Size of IS shop: 370
Mobile PCs: 1102
Hand-held devices: 91
Total screens: 12,581
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Windows 2002, Dell, Compaq, Acer, IBM
Server environment: HP; Unisys; Sun; Windows 2000, NT; MCP; Linux
DBMS: Oracle, DMS2, SQL
Address: Bowen State Building, 32 Bowen Street, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: SWIFTT & TRACE re-platforming; online services; telecommunications service renewal.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is tasked with helping people get jobs and improving support for parents and families. It also provides care and support for at-risk children and young people. The MSD is the government’s lead provider of policy advice and social services in respect of children and young people, working-age people, older people, families and communities. Throughout the country it has 300 sites to provide services to more than 1.1 million clients.
David Habershon is CIO for MSD. He says in 2008, MSD carried out an extensive value-for-money review. From this it developed a work programme to lift productivity and efficiency, and reduce overhead costs.
“We intend to introduce a range of online and other IT-based solutions to improve our services to clients while reducing costs. This will move a lot of transactional activity online, so frontline staff are freed up to work more intensively with clients and their families. We will also improve the systems that support the work of frontline staff. This includes facilities to digitise client records, which will reduce the time spent dealing with and searching through paper-based files,” says Habershon.
Among other projects, MSD will create a new electronic payment (card) mechanism. It will provide business efficiency through reduced staff time in making payments. There is also a move away from mainframe systems to a more modern, lower cost and open computing platform (Unix) and programming language (Java). Habershon says this initiative has been conducted in a careful and low-risk way.
“Our debt management system, TRACE, has been successfully converted to the new environment. Development work has now been completed on our primary benefit processing system, SWIFTT,
and testing is underway. On the infrastructure front, we are
progressing a server and desktop infrastructure refresh programme, have implemented a new desktop management system called Altiris, and a new Microsoft active directory and exchange/outlook (email and calendar) environment. We are also deploying Windows XP at the desktop and Vista for laptops,” he says.
In 2008, MSD completed a tender for its telecommunications services, selecting Gen-i/Telecom for data and voice, and Vodafone for mobile services only, as preferred suppliers. The decision includes implementation of a range of enhanced telecommunication services and transition to a range of new services, including a new network backbone. Habershon says MSD has a coordinated transition plan for all remaining voice and data services running through to the end of 2009.
MSD outsource partners include HP/EDS, Fronde and Datacom for some applications development and support, and Fujitsu and Datacom for PC maintenance. HP/EDS also provides some host maintenance and looks after backup and the datacentres.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.