more agile information-centric approach where change is delivered at high velocity’.

The ATM announcement stated that ‘Defence’s vision is to deliver a modern, secure, sustainable and scalable information environment to enable current and future military and business operations’ and that to do this, the Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG)  was introducing new capabilities and new ways of working. 

The ATM stated that the ‘CIOG must position itself as a business partner, providing a military advantage to the Services through the delivery of upstream activities such as: integration, convergence, service management, information protection, cyber resilience, strategic relationship management and process optimisation and that ‘’through this transformation, Defence will deliver a reliable and secure warfighting and business network in order to provide access to the required information at the right time and place to enable the mission”.  This “network convergence” for Defence, could extend to include design and architecture, hardware and software, support arrangements and delivery mechanisms.

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