Microsoft’s new range of Surface convertible table devices will launch in Australia in mid-November, the global technology giant announced this week, as well as a clutch of new Lumia-branded handsets to keep Windows mobile enthusiasts happy.

Microsoft has revealed that Sydney’s Manly Council is using its ‘Internet of Things’ software to significantly enhance its capabilities for operating infrastructure such as the council’s parking metres and CCTV cameras, in one of the first known deployments of this kind of environment for Microsoft in Australia.

I personally feel it would be a real shame to see UXC snapped up by CSC. UXC is a strong Australian business, with its Red Rock, Oxygen, Connect, Telsyte and other brands being very well-known in Australia. Of course, CSC would be likely to keep most of its staff intact. But the Australian IT services market would feel a lot less ... Australian without UXC existing on its own.

news David Jones today notified customers that it had become the latest casualty in a hacking spree which appears to be targeting Australian retailers. The...

National retailer Kmart has called in the Australian Federal Police and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to investigate an IT security breach which it has confirmed saw customers’ data accessed by unknown parties.

Utility AGL Energy this week revealed it had hired a new permanent chief information officer, pinching a senior Commonwealth Bank IT executive to fill the role it had deleted from its executive roster only five months ago.

Western Australia has appointed its first permanent whole of government chief information officer, with acting CIO Giles Nunis taking on the role on an ongoing basis to help the state cut its costs, develop an overarching IT strategy and build the capacity of WA’s growing ICT sector.

Macquarie University’s very public decision this week to dump the Gmail platform it adopted with great pomp and ceremony just five years ago sends a clear message to Australian chief information officers of what they can expect when they buck corporate IT trends: Internal insurrection and ongoing dissent.

Macquarie University yesterday revealed it had decided to ditch Google’s hosted email and calendaring platform and would migrate its staff to Microsoft’s rival Office 365 platform, in the wake of a controversial decision by Google to shift the university’s data from its previous datacentre location in Europe and move it to the United States.

Home-grown Australian software firm Technology One appears to be making significant inroads into the Federal Government, with a $5.8 million deal with the Federal Department of the Treasury reportedly building on existing success the company is having selling its software into major institutions.

Global technology giant IBM this week revealed Victorian company GIG Radiology has deployed its cloud computing services to enable quicker diagnosis relating to the more than 50,000 daily images the company generates in its clinics across the state.

If you were working in Federal Government ICT circles back in 2008, you may recall that the then-Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government signed a $30 million deal (PDF) with local IT services group ASP for a comprehensive range of services ranging from desktop support to servers, laptops, printers and more. Well, news arrived this week that the Department is so happy with ASG — after seven years — that it has re-signed the contract.

MyGov – or something like it – is part of a 21st century government. It is the way of the future. But it needs careful development, testing, and selling.

Microsoft has reversed a lengthy trend towards jacking up the pricing on its software for the local market, with analysis showing Australians will actually pay significantly less for its brand new Office 2016 suite released this week than users in the United States.

Cloud computing vendors such as have had a bit of a difficult relationship with Australia's banking and financial services sector. This week from the company's Dreamforce conference in the US comes news that is yet again making some headway.

One of Australia’s largest credit unions, the Qantas Credit Union, has revealed it will deploy a new core banking platform from Infosys’ Finacle division (EdgeVerve Systems(, as well as a host of other related services, in a move that the bank says will see it transition to a ‘core banking as a service’ model.

Chief marketing officers are increasingly making technology decisions for their organisations, according to a new study published today by technology analyst firm Telsyte.

I've got a number of questions about this deal ... namely: How the hell was Medibank Private -- a huge corporation -- even using eight different telecommunications suppliers in 2015 to start with? Why has it taken the company so long to consolidate the numbers of suppliers down? And since when, as Telstra detailed in its media release, has Telstra been selling Skype for Business services (owned by Microsoft) as part of its service offering?

Software and services giant Microsoft last week revealed it had started migrating the data of its Australian customers onto datacentres based locally, in a move that will affect customers in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.

30 years after it was first developed, the Department of Human Services has finally gone to market to replace its ageing welfare payments system, in a move that will formally kick off the Federal Government’s latest massive IT transformation initiative.

The NSW Police Force last week revealed it would start deploying an on-body camera solution from Japanese vendor Fujitsu to frontline police, as part of a global trend which is seeing the technology increasingly adopted by law enforcement authorities around the world.

Over the past decade, datacentres have radically changed in nature. Gone are the days of putting a few servers in a rack and forgetting about them. But not everyone is yet up to date with the new IT datacentre paradigm. This free whitepaper will help.

Global technology giant HP has refused to say whether or not the 25,000 to 30,000 job cuts it is making globally will have an impact on the company’s extensive Australian workforce, although speculation flying around Australia’s IT industry this afternoon and the company’s past history suggests Australia will not be spared.

The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have added two smaller providers to its list of approved cloud computing services for use by Federal Government departments and agencies, with small local suppliers Sliced Tech and Vault Systems taking pride of place alongside major multinational vendors.

The Federal Government's Digital Transformation Office has been talking a lot recently about the need for more rapid technology development cycles in the public sector, but its' not the only home of innovation in government around Australia.

The New South Wales Department of Finance, Services & Innovation (DFSI) has advertised for a new group chief information officer, with its longstanding incumbent CIO Malcolm Freame reportedly shifting into a different role inside the state’s public sector.

Here at Delimiter we've been tracking the NSW Department of Education and Communities' long-running Learning Management and Business Reform project for quite a few years already. And the project just keeps on going from bad to worse, by all appearances.

news Westpac chief information officer Dave Curran has outlined an ambitious IT platform consolidation strategy for the bank which will result in a centralised...

Queensland’s Department of Health has kicked off one of the largest IT modernisation projects in the state’s history, outlining a solid $1.26 billion in planned investment to bring its IT systems into the modern age and advertising for a chief information officer to lead the ’20-year’ strategy.

Australian online printer cartridge retailer CartridgesDirect will shortly replace its existing Magenta-based web platform with a whole of business ecommerce solution from NetSuite, as the US software as a service firm continued to pick up mid-sized customer wins in Australia.

news The Northern Territory Police Force has revealed it is rapidly expanding its use of facial recognition technology it has purchased from Japanese vendor...

Cooling Optimize is a solution from Schneider Electric which continuously optimises airflow in your datacentre facility, delivering improved reliability and availability.

ANZ Bank this morning revealed it had signed a $450 million deal with global technology firm IBM that would allow the bank to access all of IBM’s technology and feature an ‘Innovation Lab’ to more rapidly bring new products and services to market.

Every Friday Delimiter features an Australian chief information officer, IT director or IT manager. This week's profile is of Bill Robertson, the CIO/IT manager of De Bortoli Wines.

The Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Office has revealed plans to locate a small office on-campus at the University of Technology Sydney, as well as embarking on a rapid hiring campaign in which it will seek the best Australian technologists to help deliver lasting changing in government IT service delivery.

When I think about the people that I personally most admire in Australia's technology sector, my thoughts usually go first to those working in chief information officer, IT director and IT manager positions. It's for these reasons that I'm planning to start a new regular profile for Delimiter.

Remember that massive, billion-dollar payroll IT systems disaster at Queensland Health? Remember how the prime contractor IBM disavowed all responsibility for it? And how the Queensland Government subsequently sued the company and banned IBM from any further work with its departments and agencies? Yeah, good times.

We're starting to see this kind of SaaS/cloud computing deployment in the Federal Government. It's a slow process, but each kind of 'safe' deployment such as this one -- with data and processes which could be considered non-mission-critical -- increases the comfort level of mega-agency chief information officers and secretaries regarding cloud computing. We're getting there.

