Oranga Tamariki -- the Ministry for Children -- appears to be rolling out cloud-based SAP software to finally cut its application apron-strings with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
The agency, which has been embroiled in a series of scandals involving children in its care, was spun out of MSD in 2017.
It told Parliament's social services and community committee last month it was replacing its legacy financial management information system (FMIS), its HR and payroll systems and its data warehouse technology.
The latter was to be replaced with what the agency called a cloud-based enterprise data and analytics platform (EDAP).
Oranga Tamariki previously shared a an on-premises, SAS-based data warehouse and analytics platform with MSD.
While Oranga Tamariki does not reference the new systems selected, recent job advertisement ask for skills in SAP Success Factors, S/4 Hana ERP and EC Payroll and experience on large ERP projects migrating from legacy FMIS, HRIS or payroll to modern cloud solutions.
Opting for SAP also means Oranga Tamariki is not adopting the Oracle-based enterprise support systems (ESS) model developed by Inland Revenue for potential use by other agencies.
The agency's FMIS replacement project has a budget of $4.1 million of approved capital funding for 2020/21 and $6 million for 2021/22 as well as $16.6 million of ongoing operating costs over four years, the agency told the committee.
"The programme has selected an implementation partner and preferred technology solution and is in the design phase.
"A detailed integrated timeline and plan has been developed which will identify all future milestones."
The expected completion date for this project is November 2021.
"The key risks are the technical complexity of the transitioning off the current legacy systems, the integration of remaining legacy systems and the change management required at time of significant change for the organisation."
The current Oranga Tamariki HR and payroll system, Chris21, had been provided by the Ministry of Social Development for the last four years but did not fully support requirements, Oranga Tamariki told the committee.
The system was also being managed through the use of workarounds and bespoke solutions.
"These workarounds have been put in place to elongate the life of the system but carry their own inherent and rising risks as they become older and less easy to maintain," the agency told the committee.
A new, modern HR and payroll system that supported the business' operating model and requirements and compliant with the Holidays Act would support better operational decisions with accurate data.
Oranga Tamariki had $2.38 million of approved capital for 2020/21 with a further bid for funding for 2021/22 pending.
"The programme has selected a system integration partner and preferred technology solution," the committee was told.
"A detailed integrated timeline and plan will be developed with the system integration partner once on board and a timeline and milestones then agreed."
Key risks were the complexity of migrating off a legacy system, data quality, maintaining the existing system while establishing the new system, and testing, specifically the number of parallel payroll runs that will be required.
MSD was also moving to replace its existing Chris21 payroll software with a SaaS system in a project with an indicative cost of $10 million to $25 million.
MSD was planning to invest $71 million to replace legacy technology in what it described during the budget round as an "extensive programme of work".
As for its data warehouse replacement, Oranga Tamariki said it was in its initiation phase.
The high-level scope included delivery of a new cloud-based EDAP along with a long-term strategic technology partner that could assist the agency to achieve its business goals.
New tools and capabilities were to be deployed to enable data to be used effectively to answer important operational, policy and strategic questions and make decisions.
Existing data had to be migrated from the legacy MSD platform and staff capabilities extended and developed within Oranga Tamariki in partnership with a technology provider expected to be selected by the end of 2021.
Oranga Tamariki estimated its top three ICT support service providers in the 2022 financial year would be Spark ($15.3 million), Datacom ($3.9 million) and Accenture ($1.8 million).