Human Services develops architectural roadmap

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Human Services develops architectural roadmap

Creates roadmap as ICT integration project nears end.

The Department of Human Services has kicked off a project to evolve its enterprise architecture as it nears completion of long-running IT consolidation works.

In its latest annual report (pdf), the department indicated that it had pieced together an architectural roadmap that would form the basis of its IT systems for "three-to-five years".

It said that a "current state assessment" had been performed during 2011-12 "to identify 'hot spots' and issues that require resolution in the future state architecture".

The department also catalogued and modelled its IT capabilities, and used those inputs to set out an instructional roadmap on "how to move from its current architecture to its future architecture in the coming years".

Human Services has created both logical future state and physical reference architectures under the roadmap.

The logical works "detail the systems, relationships, components and functionality required" to meet its end goal, while the physical reference outlines "how the logical architecture will be delivered using a mix of current and future technology products".

The department did not provide detail on the individual pieces, nor the next steps for implementing the roadmap vision.

However, it noted the works were "critical guides for the evolution" of the department, and would underpin service improvements for customers and efficiencies for government.

Departmental CIOs were told last month to expect further belt-tightening as the Federal Government continued to focus on the value gained from IT services and systems.

Consolidation on track

The annual report shows the department's $374 million service delivery reform (SDR) program being on schedule.

The program sees the consolidation and integration of ICT systems from Medicare, the Child Support Agency, Centrelink and CRS Australia to a single platform.

iTnews reported in January that the Child Support Agency's ICT outsourcing arrangement with HP/EDS expired in June, while a similar deal that Medicare held with IBM was due to lapse in December.

Human Services' 2011-12 annual report indicates it completed insourcing Child Support's systems in June, and that "integration of Medicare ICT functions will be completed by 31 December 2012".

It completed a major project that consolidated SAP instances across all component agencies earlier this year.

Going green

The department touted high levels of virtualisation among its server fleet, accounting for "94 percent of Wintel workload and 95 percent of Unix workload".

It said virtualisation allowed it to avoid additional hardware purchases.

Human Services was also undergoing a desktop modernisation program that would see its PC fleet updated to more energy-efficient models.

The department said that while overnight shutdown of computers was currently manual, "steps are being taken to automate this process", which could see further energy savings.

It also continued a program of works to rationalise printer and multifunction devices across departmental properties.

Moving online

The department provided significant detail on various projects it was undertaking to cut the amount of paper sent to customers.

It had a number of initiatives underway or under development to take advantage of online delivery of content and data, including a proof-of-concept trial of Australia Post's newly launched Digital MailBox service.

A Centrelink service that enabled customers to receive letters and brochures in a secure, online mailbox — rather than as paper copies in regular post — saw a large jump in customer registrations over the past year.

However, the department noted most correspondence requested from Medicare was still committed to paper.

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