The New South Wales police force has gone to market for fingerprint scanners to add to its fleet of existing Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphones, as part of a national trend that is increasingly allowing law enforcement authorities to examine biometric data to verify identities in the field.

Australian company Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions has revealed it is in the throes of a major deployment of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system, taking the opportunity offered by corporate restructuring to go ahead with the upgrade.

As regular readers of Delimiter will know, Australia's police forces have not precisely covered themselves in glory when it comes to upgrading their ageing IT systems.

The DTO is looking to make it mandatory for government agencies to create APIs for all new services, and to consume their own APIs when delivering those services.

Personally, I'd suggest that 10 percent is a figure chief financial officers can understand in this context. But 26 percent is likely enough to raise more than a few eyebrows.

The local arm of NEC today revealed it had picked up a $36.6 million contract to operate the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s ICT support desk, in a deal which would appear to knock incumbent supplier and fellow Japanese technology giant Fujitsu off its perch.

While many who invest in Datacentre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software benefit greatly, some do not. Research has revealed a number of pitfalls that end users should avoid when evaluating and implementing DCIM solutions. Grab a free whitepaper on this issue.

If you've been following international news overnight, you're probably aware that Islamic State has released a large amount of data pertaining to US military personnel. This morning, the Federal Government confirmed that a number of Australian Defence personnel and one Victorian MP had had their details included as part of the leak.

The IT department at the Australian office of Japanese power tool maker Makita tried to “break” Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 operating system and failed to do so, so ended up deciding to deploy the software throughout its operations to staff, the company revealed last week.

The Federal Government’s fledgling Digital Transformation Office has hired a trio of high-profile digital government service delivery experts, including a 19 year-old hailed as one of the young guns of the UK’s equivalent agency on which the DTO was based, as it rapidly bulks up in the first few months of its existence.

Tech vendor Zebra Technologies late last week revealed that global logistics provider Mainfreight would deploy some 1,500 Android-based handheld units across Australia and New Zealand, in one of the largest known corporate deployments of the Google technology down under so far.

ANZ Bank today revealed it had appointed what it described as “an international panel of technology experts” which it said would advise its board on the strategic application of new and emerging technologies and technological trends that could affect the bank’s strategy.

Microsoft this week said it expects Australian organisations to deploy its new operating system Windows 10 quite rapidly, on the basis of independent research showing that almost two in three local groups expect to adopt Windows 10 within the first 12 months of its release.

Police and the national markets regulator yesterday revealed that a Russian hacker had last year broken into IT systems in major Australian financial institutions and manipulated penny stocks for a profit.

The Federal Government has paid Microsoft more than $14.4 million for custom support of the outdated Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems, in a costly move which further demonstrates the extreme cost of running operating systems which are no longer formally supported by their vendors.

Tatts Group is one of Australia’s largest lottery and gaming companies, operating the majority of lotteries within Australia, as well as wagering, telephone betting and online transactions. Their online transactions make them one of the highest trafficked sites in the country.

In which the South Australian Government comes up with complex legal arguments as to why it should be able to continue to use a 1980's software package.

The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.

Two sizable Queensland Government departments have no central disaster recovery plan, the state’s Auditor-General has found, despite the region’s ongoing struggles with extreme weather conditions that have previously knocked out telecommunications and data centre infrastructure.

The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have released a guide to hardening Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, three years after the software was released for use by corporate customers, and as Microsoft is slated to release its next upgrade, Windows 10.

Perth-headquartered IT services group ASG this week revealed it had picked up a deal worth at least $35 million over five years with CIMIC Group — the massive construction and contracting group previously known as Leighton Holdings.

New Zealand-headquartered IT services group Datacom this week announced it has successfully taken over the ICT infrastructure of the Federal Department of Health, in a long-awaited move which has seen the department remove large tranches of work from the hands of long-term outsourcer IBM.

The Bureau of Meteorology this week revealed it had signed a US$59 million (AU$80 million) contract with US supercomputer specialist Cray for a beefy machine that will deliver the agency about 16 times its current computing capacity and allow it to predict the weather that much better.

The Victorian Government has paid Microsoft a whopping $4.4 million for extended support for the now-defunct Windows Server 2003 operating system, in a move which sharply demonstrates the extreme cost of running operating systems which are no longer formally supported by their vendors.

Research published by local analyst firm Telsyte and Dell yesterday suggests that one in five Australian businesses are still running Microsoft’s decade-old operating system Windows Server 2003, despite the fact that Redmond is about to stop supporting the dated software for good.

If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations' main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia's Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state's schools.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn't cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

New Zealand's national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms 'Office Productivity as a Service' services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts -- Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

One of the most frustrating and, I think, silliest things I found when working in Australian government agencies was how almost every department, agency and statutory body developed almost all of its own policies, procedures, software and tools.

If you assume, as I do, that many of these staff spent much of their time 'putting out fires' -- reacting to the latest crisis in terms of their schools' IT infrastructure -- then removing those staff will create chaos across the board.

The Department of Defence has appointed a new chief technology officer, nicking senior Toll IT executive Aiyaswami Mohan to replace its previous CTO Matt Yannopoulous, who left in October last year to take up the role of chief information officer at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Victoria Police's IT systems are so out of date that police officers often simply go home to open modern documents on their own PCs, a new report has found, and officers are also required to fax hardcopy documentation into a central repository following the end of their shift.

Half a decade ago, cloud computing was hyped to the max as a new class of technologies that would deliver radical improvements to the flexibility and agility of both private sector businesses and governments. But a few years down the track, is it delivering on those promises in Australia? We investigate in this extensive feature article.

Fifteen years after it first outsourced its IT department to global technology IBM, in a deal renewed half a dozen times and worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the Federal Department of Health has finally placed key components of the deal back on the market, in its first formal request for the tender in the area since 1999.

Second-tier bank and insurance company Suncorp has reaffirmed its plans to replace its legacy Hogan core banking platform with a more modern Oracle-based alternative in 2016, with the bank finally putting a date on an overhaul that has been on-again, off-again for several years.

For years the clock has been ticking towards the end of life for Microsoft's most popular operating system, Windows XP. However, on April 8 this year, the ticking stopped -- and so did all official support for the platform. Entitled The end of XP as we know it! Are you ready?, this free whitepaper looks at the end of support for Windows XP and what it means for your organisation.

The Queensland State Government has published an extremely detailed cloud computing implementation model which it will use to formally push its many departments and agencies into a cloud computing-first procurement model, as the state attempts to address its substantial issues with fundamental ICT project and service delivery.

IBM might have been banned from signing new contracts with the Queensland Government over the Queensland Health payroll systems disaster, but that apparently hasn’t stopped other Australian jurisdictions from dealing with the vendor. The Financial Review reports this morning that Transport for NSW (which was formed from the merger of the NSW RTA, maritime, transport construction authority and Country Rail groups) is poised to jump into bed with Big Blue in a big way.

Those of you with long memories may recall that Australia has its own version of Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Office 365 email platforms. The company is called Atmail and it’s based in Queensland. In November 2012 it picked up a cool $2 million in venture capital from Australian VC firm Starfish Ventures. Well, already Atmail looks to be picking up new local corporate clients. The AustralianIT reports this morning that real estate agency Raine and Horne recently picked Atmail for its new email platform, serving some 3,500 mailboxes.

The Northern Territory's parliament has published a landmark report into the management of ICT projects by its departments and agencies, finding a similar list of disasters as have been suffered by other state jurisdictions in Australia and recommending the immediate appointment of a whole of government chief information officer to help rectify the systemic issues.

This week and next week, Delimiter will take a closer took at cloud computing use in Australia with a series of two feature articles. The first -- this one -- will take a closer look at what classes of cloud computing services are proving most attractive to large Australian enterprises, and how they are being used. And the second piece, to be published next week, will examine whether cloud computing as a phenomenon is delivering on its promises of cutting costs and delivering more flexibility and scalability to Australian organisations.

