by George Nott

Defence seeks ‘end-to-end view’ of its ‘fractured’ services

Jul 12, 2016
GovernmentGovernment ITSecurity

Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence
Credit: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence

The Department of Defence is seeking a supplier to give it an ‘end-to-end view’ of what it describes as a ‘fractured’ ICT environment.

The department’s Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG) has issued a request for information, calling on organisations to propose ‘monitoring and control architectures, methodologies and technologies in support of an end to end view of services’.

Respondents to the department’s request would, ‘at a minimum’ provide the expanding CIOG with the ability to: assess the impact to services of introducing change into the environment and monitor the end to end performance, capacity and availability of cross platform services.

Those services are delivered within Defence’s Single Information Environment (SIE) which encompasses the entire ICT infrastructure of the department including all information assets, networks, business applications and data.

But its organic growth, the department says, means the SIE is fractured and tricky to monitor.

“[The SIE has] developed organically; in response to – major projects, user population and network consumption,” the request notes. “The result of this is that the current ICT environment is fractured, with separate instances of tools, duplicate applications, siloed services and multiple internal networks.”

An effort to ‘simplify, standardise, and modernise Defence’s ICT capability’ was put forward by the CIOG at the end of 2013. The Infrastructure Transformation Program (ITP) is now getting underway, the largest upgrade to Defence networks in more than a decade.

“The establishment of this program will assist CIOG in managing program scope overlaps, inter-dependencies, risks and constraints as the group works towards successfully delivering a more productive, secure and cost effective ICT capability for Defence,” the CIOG said.

Management of Defence networks is today provided by two capabilities at a whole of environment level – networked application monitoring and infrastructure and element monitoring.

These are delivered by systems based on Compuware/Dynatrace tools (the Application Performance Management and Reporting System – APMRS) and IBM Tivoli tools (Tivoli Integrated Toolset Analysis Network – TITAN).

However, the department said: “Defence does not currently have a unified, end to end visibility of the individual monitoring tools to draw together an integrated – across multiple platforms – view of services.”

Defence has one of the largest ICT environments in Australia made up of more than 100,000 workstations in Australia and overseas, as well as some 800 networks, 200 processing locations and more than 3,000 applications.

In the Integrated Investment Program unveiled in February as part of the new Defence White Paper the government earmarked $5 billion to fix what it says is underinvestment in Defence’s ICT systems over the last ten years.

In May, Defence began seeking systems integrators to move ahead with what it believes is the largest ERP program implementation by the Australian government.