MSD makes foundational investments in multi-cloud and system renewal

MSD makes foundational investments in multi-cloud and system renewal

Spark leads MSD's list of ICT support service providers, earning $24.6 million in nine months to the end of March.

Credit: Supplied

The Ministry of Social Development is charting its path into a multi-cloud future to support its Te Pae Tawhiti business transformation.

With $70 million assigned for IT asset renewals, the ministry is spending the rest of this financial year investing in the foundations needed to manage a multi-cloud hosting environment so it can migrate away from its current on-premise model and support cloud native services.

In 2022/23 Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure platforms and cloud firewall and security are scheduled for development, MSD told Parliament's social services and community committee last month.

PWC, Accenture and KPMG are named as strategic partners in Te Pae Tawhiti while Accenture, Spark and Datacom are named as partners in the $18.2 million project to develop cloud capabilities.

The implementation of Microsoft 365 foundations is also being targeted to "empower people to seamlessly connect, communicate and collaborate via MS Teams and Exchange capability".

Core existing applications such as the SWIFTT benefits system, Curam client and case management, Oracle and EOS platforms also had to be upgraded and maintained as was the infrastructure for voice and data networks, servers, desktop and mobile device management.

An IBM API service replacement and identity modernisation project are also planned.

Spark is by far MSD's largest ICT service provider.Credit: Reseller News
Spark is by far MSD's largest ICT service provider.

MSD received $12.5 million in Budget 2021 to enhance "at-risk" service delivery systems. 

"This new funding is part of an ongoing programme of investment to reduce critical asset risk and replace prioritised client income support and employment management systems with modernised and supported alternatives to provide faster, reliable, and more adaptable services." MSD told the committee.

Key investment areas include client management capability to provide a single view of a client’s information in one place to help staff to "make informed outcome-based decisions to improve clients’ wellbeing".

The development of a single, trusted and transparent way to calculate eligibility and entitlements and allow new rules or changes to be made more quickly is also being scoped.

Knowledge management capability for staff and accessible job placement services for clients are also being rolled out.

MSD also received $34.8 million of capital funding through Budget 2021 to continue the replacement of its financial management (FMIS) and payroll systems. This will support the delivery of not just a new finance system, but a procurement system and business processes to manage the department's core accountabilities.

"These capital projects have been impacted by challenges in engaging specialist resources in a tight labour market," MSD told the committee. "As a result, a proportion of costs initially anticipated for the 2021/22 will fall into 2022/23 and an expense transfer of up to $47.3 million is required."

This new corporate platform, dubbed "Horizon One", was now expected to be complete by during 2023/24. Release one of the new Oracle FMIS occurred in the first quarter of 2022 and release two was expected to start mid-year and be delivered in rolling releases through to 2023/24.

These releases would see changes to MSD’s budgeting, forecasting, and reporting and procurement and contract management activities. 

MSD had engaged Accenture as its implementation partner for its new SAP payroll system and SAS as the delivery partner for Te Hāoroa data warehouse replacement programme, costed at $10 million over four years. 

"Work has commenced on the data cleansing, integration design and technical architecture design, and system configuration of the payroll system and we expect implementation to occur in mid-2023," the ministry told the committee.

Some timeframes were also delayed due to the impacts of Covid-19 and re-prioritisation of activities to support the Government’s response. 

"The complexity of these projects means multi-year investment is required to procure, configure and manage the change across a large organisation such as MSD," the department said. 

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