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Defence 2016 ICT Strategy Launched

The Department of Defence has launched its 2016 ICT Strategy, outlining a vision to develop a modern, secure, sustainable and scalable information environment.

Central to the strategy is the implementation of a robust, modern and secure Single Information Environment, to enable military and business operations across fixed, deployed, and mobile environments. Implementation of the Single Information Environment will involve the consolidation of data centres, infrastructure remediation, end user computing, and high speed networking, according to the strategy.

The ICT Strategy recognises that the unprecedented scale and pace of change in ICT globally presents both challenges and opportunities for Defence ICT, including the growth in connected devices, cyber security and the increased role of ICT in supporting military operations.

“We are undertaking an information transformation….this transformation will take us from an infrastructure-centric approach to ICT, to an information-centric approach”, stated Peter Lawrence, Defence CIO.  “Through this transformation we will deliver more effective and responsive ICT to the Australian Defence Organisation to enable Defence outcomes”.

Key strategic priorities of the 2016 ICT Strategy include:

  • protect and secure Defence information and the information environment
  • provide Defence with accurate information for decision-making and military interoperability through reliable enterprise-wide information management
  • develop and implement a road map to standardise business processes, information and their supporting applications to improve Defence effectiveness and efficiency
  • manage and deliver reliable ICT services across fixed, deployed, and mobile environments that provide Defence an operational advantage and enables integrated joint and combined operations with global partners, and
  • secure and manage Defence ICT capabilities, workforce and resources for the future.

The current Defence ICT Environment is complex, with around 100,000 workstations across 670 networks, 280 processing centres, and support  3,000 applications.

The strategy identifies a number of challenges with the Defence ICT current state, finding that “currently Defence ICT does not adequately support the cooperation, coordination and communications needs of its personnel”.

Challenges identified with the current ICT state include:

  • ICT is not fully connected across fixed and deployed locations
  • Information to support decision making is often incomplete and unreliable.
  • Basic tasks can be time-consuming
  • Finding information from paperbased archives and removable media can be time consuming
  • Collaborating across boundaries can be difficult
  • Users cannot access all their information when they are out of the office
  • Information to support decision making is often incomplete and unreliable
  • It is confusing for users to learn and use multiple networks
  • Maintaining duplicate obsolete systems is expensive

View the Defence ICT Strategic Direction 2016-2020.

Read the 2015 First Principles Review of Defence.