blog Those of you who got too deep, too early into the silly season around Christmas time may have missed the fact that the Department of Defence has taken a strong step forward in the mammoth ERP consolidation program known as “Defence Insight”. The project is a long-running initiative designed to significantly consolidate the several thousand business applications which the huge Department of Defence runs as part of its normal run of business.
In early December, the Department announced its intention to hold a vendor briefing to detail its initial thinking on the issue. The tender document associated with the briefing states:
“Defence intends to seek First Pass Approval for the enterprise resource planning (ERP) business transformation program – Defence Insight – from Government in March 2016.”
“Consistent with the First Principles Review, Defence’s intention is to proactively engage with industry. This approach has been designed to promote collaboration and the sharing of ideas and market intelligence throughout the industry engagement and procurement process. The Market Briefing is the first of these engagement activities.”
“It is intended to provide industry with an overview of Defence’s current thinking, particularly in terms of scope and complexity, the delivery models presently under consideration and Defence’s views on how to most efficiently and effectively deliver Defence Insight. It is also intended to encourage discussion and collaboration both within industry and between industry and Defence.”
Intermedium has a great deal more information on the Defence plan, including the fact that it appears as though SAP is currently the frontrunner to be the platform for much of the work. I can’t say I’m surprised (at all) by that decision, although it may end up causing issues at Defence down the track, as a number of major public sector ERP implementations using SAP (notably the Queensland Health payroll revamp) have come unstuck recently.
I’m not alleging any issues with SAP’s software per se — organisations such as the Commonwealth Bank have successfully completed highly complex SAP installations — but rather that much appears to depend on the governance structures of system integration projects involving SAP. In any case, the following information from Intermedium may give readers some sense of the scale of the work to come (we recommend that you click here for the full article):
“The agency signed a $6.36 million contract with Deloitte to design Defence’s Enterprise Resource Planning Roadmap Program on 14 April 2015. Defence CIO Peter Lawrence told the Technology in Government Summit in August 2015 that Defence makes use of roughly 2500 applications, including 300 financial applications.”
Lawrence is pictured in the image above.
To my mind, this program will one of the key major IT projects to watch in the Australian public sector over the next five years. The sheer complexity of the work involved means that there will doubtless be quite a few mini-projects as part of the greater whole that will go off the rails. In addition, the scale of the contracts involved will doubtless be quite large.
Image credit: Department of Defence