Information technology

Delivery of the department’s outcomes was supported by a range of information technology services, including application development and support, business analytics and geospatial reporting, application hosting, infrastructure provisioning and other support services. Responsibility for the department’s information technology was shared between the department, which continued to sustain and develop its major business applications, and the SSC, which managed the rest of the information technology services for the department.

The department continues to be a leader in technology utilisation, including the adoption of cloud services, supporting the SSC as a joint initiative between the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Employment, and utilising technology to help deliver efficient business processes that meet the needs of users and delivery of, and support for, whole of government initiatives. This includes the Whole of Government Parliamentary Workflow Solution (PWS), which is delivered by the department.

Major Achievements

The department has focussed on the delivery of benefits through the implementation of IT changes that support operational improvements. Such changes have included:

  • Improving data analytics capabilities by developing the first instalment of an enterprise DataMart for the Higher Education, Research and International cluster and expanding the SYDMS schools data warehouse to include Australian Curriculum Assessment Reporting Authority/My Schools data and payment data.

  • Delivering the Online Estimator, an external facing what-if tool based on the Australian Education Act 2013 funding model for the external stakeholders such as schools and education authorities and states.

  • Implementing major enhancements to critical business systems to support various new policy directions, legislative change and government’s deregulation agenda.

  • Developing extensive new system functionality to improve usability of departmental web sites and support self-serve account management and registration.

  • Developing extensive new system functionality to support the government’s New Colombo Plan initiative under a Memorandum-of-Understanding with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • The SSC, on behalf of the department, commencing a data centre transition project which involves moving to the Canberra Data Centres in Fyshwick and Hume in the ACT. The project aligns with the whole-of-government data centre policy and will provide a high quality managed service with increased redundancy and reliability.

  • As a leader in the adoption of private and public cloud computing within government, provisioning 240 servers in the public cloud used for the development and testing of applications. The department takes advantage of the flexibility and efficiency offered by cloud computing where privacy and performance constraints allow.

  • Continuing to rollout the PWS across the APS with projected savings to the government of $30 million over 10 years. The Department of Finance reviewed the progress of the PWS, finding that it was well received by users, and was achieving the key objective of supporting the transformation of the APS with its focus on standard business across the service. In 2014-15 the Department was presented with the ANZ Public Organisation of the Year (Business Process) award at the FutureGov Summit 2014 held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for its work on rolling out and supporting the PWS across government.

  • Deploying a new set of tools to enhance employees’ productivity when they are away from the office. These tools support mobile computing and allow laptop access to a desktop environment for mobile users, and allow smartphone and tablet access to key business applications anywhere there is a connection to the internet.

  • Establishing a Portfolio Management Office (P3O) that directs its efforts towards ensuring that IT systems deliver benefits reliably and efficiently. The P3O provides the department with a project and programme management centre of excellence and will lead to improvements in IT investment and management.

  • The department successfully accommodated machinery of government changes during 2014 that involved the onboarding and offboarding of large numbers of staff and their associated information technology systems.

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