Defence calls in KPMG for mammoth data uplift

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Defence calls in KPMG for mammoth data uplift

KPMG will lead the massive task of uplifting the Department of Defence’s data environment after securing a multi-million deal to deliver the first phase of its $515 million OneDefence data program.

The consultancy was named preferred systems integrator for the $233 million first tranche of the program – or ICT 2284, as it is known in military circles – on Friday afternoon following a competitive tendering process.

Assistant defence minister Andrew Hastie said the program would allow Defence to better manage data as a strategic warfighting asset amid a "dangerous and uncertain geostrategic environment".

Last year, Defence revealed plans in its first-ever data strategy to adopt a Defence-wide approach to data management in order to become more “data-informed” and, ultimately, better use data for decision-making.

The strategy led to the creation of a new data division and a new chief data integration officer in Maria Milosavljevic, who moved to the department from Services Australia earlier this year.

“Our data management is vital to protecting Australia’s national interests, but it is also vital in times of war, ensuring that we have access to the right information at the critical moment,” Hastie said in a statement.

“This investment will deliver secure and resilient information systems to better enable information sharing and collaboration across government and with Australia’s strategic partners.

“It will also ensure we can exploit the data generated by our military drones, aircraft, land vehicles and maritime vessels.”

As system integrator, KPMG will lead a consortium of big and small players, including Oracle and Microsoft and local suppliers archTIS, Epicon and SISU Solutions, to deliver the investments outlined in the data strategy.

The strategy outlines 27 initiatives across five pillars that cover all structured and unstructured data in Defence, not all of which can be solved with technology-based solutions.

iTnews understands the OneDefence data program will specifically look to help Defence better understand where its personnel are located and what skills they possess, through advanced data analytics.

With greater data on its workforce capability and capacity, Defence hopes to put the insights to use for deployments, including during disaster relief operations.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will also be available to help defence’s workforce adapt to unplanned contingencies.

“Through the OneDefence data program, Defence will improve its data management, build a stronger data culture and ensure access to a professional data workforce that will give us the strategic edge,” Hastie said.

The first tranche of the OneDefence data program is worth at around $233 million, while the value of the overall program is expected to sit somewhere in the vicinity of $515 million, plus sustainment.

Defence first flagged the need to become more disciplined in its approach to how data is collected, stored and used in its 2020 transformation plan.

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