IBM has been awarded a landmark $1 billion dollar whole-of-government contract to be a “major technology partner” with the Australian government for a term of five years.
The agreement, the biggest ever negotiated by the Australian government, involves cross-branded solutions with IBM hardware, software and cloud-based solutions and includes innovation programs in cybersecurity research and quantum computing.
The deal was made with the aim to further the government’s digital transformation agenda, and to leverage its buying power to achieve better pricing across all departments and agencies, according to an announcement made by human services minister Michael Keenan.
“Previously, agencies have negotiated individually with major suppliers which often resulted in different pricing structures across government. As a major buyer of IBM’s products and services, the deal enables us to maximise the return on our ICT investments and ensures that taxpayers are always getting the best possible value for money,” the minister’s office said.
All government agencies will be able to access certain technologies under the agreement, and agencies that currently partner with IBM, including the Department of Human Services, ATO, Department of Home Affairs and Defence, will see an improvement in their current contract arrangements, according to the government.
The deal will bring IBM’s AI and cloud technology to more government agencies with a view toward more digitisation of public services. The global IT consultant said the five-year plan would also see IBM provide “Building Digital Capability” tools and resources to the Commonwealth.
IBM Australia managing director David La Rose said the agreement reflected the growing importance of tech to the government’s transformation agenda.
“For agencies it will be more simple and cost-efficient to engage with IBM. While our technologies make it possible for government to delivery smarter, integrated, always-on digital services for citizens,” he said.
“This agreement is a testament to our forty-year partnership with the Australian government. It shows trust and belief in our ability to transform and provide world-leading capabilities, leveraging our investments locally in AI, blockchain, quantum and cloud. We look forward to helping the Australian government to re-define the digital experience for the benefit of all Australians.”