by Lilia Guan

Budget 2019-20: Defence CIO Group costs to hit $1.7B

Apr 04, 2019
Government IT

The Department of Defence’s CIO Group will spend an estimated $1.717 billion next financial year, up from $1.69 in 2018-2019, budget documents revealed. The expenses cover staff, suppliers, grants, write down and impairment of assets.

Defence has a total ICT spend of around $1.3 billion to manage and maintain more than 134,000 workstations, 8400 servers and 3000 applications. It also manages four Defence-owned satellite payloads (and has shared access to other allied satellites)as well as three primary data centres for around 133,000 users.

According to budget papers, the CIO Group is expected to complete its 2018-19 goal of ensuring ICT service capabilities are delivered in accordance with the integrated investment program requirements, as governed by the investment committee.

Defence CIO Stephen Pearson is in charge of the group – which includes the chief technology officer division, ICT delivery division and ICT operations division.

The government said in budget papers that it expects Defence’s chief information officer, “to create a modern, secure, sustainable and scalable information environment to enable Australian defence force operations and support defence business.”

This program will be achieved by planning and governing Defence ICT, ensuring the appropriate networking and operation of ICT systems and delivering ICT capabilities for the department, the papers said.

In 2016, Defence launched Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategic Direction 2016-2020.

At the time, Defence’s strategic priorities were:

  • Lead enterprise information management reform to ensure single source of truth and enable information management.
  • Implement contemporary cyber security capabilities to protect the flow of information from threats.
  • Enable access to an increased quantity and quality of information from greater numbers of fixed and mobile devices, operating at home and abroad within the protection of the secure single information environment.
  • Deliver a single, modern ICT environment with simplified applications and services that is interoperable across Defence and with other government agencies, allies and partners.
  • Roll out a service delivery reform model, which meets ‘One Defence’ objectives of accountability, streamlining, and standardisation.
  • Strengthen ICT governance and decision making to support the Defence Integrated Investment Program. Implement new ways of working to deliver faster, more functional and cost effective ICT capabilities and services to support business and military operation.