Katherine Ziesing | Canberra
There is more fun and games to be had in Defence IT it seems, with CIOG overhauling the ERP Defence INSIGHT program. For a start, INSIGHT has been dropped. Anyone looking for insight should look elsewhere.
The Defence Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transformation and implementation program is aiming to deliver a near real-time integrated view of critical information, from a single trusted source, to enable all levels of Defence to make better-informed decisions on preparedness and capability management. This will require a major transformation effort across Defence’s Finance and Logistics (including Procurement, Engineering and Maintenance, and Estate) organisational dimensions. Defence must also adhere to the whole of government SAP framework.
"[Contractors] have less than a month to get responses back on Defence’s biggest IT program this century."
The scope of work is large to say the least. Work undertaken to date has identified over 500 applications that currently support Finance, Logistics, Procurement, Engineering and Maintenance, and Estate processes, of which approximately 50 are large and centrally managed. It is estimated that approximately 80 per cent of the large applications and between 90-95 per cent of the smaller applications are candidates for replacement as part of the Defence ERP Program.
According to the tender documentation from last week:
“Defence is seeking to establish arrangements to engage both a long term Strategic Partner and Organisational Change Management (OCM) Partner to provide the necessary content knowledge, insights and direction needed to ensure the success of the Defence Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business transformation program (the Program).
“The Program is expected to deliver end to end business process standardisation, supported by a contemporary technology solution. The Program is an ERP transformation and implementation program that will deliver a near real-time integrated view of critical information, from a single trusted source, to enable all levels of Defence to make better-informed decisions on preparedness and capability management. This will require a major transformation effort across Defence’s finance and logistics (including procurement, engineering and maintenance, and estate) business domains.”
The two systems integrator roles have been changed to one SI and one change management role, but companies are allowed to be both.
The tender documentation continues:
“The Strategic Partner will provide strategic professional advice to Defence in relation to the Defence ERP program solution, and will be responsible for ensuring the effective management and coordination (working with Defence stakeholders) of the Systems Integrators and other Delivery Partners. The Strategic Partner will be required to develop (in consultation with Defence and other Delivery Partners) detailed Program delivery strategies, including Program-wide RACI models that clearly and effectively describe the responsibilities and accountabilities of all Delivery Partners (and Defence).
“The OCM Partner will provide organisational change management services, including in relation to change planning and coordination, stakeholder engagement, learning and capability transfer, leadership and organisational alignment and capability and communications.”
But here is the kicker:
“The Defence ERP Program is subject to First Pass Government Approval and therefore Tenderers should note that Defence cannot enter into any arrangement with any preferred Tenderer(s) unless and until government approval has been obtained.”
In essence: we want tender quality information but we may or may not follow through with a contract. Also, you have less than a month to get responses back on Defence’s biggest IT program this century.
It might also be worth noting that CIOG has yet to appoint a two star to run the program. Industry sources also point to the issue that both chief information officer Peter Lawrence and chief technology officer Mohan Aiyaswami will be leaving the organisation in the next six months. Defence had no comment about the staff changes when questioned by ADM.
In a nutshell, the biggest consulting and IT companies in the nation are competing both above and below the line for Defence’s largest ever IT transformation program on the basis that they have:
- less than a month to get their responses in for a program with no approved funding;
- senior leadership in Defence and government are in flux; and
- according to many industry sources ADM has spoken to, the scope is under funded and the timeframe is ambitious.