US-based body camera vendor Reveal Media has announced that the New South Wales police force is trialling use of its body cameras, in a move that will likely have transparency and accountability benefits for both ordinary Australians and officers.

It used to be pretty rare that Australia would see an IT system implemented or maintained so poorly that it had the potential to cause fatalities or serious injury. But not any more. This year we’ve seen three such cases in Victoria alone, linked separately to failing IT systems at Victoria Police (which actually did result in several deaths), a Victorian hospital and, most worryingly, with relation to children’s safety under the care of the Department of Human Services. Well, last week South Australia got its own potentially fatal IT system.

Those of you who follow the big end of the IT services market in Australia will recall that November last year Bank of Queensland revealed plans to finally chop up its extremely long-running comprehensive IT outsourcing deal with HP, with the effort being led by the bank's chief information officer Julie Bale (pictured). Well, things have been moving along at a rapid clip and the bank has reportedly now cut down its list of prospective partners to four.

The Victorian Government has published a list of accomplishments which it claims to have achieved off the back of its previous whole of government ICT strategy, as it releases a new vision for the 2014 and 2015 years.

The remarkable wave of technological innovation emanating from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is forcing Australians to redefine their fundamental concept of what a bank is, and reimagine what their basic relationship to such an institution should be.

Following a protracted Freedom of Information battle, the Federal Government has finally released a report into the the troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) project, with one of the document's main recommendations being that the National e-Health Transition Authority be 'dissolved' due to governance issues.

Long-time Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers has written a strongly worded letter to US President Barack Obama stating that the company "simply cannot operate" if the National Security Agency continues intercepting its routers and injecting spyware onto them before they are delivered to customers.

Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services today announced that its WorkSpaces virtual desktop platform was available to be delivered from its Sydney datacentre, in a move which may accelerate the adoption of virtual desktop infrastructure in Australia in general.

Westpac subsidiary St George Bank has revealed plans to deploy a trial of Apple's iBeacon technology in three Sydney branches, in a move which will see customers' iPhones sent a welcome message and "tailored information" when they enter a branch.

What’s not precisely clear at this point is how this new panel will differ from the old one, or how the new ‘cloud-first’ policy will differ from the old one.

The Federal Government has opted to continue to progress the previous Labor administration's troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project for now, allocating funding of $140.6 million to the project over the next 12 months while it decides its ultimate fate.

The Western Australian Government has allocated a further $40 million in funding to the troubled IT systems of the state's flagship Fiona Stanley Hospital, in a state budget which comes ahead of the similar, $187 million deployment of similar new IT systems at the upcoming Perth Children's Hospital.

The Queensland Government appears to have suffered a further substantial blow to its attempts to reform its technology infrastructure, with an executive having been hand-picked to oversee its IT renewal program resigning after just one month in the role, and taking her deputy with her.

What does it take to deliver on a digital transformation agenda that the National Commission of Audit has explicitly described as “not business as usual”? As we transition from a 60 to 100 year old operating model of government, a fundamental re-imagining of what is meant by “public service” is needed.

Top-tier bank Westpac has renewed long-running contracts with both Telstra and, reportedly, Optus, as the bank continues to source services from both of Australia's two largest telcos.

The Federal Government has revealed long-range plans to migrate its public-facing websites to Drupal on a software as a service (cloud computing) basis, in a move which could end up seeing around a third of the government's 1,200 odd-sites migrated off commercial and other alternatives and onto the open source platform.

Microsoft has confirmed it will radically overhaul its giant TechEd conference in Australia in a way that will essentially spell the end of the iconic conference in its traditional mega-format, with the company confirming it will hold smaller TechEd conferences in Sydney and Melbourne in October and additional dates and cities in planning for early 2015.

Remember how publishing giant Fairfax announced plans several years ago to dump Microsoft’s Office and Exchange platforms for most of its 11,000 staff and switch to Google Apps? Well, this week the company’s chief information officer Andrew Lam Po-Tang gave the CeBIT conference a detailed look at what that process actually looks like inside the company. It turns out the demise of Microsoft Office is not so much a bang but a whimper for the publisher.

Troubled Victorian Government IT shared services group CenITex has flagged plans to cut another 60 staff from its roster, as wider plans progress to outsource the infrastructure and services currently being provided by the group to other Victorian Government departments and agencies.

Financial services group ING Direct this week revealed it had switched its entire production IT infrastructure onto a private cloud platform, in a move the company claimed was a first for any bank in Australia.

The Federal Government this morning revealed it had abolished its whole of government chief information officer role in the wake of the departure of the last public servant to hold the position, Glenn Archer, with the position's responsibilities to devolve to a much lower profile role in the Department of Finance.

We’ve been hearing rather a lot about the philosophy of buying corporate IT platforms on a “cloud-first” basis recently. The US Government more or less kicked off the trend several years ago, and over the past 12 months the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian Governments have followed. Only last week the new Coalition Government’s Commission of Audit recommended a cloud-first approach for the Federal Government. So we’re not surprised to hear that the private sector has gotten on the bandwagon as well.

Technology media outlet Delimiter has appealed a Federal Department of Healths move to block the public release of a report reviewing the troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) project, as news emerges that the Federal Government appears to have made a decision on how to proceed with the project.

Those of you who keep an eye on the extremely large IT purchasing habits of the Department of Defence will recall that the Department has had a long-running tendering initiative going for what it calls “Centralised Processing” services. The contract has been out to market for some time, with IBM, HP and Lockheed Martin previously being the players in contention. In September that list shrunk down to two, with Defence knocking HP out of the running at that point, and last week the list shrunk again, with Big Blue losing out and Lockheed Martin winning preferred tendered status.

The new Coalition Government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) has recommended the Federal Government investigate the same kind of whole of government shared corporate services scheme which have abjectly failed most Australian State Governments over the past half-decade and resulted in widespread IT service delivery problems.

The new Coalition Government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) has strongly recommended the Federal Government adopt a "cloud-first" IT infrastructure procurement policy, in a move which would clear up Canberra's often-confused approach to the issue and see it follow other jurisdictions such as Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The new Coalition Government's Commission of Audit (CoA) has strongly recommended the Federal Government adopt a "transformative" strategy to make all its interactions with Australians online by default, with a new chief digital officer to spearhead the strategy and report to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Remember how in the middle of last week, the Commonwealth Bank announced a raft of measures to reform mobile access to its infrastructure, including cardless access to ATM machines? Well, it appears the competition was watching. Barely had CommBank gotten its announcement out of the door when Westpac followed.

The Commonwealth Bank's long-serving and highly decorated chief information officer Michael Harte has announced he will shortly leave the bank to take up a senior role at UK-based Barclays Bank, in a move that signals the end of an era for CommBank's IT operations.

Yours truly hasn't yet had the chance to comb through the recommendations contained in the Abbott administration's Commission of Audit report released this afternoon; that will take the better part of a week. However one notable item which has already been picked up by technology media outlet iTNews this afternoon is that the report includes some rather ... drastic recommendations for Centrelink's extremely complex and high maintenance core IT systems.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has taken a significant step in the gradual shift to allowing Australians to conduct all of their banking transactions via their mobile phones, announcing this morning that it would allow customers to withdraw money from ATM machines without their cards and only using iPhone and Android apps.

Software giant Microsoft is considering a radical overhaul to its giant TechEd event in Australia that would essentially spell the end of the iconic conference in its traditional mega-format, with the company instead believed to be considering a series of smaller conferences around Australia in its place.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has strongly hinted that the upcoming Federal Budget will include "billions" of dollars worth of funding for a core systems replacement at the Centrelink division of the Department of Human Services (DHS), in a move that represents one of the Federal Government's most long-awaited and largest IT project approvals.

