Transformation is breaking out all over government, with the Defence Force joining the likes of Inland Revenue, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and others with a new multi-year program.
The Defence Force Communications and Information Systems Change and Transformation Project (CISCTP) will be delivered in stages over the next three years, the agency told Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee.
The program is expected to catalogue, standardise and secure ICT services as well as boost 24/7 support.
CISCTP has been brewing for over two years, after a high level business case was submitted in early 2016.
That business case proposed a future state operating model based on the concept of Defence's Communication and Information Systems Branch (CISBR) acting as the Enterprise Prime System Integrator for NZDF.
Defence has now reorganised the Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Branch leadership team in a preparation phase, dubbed "Foundations", to ensure expertise is in place to establish and shift to a new operating model - while still delivering business as usual.
Three new ICT areas are being created as a result: the Office of the Chief Information Officer; Architecture, Policy and Design, and; Business Management.
Around 30 members of the current CIS Branch staff have been "consulted" regarding the establishment of Foundations, and 80 positions will be recruited by the end of the year.
"Work is progressing concurrently on the Service Integrator which will play a lead role in business relationship management and the delivery of customer outcomes," Defence said in a response to committee questions.
"A key milestone is to create a service catalogue which incorporates ICT solutions that will make services available for re-use or adaptation, thus avoiding unnecessary creation of bespoke solutions."
A dedicated 24/7 support to operations and the wider Defence Force via the Defence Information Communications Services Operations Centre (DISOC) is also being established, with a go-live expected in September.
As previously reported by Reseller News, a proof of concept is underway with Microsoft and Datacom to design and test the operability of a secure cloud-based Common Information Environment.
This is called XIE, with the ‘X’ meaning any and denoting the multiple-information environments the CIS Branch is required to sustain.
The Defence Force uses the All of Government Microsoft licensing agreement. However, a new G2018 contract with Microsoft, details of which were not available when it reported, will come into effect on 1 October.
"As part of the XIE Proof of Concept Request for Proposals, the Defence Force has assessed the impact on software licensing and where possible will use the All of Government agreement that applies to the private cloud," it said.
"For the public cloud, the Defence Force will use the Microsoft global pricing structure for Azure as there is no All of Government offering."
Last year, DIA announced it would deliver AWS cloud services through Infrastructure as a Service panel suppliers Datacom and Revera according to their existing reseller arrangements - Azure is available through the same panel on the same basis.
Delivery of the CISCTP will reduce the cyber security risk through optimised support, service catalogues and service portfolios, Defence said, while the CIS Branch will be able to better integrate capabilities to an enterprise-wide standard.