Project software

Canberra secures its second billion dollar IT project – software

The Department of Social Services could face competition in its claim of the city’s largest IT project, after the Department of Defense revealed it was also embarking on a systems overhaul that could cost more than one billion dollars.

All eyes were on DHS last year as it finally secured funding for the long-awaited overhaul of its mainframe-based social benefit system, which is expected to cost the government between $ 1 billion and $ 1. $ 5 billion. It launched its first procurement cycle in September.

But just days before Christmas, the Defense Department released a detailed market briefing that revealed cost estimates for its own ERP update – dubbed “Defense INSIGHT” – to pass the billion dollar mark, the full plan is likely to take eight years. complete.

Project Insight will see Defense’s CIO Group (CIOG) replace or integrate around 600 of its applications, over 90% of which are expected to get rid of completely.

The ambitious program will tackle a sprawling IT environment and is expected to encompass corporate functions as broad as finance, logistics, purchasing, real estate, engineering and maintenance.

However, Insight will not discuss PM Keys or Defense Human Resources and Payroll PeopleSoft systems, or any of its document management or eHealth systems.

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

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

In early 2016, Defense intends to launch a market approach to find two systems integrators who will each take on a single slice of the colossal work.

The first tranche will cover the fundamental implementation of DFPS, some of which will be driven by the HANA in-memory processing platform, as well as integration with PeopleSoft and financial services.

A second tranche will cover the remaining modules of the program, from procurement to monitoring and management of Defense assets and heritage.

The department aims to obtain approval for the first pass in July 2016.

The history of federal government IT projects on this scale is patchy at best, but the CIOG strives to bolster its plans with a number of structural protections.

The project value of over $ 1 billion includes a 20 percent contingency fund that will be built into the final budget.

Defense also tries to avoid the pitfalls of customization and range drift.

“As a guiding principle, Defense intends to adopt vanilla SAP and industry standard applications where possible rather than accept significant customization which increases costs, complexity and risk. », Advised the department to potential bidders.

Project implementation should be broken down into six to 12 month “capacity reductions”.

Defense has long struggled to contain the decentralized proliferation of applications within its large and complex structure.

The review of first principles of April 2015 criticized this organizational IT sprawl for blurring the lines of responsibility and generating institutionalized waste.

Project Insight is designed to address some of these issues and advance the Department’s “One Defense” business strategy.


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