Technology research and advisory firm Gartner has appointed former whole of Federal Government chief information officer Glenn Archer to the role of research vice president in its public sector research group, several months after the executive resigned from his post in early February.

The Federal Department of Health has moved to block the public release of a report reviewing the troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project, stating that there are not sufficient public interest reasons for the report to be released, despite the fact that Health Minister Peter Dutton has stated the document contains “a comprehensive plan for the future of electronic health records in Australia”.

The Coalition Federal Government has reportedly signalled it is reconsidering the previous Labor administration's commitment to join the multilateral Open Government Partnership aimed at increasing citizen engagement and government transparency, in a move which would place Australia alongside just one other nation to withdraw: Russia.

In a move certain to raise the ire of users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system the software giant has announced that next month it will cease support for Windows 8.1. But that operating system is barely eight months old and already an upgraded version of the Windows 8 system that failed to impress many users since its release in 2012.

The NSW Greens late last week claimed to have obtained documents showing that the NSW Department of Education and Communities' wide-ranging Learning Management and Business Reform program, which involves a number of rolling upgrades of business administration software, was deployed before it was ready, with "appalling consequences for administrative staff, principals, teachers and students".

The New South Wales Government has inked a contract with connected vehicle technology supplier Cohda Wireless, as part of a trial of so-called Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) which allow heavy vehicles to communicate directly with each other about their position on the road to help reduce road accidents.

The Victorian Government has reportedly terminated its disastrous Ultranet schools portal, which ballooned in cost to $180 million over the past seven years but ended up being barely used by the education stakeholders it was supposed to serve.

Business-focused software as a service giant NetSuite has unveiled yet another win with a mid-sized Australian company, revealing a deal with automotive performance products manufacturer Turbosmart that has seen the company deploy a comprehensive suite of NetSuite products across its business.

A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia's Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state's new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

According to a blog post published by today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call instead.

Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

The Commonwealth Bank's IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung's hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft's Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

Long-time Macquarie University chief information officer Marc Bailey has left the educational institution to join non-profit group Intersect, which focuses on applying advanced ICT technologies to the practice of research.

Remember when software giant Microsoft made a big deal back in May 2013 about how it was going to launch two new Australian datacentres for its Windows Azure cloud computing service? At the time it seemed as though the company’s plans were quite advanced and that we’d be seeing Australia-based Azure in short order. Well, almost a year has come and gone since that time and Microsoft has so far failed to deliver. The latest blip of news on the cloud front from the company comes in an article published by The Australian newspaper this morning.

Global technology giant IBM this morning revealed it had signed a five-year, multi-million-dollar deal with Coca-Cola Amatil which will see the beverage company's revamped enterprise resource planning operations hosted out of an IBM datacentre located in Sydney.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group announced late last week that its chief information officer Anne Weatherston would "step down", with the executive's responsibilities to be assumed by the bank's chief operating officer while a global search is undertaken for her replacement.

SingTel subsidiary Optus this morning revealed it had inked a $19.5 million contract with the Department of Defence, extending its current relationship in delivering managed professional satellite services to the Department for four years until mid-2018.

Interested in working with the Federal Government's massive datasets? Got a knack for making meaningful information out of huge piles of numbers and letters? I've got some good news for you. The Australian Government Information Management Office is looking for proposals for joint projects between the public and private sector that will leverage big data technologies.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen any Australian organisation of any kind have any words of praise for Novell’s ailing GroupWise collaboration suite. The trend is overwhelmingly that organisations are continually ditching it for alternatives, typically Microsoft’s Outlook/Exchange platform. However, if an article published by ZDNet is to be believed, at least one organisation is sticking with the Novell warhorse.

Education sector telco AARNet today announced that it would provide Box’s cloud content and collaboration management platform to Australian universities and other AARNet customers, in a move which has already spurred trials at half a dozen educational institutions located around Australia.

The Queensland Police Service has committed to buying another 1,250 Apple iPads and iPhones to better deliver information to front-line police officers, following a successful trial of the devices from mid-2013 and the recent announcement that live CCTV footage would be piped to officers using the technology.

The Queensland Government has cut its information technology workforce by about a quarter in just a year, the state's Public Service Commission has revealed, in startling figures that come as the state is grappling with substantial problems with fundamental IT project and service delivery.

Germany software giant SAP today revealed it would offer its HANA real-time business intelligence package on a cloud basis from a Sydney datacentre, in a move which calls into question a local hosting HANA relationship launched with HP in Australia just nine months ago.

Listed Victorian energy utility SP AusNet has signalled plans to insource its IT services needs, following a decision to terminate a wider management deal under which a variety of corporate services were being provided by a subsidiary of its part-owner Singapore Power.

Hills Limited is an Australian company that makes home, hardware and electronic products. We had a chance to catch-up with Derek Brown, CIO, at Hills to discuss how he and his IT team of 40 employees is transforming the company’s IT infrastructure and enabling flexible, cloud-based collaboration.

The Department of Health has stated it does not believe there is a public interest case for the Federal Government's review of the troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project to be released publicly, despite the fact that Health Minister Peter Dutton has stated the document contains "a comprehensive plan for the future of electronic health records in Australia".

The Victorian Auditor-General has told the state's Department of Human Services to treat the need for a better client information system as a "priority", with revelations that the department's existing system was difficult to use and not being used correctly, as well as the fact that staff are still using cumbersome fax-based technology to report abuse.

The Northern Territory Government has decided to dump its broken Asset Management System (AMS) developed by Fujitsu and based on SAP software, after receiving independent advice that it would cost an additional $120 million and five years to fix.

The long-time chief information officer of Qantas subsidiary Jetstar, Stephen Tame, has resigned from his role, leaving a legacy of innovative IT implementations and practices behind him that will not easily be forgotten in Australia's IT industry.

Over the past several years we’ve begun to see a bit of a trend in Australia of major organisations shifting server workloads away from traditional mainframes and onto Oracle platforms, especially its integrated Exadata and Exalogic systems. The key driver of continued mainframe use has always been the legacy platform’s efficiency, stability and (to a certain extent) flexibility (such as in its virtualisation ability), but it’s also had numerous disadvantages, which we need not go into here. As time has gone on, it appears the performance levels inherent in Oracle’s systems are starting to lure CIOs away from the mainframe environment where appropriate. We saw this in Westpac in January 2013, and now, according to iTNews, we’re starting to see it also at another major financial institution — ASIC.

What have we learnt from the past decade of "government online"? And what could we learn from the giants of the web? This is an examination of how an understanding of complex systems, risk and common patterns can be applied in an economy-wide effort of breakthrough innovation to drive the digital transformation of government service delivery over the next decade.

A government department botching the delivery of a new IT platform? Shocking, I know. This has never, ever happened before. Unbelievable. Today's public sector IT blunder comes from the pages of Intermedium, which tells us that the National Disability Insurance Scheme developed by the previous Government has been hamstrung by the poor quality of the IT systems put together to support it.

The Commonwealth Treasury has flagged plans to take a significant new step in the ongoing renewal of its internal IT infrastructure through a project that will focus on the delivery of virtual desktop PCs, virtualised applications, secure corporate data to mobile devices and the creation of a corporate "app store".

NSW emergency services agency Fire and Rescue NSW this month revealed it has implemented SAP's Business Suite and HANA products, in an effort to support a move towards real-time reporting and access to information across its entire emergency services network.

news The New South Wales State Government has released a public policy document which it intends will help NSW Government agencies make better investment...

The Western Australian Government has gone to market for a provider to establish a project management office (PMO) to will coordinate development activities between its problematic Fiona Stanley Hospital build and its wider health department, just weeks after it admitted that the IT systems associated with the hospital had blown out in cost by an amount expected to be between $25 million and $50 million.

