Senior IS executive: Victor Vae’au, CIO (acting)
Reports to: Peter Thomas, GM organisational support (acting)
Size of IS shop: 360
Mobile PCs: 2000
Hand-held devices: 630
Total screens: 13,280
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Windows XP, Lenovo, Dell
Server environment: HP UX, Red Hat LINUX, Windows OS
DBMS: Oracle, SQL
Address: Defence House, Aitken St, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: NZDF White Paper associated projects
The focus of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) for 2011 is to deliver the implementation plan for the Defence White Paper released by Government late last year. ICT will align its capability development to support the refined NZDF Strategy in support of the paper’s outcomes.
There will be significant change in how NZDF operates and is structured. A key focus in the short to medium term is realigning the structures and processes of the NZDF at all levels in the ‘middle’ and ‘back’ office functions. This is in order to release resources to sustain operations and ensure the affordability of future military capabilities.
In support of these objectives, the NZDF CIO Peter Thomas is currently serving as acting general manager of organisational support, which has seen Victor Vae’au step into the CIO function as the acting CIO for NZDF.
Vae’au says, “This is an exciting time for ICT in our Defence Force. ICT will be an integral to enable, develop and sustain future Defence capability,” he says. “The future warfighter will need the power ICT can bring to deliver the right information, at the right time to make the right decision. It is clear our business model will need to change across NZDF, and ICT will be no different. My focus will be to ensure our ICT Strategy brings the value proposition for our business up front.” ICT operating budgets have been impacted this year by the economy, though ICT staff numbers are expected to increase slightly to support delivery of new capability, says the NZDF.
ICT projects may increase this year by more than 10 percent and they are: “likely to increase to focus on the transformation requirements”.
Areas of ongoing focus and investment will include cloud computing/SaaS/IaaS, mobility, virtualisation, unified communications, business continuity/disaster recovery, VoIP and business intelligence.
The immediate focus for ICT in Defence is the infrastructure programme that will deliver a modernised platform, which can effectively support the current and upcoming business transformation.
The infrastructure programme is critical from an ICT perspective as it will look to change the way services are delivered to NDZF customers. Vae’au believes this challenge will require significant engagement with industry, both strategically and especially in delivery of ICT solutions. He also states that NZDF will continue to look at other opportunities to deliver capability for the NZDF. Its participation in the all-of-government’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) initiative is one such example.