DSTO flags ICT transformation

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DSTO flags ICT transformation

Significant work planned for the next two years.

The Department of Defence’s research and development organisation will separate its corporate and research ICT systems in a bid to improve collaboration.

In a five-year strategy released last week, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) flagged plans to move its corporate applications to the Defence Restricted Network.

The Defence Restricted Network provides access to the department-wide intranet and about 3000 applications, and is managed by the department’s Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG).

DSTO planned to work with the CIOG to move its corporate applications by the end of the 2015-16 financial year.

It planned to develop and maintain separate networks to support its research efforts, as part of a more detailed ICT strategy and operational plan to be developed in the second half of this calendar year.

DSTO highlighted the “transformation of ICT to drive innovation and collaboration” as one of 10 key initiatives of its 2013-18 strategic plan (pdf).

While the detailed ICT strategy had yet to be developed, DSTO expected the transformation to involve a “significant effort” in 2013-15 and a “medium effort” in 2015-16.

Key outcomes to be delivered in the first year of the strategy included: improving governance, architecting and management of IT; improved video conferencing capabilities and improved wired and wireless access to classified and unclassified networks.

By 2014-15, the organisation also expected to deliver improved support for a broader range of ICT platforms and improved collaboration tools.

DSTO hoped to deliver enterprise compute and storage services; a scientific data repository and improved knowledge sharing tools, as well as the corporate application migration, by 2015-16.

In its 2013-18 strategic plan, DSTO said its key challenges included: “The blurring of state and non-state threats, military modernisation in the Asia-Pacific region, global access to commercial off-the-shelf technology and the rapid progression of cyber capabilities and other disruptive technologies.”

It highlighted the need to improve productivity, collaboration and external partnerships as some of its top strategic issues, amid a tight fiscal environment.

The DSTO said it would focus its research efforts on cyber, surveillance, autonomous systems, electronic warfare, information systems, platforms, propulsion and energy, weapons and operations analysis.

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