Australian IT departments are "ill-prepared" to handle the massive influx of employee-sourced applications such as Dropbox, Skype and Evernote that are "storming" into their operations and being used by staff to improve their personal productivity, according to a new report produced by analyst firm Telsyte.

If you've spent any time working in the global technology industry over the past five years, it would have been pretty hard to miss the growing importance of the 'DevOps' movement -- in short, the increasingly powerful attempt to break down the traditional disconnect between 'development' and 'operations' activity within IT shops, particularly associated with agile development techniques. So what's happening in Australia in this area? iTNews has this morning published several excellent feature articles on this topic, and we recommend you spend this morning reading them instead of actually doing work.

Almost 13 years after its release in October 2001 to a world still in shock after the 9/11 terror attacks, the sun is finally setting on Microsoft’s Windows XP. The operating system has been the software in many home and work PCs but for die-hard users who continue to use XP, danger that way lies.

Microsoft revealed this week that Australian dental network Dental Corporation had built a tool using its Windows Azure platform which allowed it to extract data stored in dental practices around Australia, in what the software giant is billing as a case study of its 'hybrid' cloud computing concept in action.

Will Australia join Russia, becoming the second nation to withdraw? Or will it simply delay membership - one year, two years or more? Perhaps we'll find out with a government announcement in the next month regarding its OGP commitment. Or perhaps all we can expect is ongoing silence.

Remember how embattled airline Qantas revealed plans in late February to cut some $200 million out of its technology budget over the next three years? It seemed at the time like an impossible dream that the company would never be able to achieve. Well, The Australian has published what appears to be Qantas’ comprehensive roadmap for hitting its goals. As the newspaper writes, the solution is … outsourcing everything to IBM.

When it comes to working in government departments and agencies, you know the drill when it comes to personal IT infrastructure. Public servants are typically issued with an ageing desktop PC bought about five years ago and running Windows XP (or sometimes, God forbid, Windows Vista), a BlackBerry for their mobile phone, and they'll have to argue with their IT support team to get permission to install something as basic as Mozilla Firefox. We've all been there at one time or another. However, if an article published by Intermedium last week is to be believed, the Victorian Government is seeking to shake this paradigm up.

In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the CRM customer services solutions space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other.

Ailing smartphone and mobile device management company BlackBerry has announced several minor smartphone and software wins in the Australian market, as it continues its push to maintain relevance in the face of the continued onslaught of rival platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The Victorian Government has allocated a small investment of $2.5 million to Victoria Police to start addressing the failures of IT systems which the force has said partially lay behind the death of an 11-year-old boy and his father in the state last month.

The New South Wales State Government has followed through on its proposal to outsource key functions of state shared services agency ServiceFirst, inviting the private sector to provide options for the group's future in a move reminiscent of a similar approach taken by the Victorian Government to its IT shared services agency CenITex.

Cloud computing projects in the Federal Government are a little thin on the water these days, despite the fact that the previous Labor administration tried to push for further adoption in the public sector, and despite the fact that cloud is all the rage in state governments at the moment. That's why we're particularly interested in this little gem posted by Australian Government chief technology officer John Sheridan on his blog today.

The Australian National Audit Office this morning revealed it had renewed its extremely long-running relationship with US-headquartered IT outsourcer Unisys, in a move which will push the pair's partnership close to the 20 year mark and raise questions about the degree to which the agency is engaging in competitive tendering.

Queensland-based software vendor Technology One has poached the executive in charge of the state government's IT renewal program to become a business development executive, in a move that will further stimulate ongoing questions about the close relationship between the state's public sector and its IT vendors.

A very interesting article on Techworld last week highlights the fact that IT security as a service is currently exploding in Australia, with smarter, sleeker, cloud-based alternatives to the old models coming to the fold.

Global technology giant Microsoft has asked the Federal Government to review a controversial policy enacted by the Attorney-General's Department last year which which require departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information can be stored in offshore facilities.

The NSW Department of Trade and Investment has signalled plans to continue shifting more of its IT assets to cloud computing platforms as part of a "journey" away from managing and owning its own infrastructure, in the wake of the successful deployment of a wide-ranging ERP platform based on a SAP software as a service solution.

The Federal Government has started discussing the possibility of setting up a shared services function that would provide centralised Enterprise Resource Planning services to various departments and agencies, despite the fact that this very same model has abjectly failed several Australian State Governments over the past half-decade and been abandoned.

The new chief technology officer of publishing giant News Corp Australia has wasted no time making big changes to the organisation's IT infrastructure model, announcing a huge formal move to Google's mail and calendaring suite just months after taking on the position.

Those among you with longish memories will recall the slight hullaballoo which emergency services agency Fire and Rescue NSW caused in November 2012 when it revealed it had dumped plans to deploy new traditional PCs throughout its operations in New South Wales, opting instead for a widespread deployment of 400 units of Google's Chromebox cloud-based desktop platform. Well, according to to the group's IT director Richard Host, the rollout has been a huge success.

One of the key messages that is coming out of the cloud computing camp at the moment is the concept that those who are thinking about this new paradigm of IT infrastructure purely through the lens of the old are missing out on the opportunities that it offers. A good piece on the issue comes from Rackspace Asia-Pacific chief technology officer Alan Perkins, formerly an influential chief information officer who had been an early cloud pioneer in Australia.

IBM's June 2013 acquisition of cloud computing company SoftLayer has started to pay off for Big Blue in Australia, with the company announcing last week that local creative digital agency The Loft Group had deployed its e-learning business platform on its Infrastructure as a Service infrastructure.

The Western Australian State Government has been forced to admit that the IT systems associated with the new Fiona Stanley Hospital being built in the state had blown out in cost by an amount expected to be between $25 million and $50 million, as delays continue to affect the opening of the new flagship facility.

The Department of Health has confirmed that it now has a copy of the review of the Federal Government's troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project, although it still cannot confirm whether the document, which will be key to the development of e-health systems in Australia, will be released publicly.

Embattled airline Qantas has flagged plans to cut $200 million out of its technology budget over the next three years and undertake reviews of its major technology supplier contracts, as part of a company-wide cost-cutting initiative that will see a total 5,000 staff leave the company and some $2 billion in total costs cut.

In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the CRM customer services solutions space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other.

The Victorian Department of Human Services has reportedly investigated handing the re-development of its troubled client and case management system to an offshore provider in the popular IT outsourcing country of India, in one of the first signals that the state recognises the unsustainable nature of its current onshored resources.

Technology giant IBM last week revealed it had embarked on a new contract with construction and mining giant Thiess which is seeing Big Blue use so-called 'Big Data' techniques to improve the availability and operational productivity of Thiess' mining equipment, initially focusing on the company's mining haul trucks and excavators.

The Federal Department of Human Services today announced a deal with IT services giant Accenture that will see the company help replace the ageing Child Support payments system, using the SAP technology which Accenture developed extensive skills with during the Commonwealth Bank's core banking placement project.

The New South Wales Police Force has revealed plans to deploy a low level document management system somewhat akin to the easy access storage solutions offered by vendors like Dropbox and Box, as its existing systems continually struggle to deal with massively growing data volumes of files being used by its staff.

The Queensland Government has committed to replacing the ageing payroll systems used to support its emergency services (police, fire and ambulance) workers with a cloud computing platform, in the second major planned deployment of a cloud payroll application in the state following its billion-dollar on-premises payroll disaster at Queensland Health.

news The Australian Privacy Foundation has written to the South Australian Premier and Leader of the Opposition expressing strong concern about what it said...

Huge news coming from Computerworld today with respect to retail chain Woolworths, which is reportedly set to switch 85 percent of its PCs across to Google's Chrome OS operating system, shifting off Windows in the process.

