New Zealand Defence Force (MIS100 2012)

New Zealand Defence Force (MIS100 2012)

2011 ranking: 7

Senior IS executive: Victor Vae’au, CIO (acting)

Address: Defence House, Aitken St, Wellington


The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operates the most complex ICT shop in New Zealand. Complexity arises from the challenge of managing security and information exploitation through the corporate, intelligence and the war-fighting domains. The NZDF plays a significant role in response to government direction, be it operational, or for humanitarian assistance or disaster recovery.

Policy direction from the Defence White Paper 2010 sets the scene for how the NZDF will concentrate on reinvesting in the core military capability through reforming the ‘back and middle’ of its organisation. “This puts us in a unique position to own our destiny,” says Victor Vae’au, acting CIO. The ICT challenge is to enable this reform by building capability while maintaining business as usual — supporting our operational commitments. “A key driver for ICT is to draw on innovation to deliver information for better decision making,” says Vae’au. “ICT needs to focus on the challenges in the core business of the military, where information and interoperability is critical to achieving our outputs. This will be our strategy over the coming years.” ICT’s major deliverables include the replacing of both primary and secondary datacentres, a full refresh and upgrade of its key infrastructure and systems and introducing a new client across the organisation. These activities are critical to modernising the technical platform to achieve a better customer experience. Another key strategy is to further develop the NZDF SAP platform. There is significant work underway to develop HR and Logistics functions within the existing SAP landscape. The NZDF is embarking on implementing a shared services approach to delivering business support services across the organisation. A review of how services are delivered will explore options for standardising, streamlining and centralising delivery in the future. The NZDF will look at developing the internet channel to enable increased self-service and at leveraging the capabilities of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. This will be new ground for the NZDF to work through from a security perspective. “We must always be secure, but not to the point where we cannot do business effective and efficiently — all our allies do this today. It’s all about understanding risk and having the mitigations in place to manage it,” says Vae’au. “I liken the NZDF landscape to that of a country,” says Vae’au. “We have every line of business you can think of, with a technology system of systems to support it. The risks lie in duplication and an unstructured approach to how we organise our data so our information can be meaningful and provide insight to how we are performing. Our role is to leverage industry capability, to utilise shared services, including All of Government initiatives where we are common with the rest to deliver business services, and to focus our energy on the core capabilities of the NZDF — enabling military outputs.”

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