Canberra gets its second billion-dollar IT project

Canberra gets its second billion-dollar IT project

The Department of Human Services may face competition in its claim to the biggest IT project in town, after the Department of Defence revealed it is also embarking on a systems overhaul likely to cost in excess of $1 billion.

All eyes were on the DHS last year as it finally secured funding for the long-overdue overhaul of its mainframe-based welfare payments system, expected to cost the government between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. It kicked off its first round of procurement in September.

But just days before Christmas, the Department of Defence snuck out a detailed market briefing that revealed cost estimates for its own ERP update – dubbed ‘Defence INSIGHT’ – put it past the billion-dollar mark, with the full plan likely to take eight years to complete.

Project Insight will see Defence’s CIO Group (CIOG) replace or integrate roughly 600 of its applications, more than 90 percent of which it expects to get rid of altogether.

The ambitious scheme will combat a sprawling IT environment and is set to take in corporate functions as far and wide as finance, logistics, procurement, estate, engineering and maintenance.

Insight will not, however, address Defence’s PM Keys or PeopleSoft HR and payroll systems, or any of its document management or e-health systems.

CIOG has already signed an $86 million deal with SAP that will keep it in licences until 2020.

SAP’s Defense Force & Public Security (DFPS) solution will form the foundation of the new ERP suite.

In early 2016 Defence intends to commence an approach to market to find two systems integrators that will take on a single tranche of the mammoth job each.

The first tranche will cover the foundational DFPS implementation, some of which will be driven by the HANA in-memory processing platform, plus integration with PeopleSoft and financials.

A second tranche will cover the remaining program modules, from procurement through to the tracking and management of Defence’s asset and estate holdings.

The department is aiming achieve first pass approval in July 2016.

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