Queensland-headquartered software company TechnologyOne has inked a landmark $15 million deal with the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) which will see it deliver enterprise software to 486 schools across the state.

Federal Human Services Minister Marise Payne has backed away from the Government's plans to shift some 56 IT jobs to the mainland and away from the Hobart office of the Department of Human Services, as the Liberal Party faces an increasingly difficult state election in the Apple Isle.

Australian condom and medical protection giant Ansell this week revealed it had chosen to extend an existing SAP-based business systems platform from its acquisition of French protective equipment company Comasec to other areas of its business, instead of further extending its new Oracle ERP rollout, which has suffered significant problems.

Software giant Tibco has revealed that two sizable Australian companies, accounting group HLB Mann Judd and real estate agency Compton Green, have deployed its internal corporate social networking platform tibbr to streamline their internal communications.

The sustained inability of Victoria Police to deliver major IT projects appears to have come home to roost at the organisation, with the force this morning laying part of the blame for an 11-year-old boy's death this week at the doorstep of its ailing IT systems, which failed to provide officers with sufficient information to apprehend an offender in a timely manner.

South Australia's police force has committed to deploying a fleet of fingerprint scanners coupled with Android-based smartphones that will allow officers in the field to conduct identity checks in the field instead of taking suspects back to police stations.

Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert yesterday announced a new alliance between the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and IBM to conduct research in a range of what the pair described as "high-end defence technologies".

The Department of Defence has again renewed an extremely long-running IT services contract with Japanese technology giant Fujitsu which has been in place since 2005, when it was originally won by KAZ, as the pace of change within the department appears to be slowing down.

The Department of Health has rejected a Freedom of Information request for a report reviewing the Federal Government’s troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project, claiming that it does not have a copy of the document, despite the fact that Health Minister Peter Dutton announced in December that he had received it.

Global technology giant Hewlett Packard yesterday announced it would significantly expand its presence in Adelaide, creating about 430 high-end technology jobs over the next four years with the assistance of the University of South Australia and the South Australian State Government.

It’s clear that things move very slowly within the Federal Government. But taking five months to post an advertisement seeking a replacement for an executive who has publicly announced their departure seems like a little long. As first reported by iTNews, the Department of Defence has finally advertised the position of chief technology officer.

The new managing director of diversified technology solutions group NEC has warned its Australian employees the group is facing "immediate profitability challenges" despite having a "very healthy" pipeline of contracts.

Well-regarded IT executive Grahame Coles has resigned from his role as chief information officer at Victoria's massive Department of Human Services to take up a key position in the state's newly created central Office of the Chief Technology Advocate, with the department to conduct a national search for his replacement.

Westpac chief information officer Clive Whincup is set to leave his position just weeks after it was revealed the bank had dramatically shaken up its senior IT executive team, with retail giant Woolworths having reportedly confirmed the executive as its new CIO to replace outgoing IT chief Daniel Beecham.

The Northern Territory has reportedly confirmed plans to deploy Apple iPads to all of its frontline officers, in the latest local wide-scale deployment of tablet technology in a police force.

Enterprise IT analyst firm Gartner has warned that large, monolithic and heavily customised in-house enterprise resource planning systems will be relegated to the status of "legacy ERP" over the next several years, as smaller, nimbler and often cloud computing-based alternatives eat the lunch of this old mainstay of the IT application portfolio.

The University of Sydney has successfully completed a trial of Windows 8-based Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 devices in dedicated student spaces on several of its campuses and is seeking to deploy the devices more widely to assist in generating better learning outcomes.

Google's augmented reality and heads-up display headset Google Glass hasn't yet formally launched, but that hasn't stopped some of Australia's major corporations from developing an app for the latest hot platform.

The new Coalition Government appears to have made little progress so far on enacting core elements of its centralised IT policy.

Seasoned public servant Glenn Archer has resigned from his role as whole of government chief information officer and from the Federal Government, just a year after taking it up as part of the split of the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

Remember when the Financial Review reported in August that devices manufactured by Chinese vendor Lenovo (including its extremely popular ThinkPad line) had been banned from use in the “secret” and “top secret” networks of the intelligence and defence services of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, because of similar espionage concerns as have been leveled at Chinese networking vendor Huawei? Well, Australian government agencies just got a whole new kettle of fish to worry about, with two key acquisitions by Lenovo which have taken place over the past week or so.

The news this week that the UK Government has outlawed IT contracts larger than £100 million (AU$190 million) has caused something of a stir in IT management circles. In a new post on Delimiter 2.0 today (paywalled), I outline my analysis of the decision by UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude (pictured) and its equivalent trend in Australia.

The UK Government has taken a startling new stance on major IT contracts, outlawing new deals larger than £100 million (AU$190m) and declaring that it's time the country moved past traditional arrangements with "legacy technology giants", in a move which appears to mirror similar State Government initiatives in Australia.

The Federal Government's Auditor-General has published an extensive report on a trial of smart grid and other innovative technologies which was funded in the 2009 Federal Budget at a cost of $100 million, finding that quite a few components of the overall trial were delivered successfully, although some aspects did not quite deliver up to spec.

So has Gov 2.0 become boring too fast in Australia? Shouldn't we see more conversation, more voices, more blogs, more tweets, more people packing out events seeking the latest information in what is one of the most rapidly changing environments in history - the internet?

NSW Health has advertised two high-profile chief information officer roles, as the State Government's plan to ramp up improvements in healthcare through the use of technology impacts the organisation and it's eHealth NSW sub-division.

Global technology giant Microsoft has definitively told Australia's Federal Parliament that it does not have a back door in its software that would allow the company to provide access to the IT infrastructure of the Parliament, which would include private files and emails held by Members of Parliament, Senators and their staff.

NEC Australia managing director Alan Hyde has unexpectedly resigned from his role leading the local operations of the Japanese company, with the chief planning officer of NEC Australia, Tetsuro Akagi, to take his place.

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has strongly criticised a decision to shift the roles of some 56 Tasmanian IT workers employed by the Department of Human Services onto the mainland, describing the decision by the Federal Government as "a disgrace and a betrayal" by the Coalition.

The business division of Singtel subsidiary Optus today announced that it had signed a five year, $30 million contract for managed ICT and mobility services with Australian engineering and property services group UGL that will affect more than 8,000 UGL staff around Australia and throughout Asia.

Australia's peak standards-setting body in late December claimed to have published what it described as "a significant new standard" that would support in successfully governing major information technology projects.

The Victorian State Government has flagged plans to follow other states such as New South Wales and Queensland and shift to a 'cloud-first' procurement model for IT infrastructure, in a move flagged in the first major update to its detailed whole of government ICT strategy first published in February 2013.

The Community and Public Sector Union has gone on the attack over a proposal to shift the roles of some 56 Tasmanian IT workers employed by the Department of Human Services onto the mainland, presenting Employment Minister and Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz with a 1,000-strong petition against the move.

The Queensland Government appears to have suffered a substantial blow to its attempts to reform its technology infrastructure, with the news reported late last week that the executive in charge of that renewal program, Glenn Walker, had resigned for a position in the private sector.

The nation's number two telco Optus and its subsidiary Alphawest has revealed that they recently helped shopping centre giant Mirvac ditch its fleet of BlackBerry mobile phones for an Apple iPhone replacement.

Public Transport Victoria has reportedly reported a 16-year-old Melbourne schoolboy to Victoria Police for merely informing it of substantial security holes in its IT infrastructure.

Government systems could be redesigned from the ground-up to make it easy to reorganise, merge and demerge departments, so that a person's email system can be rapidly and easily moved from one agency to another, or the HR information of two departments can be consolidated in a merger at low cost.

