Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dept of Infrastructure aims for multi-year IT modernisation

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The federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts has revealed plans for a multi-year IT and cyber security transformation.

The department has invited “fewer than five” professional services firms to write a “combined pass business case to uplift and transform [its] cyber and digital capabilities”.

In the federal government, a business case is typically developed over two stages, with a “first pass” used to gain in principle support from cabinet before a more detailed proposal is put together.

However, departments are able to skip the first stage in cases “when there is a clear and urgent business need for investment, when rapid implementation is needed, and/or when there is only one workable implementation option or a number of highly developed implementation options,” according to ICT investment guidance.

It’s not clear what is specifically driving urgency in the business case preparation for the department, but a spokesperson told iTnews that modernisation is required.

“The department will seek investment to modernise its information environment through a multi-year program that will include replacing ageing platforms and retiring technical debt,” the spokesperson said in a brief statement.

“The department is working closely with the DTA and following the Commonwealth Digital and ICT Investment Oversight Framework to ensure development and implementation meets government requirements.”

The department did not address questions from iTnews on the current or intended future state of its cyber security and digital tooling, and which specific systems are in line for transformation.

The outsourcing of the business case development suggests it could take up to eight months for that activity to be completed; consultants are being offered an initial five months to write the business case, with three optional extensions possible of one month each.

This would mean that, pending funding, transformation works would likely begin in either late 2024 or early 2025.

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