Financial services group ING Direct this week revealed it had appointed a new local head of its information technology division, importing the chief information officer of the company's Italian division for the role.

South Australia's outgoing whole of government chief information officer Andrew Mills, who this month took up the same role in Queensland, has dramatically revealed the extent to which the state's IT infrastructure is being targeted by online attacks against.

South Australia's two major sides of politics have engaged in a war of words over the past week over various pledges to upgrading a 24-year-old IT platform underpinning the state's courts system, which its chief justice says is close to collapse and which needs tens of millions of dollars to replace.

The South Australian State Government has appointed the long-term executive director of the Department of Premier and Cabinet as its new whole of government chief information officer, to replace outgoing CIO Andrew Mills, who this month commenced the same role in Queensland.

Telstra has confirmed that the management console for its corporate cloud platform went offline for some of its customers for two days last week, in the second demonstration in less than a year that the company's cloud computing environment may not yet be as stable as the company would like customers to believe.

The Department of Defence has taken the unusual step of abandoning plans to go to market for one of the three major tranches of IT outsourcing programs it has been evaluating over the past several years, opting instead to renew a contract in the area with Unisys, despite the fact that it will shortly be forced to re-examine the deal anyway.

Westpac Banking Group has dramatically shaken up its senior IT executive team, slicing some responsibilities away from previous top IT dog Clive Whincup and reportedly making its chief technology officer Jeff Jacobs redundant.

An investigation by Western Australia's Corruption and Crime Commission investigation has found that more than $1.2 million of IT software was purchased by a former council CEO without going to tender or getting quotes -- over a period in which they received gifts and benefits from the supplier.

The week-long outage of Myer's website starkly displays the fact that the company and its outsourcing partner IBM had failed to properly develop and test their infrastructure or put in place the most basic disaster recovery and business continuity plan, as well as highlighting the incredible immaturity of online retailing in Australia.

Technology media outlet Delimiter has filed a Freedom of Information request for a report reviewing the Federal Government's troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project begun under Labor, due to the fact that new Health Minister Peter Dutton has received but not yet released the sensitive document.

Technology services giant CSC this morning revealed it had signed an extensive agreement to provide cloud computing services (Infrastructure as a Service) to charity the Fred Hollows Foundation.

So, it turns out the Queensland and New South Wales Governments are not the only major Australian organisations running short of much-needed cash when it comes to critical IT upgrades. According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, national carrier Qantas also can’t afford to keep its IT up to spec.

The New South Wales State Government has gone to market for storage as a service capabilities to replace its existing in-house storage solutions, in a move that will add to the rapid ramp-up of the state's adoption of cloud computing services.

It was only a few years ago that the term "Software as a Service" was almost anathema in Australia's IT industry, with almost all organisations preferring to deploy applications on an in-house basis. But according to respected analyst house Telsyte, in certain categories the deployment model is now "mainstream".

Queensland-headquartered IT services group Data#3 yesterday announced it had won a contract with Brisbane Airport Corporation, as the group continues a drive to transform its technology services delivery model.

Most of the cloud computing stories we hear about involve major vendors. You know the ones we're talking about: VMware, Microsoft,, Amazon and so on. These are household names. But what you may not realise is that there are other options out there for building cloud computing stacks. And some of them are not based on proprietary technologies and vendor lock-in at all.

Those of you who’ve been with us for a while will recall that the Northern Territory Government is more than a little annoyed at technology giant Fujitsu for what it sees as the company’s botched implementation of a new asset management system using software from German giant SAP. But what you may not have realised is just how annoyed the Territorians are. Well, to get the full feeling, you need to read this extraordinary statement made by NT Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Corporate and Information Services David Tollner in Parliament last week.

The Queensland State Government this week confirmed plans to sell its ICT shared services division CITEC, as well as its information brokerage arm, adopting recommendations stemming from the Commission of Audit into the state's operations led by former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello.

The National Australia Bank has poached Ernst & Young Partner and long-time Accenture executive David Boyle to be its new chief information officer, following the departure of incumbent Denis McGee earlier this year.

Technology giant IBM has accused the Queensland State Government of trying to "rewrite history" through filing a new lawsuit against IBM over the botched Queensland Health payroll systems upgrade, despite the fact that the two parties had already come to a legal agreement on the issue.

Sydney Ferries operator Harbour City Ferries has recently undertaken a "significant" technology refresh project which has seen it deploy a slew of next-generation Microsoft products, from Windows 8 on PCs and tablets, to Windows Phone 8, Office 365 and more.

The Queensland Government has been threatening to sue technology giant IBM over the Queensland Health payroll systems debacle for years, and who could blame it? Well, the only problem is that the former Labor Government actually already settled with IBM over the issue due several years ago to the need to get the system up and running. Despite this, the LNP administration in Queensland confirmed overnight that it had taken IBM to court.

Long-term Oracle Australia and New Zealand managing director Ian White has resigned from his post and will leave the company, ending an eight and half year tenure successfully leading the local operations of one of the globe's largest technology giants.

The Queensland State Government has gone to market to set up a whole of government cloud computing panel which would allow its many departments and agencies to purchase IT infrastructure services in this category from a set list of suppliers.

iOS is generally considered a very secure and modern mobile platform — certainly more secure than Android and a heap more modern and functional than BlackBerry’s various offerings. Yet it has taken five years for the Department of Defence to allow its staff to procure iOS devices.

NSW Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance this week announced the State Government was taking nominations for the refreshed version of its ICT Advisory Panel, as well as the Industry Advisory Group of its Procurement Board.

We’ve been seeing some very interesting moves from retail giant Coles over the past several years with respect to cloud computing and software as a service adoption. Nothing revolutionary, but solid moves nonetheless.

An audit of departments and agencies within the Victorian Government has found many don't have sufficient business continuity/disaster recovery facilities to keep them operating in the event of a major disaster, with the situation exacerbated by the lack of capability found at IT shared services agency CenITex.

An audit of the Victorian Government's IT security defences and ability to respond to major cyber-attacks has found it woefully unprepared, with its IT systems suffering over 100 "serious breaches" and the state unprepared for any serious online attack.

The New South Wales Government has announced that it may sell off state-owned superannuation services company Pillar instead of spending the estimated $30 million the fund needs to update its IT systems and deal with other internal matters.

Sometimes it appears as though Australia's Federal and State Governments are the only ones botching major IT projects. And that makes sense, given the frequency of IT project failure in the public sector, and the public nature of the audit reports which examine them. But the private sector also has its failures, as the Financial Review chronicles this week with respect to a number of major superannuation funds.

This 18 page TechRepublic whitepaper is a collection of 50 of the best tips for making the leap from technical worker to business IT leader, focusing on specific recommendations that will make you stand out from the crowd. It contains 10 things you should know to become an epic IT manager, 40 other essential tips to advance your IT career and practical guidance for starting an IT consulting business.

The NSW Government has revealed that it is finally close to completing its extremely troubled LifeLink IT project to replace the key administration platform used by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, some 11 years after the project was first begun.

Just how rich is Commonwealth Bank chief information officer Michael Harte? Rich enough to buy his own mediterranean island, according to Ninemsn, which today detailed the executive's attempt to buy the island of Budelli off the coast of Italy.

A comprehensive audit of the NSW Department of Education and Communities' wide-ranging Learning Management and Business Reform program, which involves a number of rolling upgrades of business administration software, is late across a number of areas and over budget, although not to the degree seen in similar projects around Australia.

Technology giant Oracle has revealed that the specialist insurance arm of local financial services giant Allianz has deployed the vendor's Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 to replace legacy hardware that was reaching the end of its useful life.

Minor Federal Government agency the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has revealed plans to refresh its staff PC fleet not with laptops, not with desktop PCs, but with Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet, in one of the first known deployments of its kind in Australia.

You would hope, you would really hope, that a major city such as Brisbane, which is about to host the G20 group of twenty global finance ministers and central bank governors, would be in the practice of ensuring that the traffic management systems which govern the operation of systems such as stoplights would be secure from attack. But not so.

Spare a thought for Eija Seittenranta, who was appointed Department of Parliamentary Services chief information officer in January this year. Not only did Seittenranta find the department’s IT operations to be an absolute shambles when she arrived, but the poor IT executive has to contend with feisty parliamentarians such as Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, who took Seittenranta to task in this extraordinary Senate Estimates hearing (we recommend you watch the video) about the fact that the US National Security Agency may have a back door into the Microsoft software used at Parliament House.

Australian technology vendor Technology One has claimed that using major third-party systems integrators such as IBM and Accenture on major technology projects can add to the risk of "implementation disasters" such as the billion-dollar catastrophe with Queensland Health's payroll systems overhaul.

Virtualisation and remote access vendor Citrix has revealed that a sizable deployment of its desktop and application virtualisation solutions has aided local law firm Duncan Cotterill in setting up a completely mobile working environment for its staff that will assist it with productivity as well as with dealing with natural disasters affecting its operations, such as the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

IBM this month announced that the Northern Territory Government would deploy another new unit from its flagship zEnterprise mainframe system, in a rollout that marks the second time the territorial government has deployed one of the mainframe units over the past 18 months.

Unfortunately though in Australia we don't seem to have any comprehensive list of which governments and councils are creating and releasing open source materials. So e-government expert Craig Thomler has created a spreadsheet, which he'll add to over time, of open sourcing going on across the Australian public sector.

Publishing giant News Corp Australia has appointed internal candidate Tom Quinn as its new chief technology officer, following the retirement of long-serving chief information officer John Pittard this month.

The uncomfortable reality is that no one really knows how to design or manage large, complex IT projects.

How will the adoption of mobile devices and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy? Are you reaching your organisation's customers through these touch points?

It seems like it was only yesterday that Australia’s major financial services organisations were holding their noses and sniffing at the bad smell that they associated with ‘low-grade’ cloud computing services operated by offshore technology giants such as Amazon Web Services. It was only last month that it was revealed that National Australia Bank had switched its entire public-facing website into Amazon’s cloud, and this week Suncorp joined the throng, planning what The Australian describes as a “complete transfer” into the cloud.

Minor banking and financial services group CUA has claimed victory in an overhaul of its core banking platform conducted with the assistance of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

The Queensland Government has poached South Australia's whole of government chief information officer Andrew Mills to be its own central CIO, six months after it removed two-time incumbent Peter Grant from the position.

I've had an interesting and robust conversation online in the last day regarding how Australian councils and governments are using overseas services like SurveyMonkey to collect information from citizens and residents.

IT contracts often obscure objectives through technological jargon, man hours and deadlines. If business objectives and outcomes were better stated in contracts there would be clear and obvious accountability. When there is a common understanding of success the more likely are successful outcomes.

Victoria Police, which has one of the most troubled IT departments in Australia's public sector, has appointed as its new chief information officer a senior police officer with a distinguished career but who appears to have no specific experience with IT operations, in an effort to pull itself out of the deep mire which has swallowed its technology capability in recent years.

Wow. It's been a huge week or so in Australia's financial services IT scene, with revelations that two massive, long-running IT outsourcing deals which have been in place for a decade or more may be finally opened up to rivals.

The New South Wales State Government has unveiled plans for a massive technology-led project to consolidate a number of different enterprise resource planning systems onto just two new platforms, in a style of project which has historically led to cost blow-outs and extended project delays for similar initiatives accross Australian State Governments.

Federal health minister Peter Dutton has commissioned a review of Labor’s troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) project. It’s unclear whether the review committee is to decide whether to scrap the project altogether or to try and fix it. Hopefully it is not the latter because if the past year has taught us anything, it is that this is not a fixable problem. It needs to go.

The South Australian police force has gone to market to buy a fleet of aerial drones to assist it with surveillance operations, as controversy continues to swirl around the use of the technology in Australia's skies and whether it endangers residents and/or invades their privacy.

Those of you who watch such things closely may recall several weeks ago that a sudden decision by German software giant SAP to end active development of its ailing Business ByDesign online software suite left the New South Wales Government’s premier cloud computing business systems pilot stranded without a future roadmap. Well, it appears that the NSW Department of Trade & Investment didn’t take SAP’s move sitting down.

It's not often you see examples of cloud computing deployments in major Federal Government departments. With the exception, it turns out, of the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, which went a little cloud-crazy before it was split in two after the Federal Election.

The loss of the West Australian ballots is a serious breach of electoral integrity, and one that must be thoroughly investigated to identify what went wrong. But amidst all the party-driven hysteria, it’s important to remember that no system is entirely fail-safe, and the risks posed by electronic or internet voting are potentially far more serious than this isolated incident.

Four years after it first started talking about migrating its core banking platform to Celeriti, the next generation of CSC's Hogan system, and five years after it acquired St George, which already uses Hogan, top-tier bank Westpac has finally confirmed imminent plans to start taking action on the issue.

As promised during the Federal Election, the new Coalition Government has kicked off a formal review into Labor's extremely troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record initiative, with Health Minister Peter Dutton claiming the previous administration had wasted "over a billion dollars" on the project.

Business software giant NetSuite has revealed that Australia-headquartered travel publishing firm Lonely Planet will consolidate its business systems on the vendor's OneWorld platform, ditching existing systems from rivals SAP (R/3 4.7) and in the process.

This interview with Coca-Cola Amatil chief information officer (Australia) Warwick Hutton was conducted by Toby Bowers, Microsoft Australia Server and Tools Business Group Lead, on the sidelines of the Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast this week.

Hey everyone, just a reminder! Today at 1pm Sydney time, Delimiter and Citrix will host a free webinar with Leading Geeks author Paul Glen on the soft skills that geek leaders need — from motivating technical teams using their language, to satisfying stakeholders without concrete deadlines or deliverables, to shifting your persuasive style.

The Victorian Government has published a landmark review into the use of technology in the state’s health ecosystem, finding that its landmark HealthSMART program launched in 2004 had had its benefits, but that the state should devolve most decisions about IT back to individual health units such as hospitals.

The newspaper alleged, and Leighton has substantially verified, the fact that staff from Visionstream were suspected of aiding Silcar staff in stealing Visionstream tender files relating to a $240 million contract to deploy Optus’s 4G network, which the two contractors were competing to bid. I’ll have a separate article on that situation shortly. What you may not realise is that this not an isolated incident.

Sydney-based hosting and cloud computing company Bulletproof Networks has unexpectedly revealed its intention to list on the Australian Stock Exchange through a reverse takeover of a mining firm, in the second example in as many months of a major Australian technology firm going public.

I’d like to see a little more transparency from IBM with respect to this issue. Of course IBM is entitled to shift around staff and re-balance its headcount. But when we’re talking about redundancies as high as 1,000 workers, large companies such as IBM have a responsibility to their customers, to their staff and to their shareholders to let a little more information out of the kimono. 1,000 staff is not 100. And it would be ethical of IBM to let us know a little more about what’s going on here.

Hey everyone, just a reminder! On 31 October (Thursday this week), Delimiter and Citrix will host a free webinar with Leading Geeks author Paul Glen on the soft skills that geek leaders need — from motivating technical teams using their language, to satisfying stakeholders without concrete deadlines or deliverables, to shifting your persuasive style.

A super-group composed of six of Australia’s major medical and doctors’ associations has called for the new Coalition Federal Government to listen to significant concerns raised by general practitioner doctors about the previous Labor administration’s troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system.

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