IBM Continues to Support Innovation in the Public Sector with New Whole-of-Government Arrangement
By Nicholas Flood | Managing Director, IBM Australia & Vice President, IBM Technology
January 09, 2023
Chris Fechner, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Transformation Agency & Nicholas Flood, Managing Director IBM Australia & Vice President IBM Technology

IBM Australia's new Whole-of-Government Arrangement with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) will continue to help the public sector drive accelerated adoption of innovative technology to modernise government services for Australians.

Australians have faced significant challenges in recent years – from the pandemic to devastating natural disasters and, more recently, a rise in major cyber-attacks. To support Australians during these events, the government and public sector have rapidly transformed the way in which they operate and deliver services. Technology has played a key role in this transformation of government services, and IBM is proud to be supporting the government on its modernisation journey.

Today, IBM Australia is pleased to announce that we have signed the next iteration of our Whole-of-Government Arrangement with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) on behalf of the Commonwealth. Under this arrangement, IBM Australia will continue to help the Australian government drive accelerated adoption of innovative technology to modernise government services for Australians.

All government agencies will continue to have access to IBM technology and benefit from the cost efficiencies driven by the economies of scale built into the new arrangement. For the major agencies that partner with IBM – the Australian Taxation Office, Department of Defence, Department of Home Affairs and Services Australia – the new arrangement will continue to provide them with autonomy to accelerate the deployment of technology that aligns with their individual agency priorities and needs.

In light of the unprecedented challenges Australia has faced in recent years, IBM’s new arrangement has been designed for the times we are living in today. As government agencies respond to emerging issues, they require agility and flexibility to adopt and scale up certain types of technology as needed. IBM’s new arrangement helps to enable this, providing agencies with the flexibility to adopt technology at their own pace and adjust the types of technology they use to best suit their needs in the future.

Under the new arrangement, government agencies will continue to have access to IBM’s suite of technology capabilities, including IBM Watson, to help automate processes using artificial intelligence, and IBM Cloud to securely store government data. Adopting sustainable practices is increasingly becoming a business imperative, and under our new arrangement, government agencies will have access to IBM’s sustainability software suite, as part of a pilot program, to help turn their sustainability ambitions into action via data-driven insights. Agency technologists will also be able to explore how emerging technologies such as quantum computing may be applied in various areas for the benefit of Australians. The engagement will also include working with IBM on data protection and encryption to better-protect against future cyber-security threats. 

The new arrangement is effective immediately, providing all government agencies with the ability to deploy IBM technology to help achieve their digital transformation ambitions. IBM Australia looks forward to continuing our collaboration with the Australian Government to help create a more secure, innovative, sustainable and skilled Australia.

Protecting government data in the cloud

With growing cyber threats, trust in data management is more important than ever. As government agencies accelerate their digital transformation, they need access to a trusted cloud provider to securely store Australian data. IBM Cloud is Certified Strategic under the Digital Transformation Agency’s Hosting Certification Framework, meaning we can help agencies move applications to the cloud with confidence, backed by multiple, overlapping tiers of protection. When agencies are managing multiple clouds, IBM provides visibility and control across their cloud and data centre infrastructure.

Strengthening the government’s cyber security capability

The cyber landscape is constantly evolving meaning government agencies must proactively protect and adopt future-proof cyber security technology with a zero-trust mindset. IBM Security provides an advanced and integrated portfolio of enterprise security products and services, infused with artificial intelligence and a modern approach to security strategy using zero trust principles—helping agencies thrive in the face of uncertainty. IBM Australia has an IRAP certified Australian Security Operations Centre, with local and global capability available to help agencies proactively maintain a readiness posture and ability to quickly respond to the changing cyber landscape.

Exploring how quantum technology could help improve services for Australians

Quantum computing has the potential to tackle some of the hardest computational challenges across sectors that today’s most-powerful classical supercomputers cannot solve and never will. IBM has a long history of advancing quantum computing technology and brings decades of research to the quantum computing industry — from theory to the entire technology stack. This work has positioned IBM as a quantum industry leader, with unmatched accessibility and resources via the globe's largest fleet of quantum computers available through the cloud. The arrangement with the DTA will enable government agencies to work with IBM to explore how quantum technology could be applied by government agencies to explore the applicability of quantum computing to some of their most challenging problems.

Adopting and measuring more sustainable practices

Becoming a truly sustainable organisation is hard. Turning sustainability goals into action requires solutions that are tailored to an agency’s specific needs and can transform data into actionable insights. Under the new arrangement, government agencies will have access to a pilot program of IBM’s sustainability software, helping them align their sustainability goals to objectives, operationalising sustainability end-to-end with data-driven innovation.

Growing the Australian Public Service’s (APS) digital skills capability

Amidst accelerated digital transformation across industries, Australia must grow the digital capability of its workforce to ensure it has the skills needed to maintain the technology the country is rapidly adopting. Under the new arrangement, IBM will work with the Australian Government to help grow the digital capability of the APS through providing access to an IBM Digital Skills Program that will bring global learnings to public sector executives. This will help enable executives to discover and co-envision scalable, sustainable Australian approaches to create an APS that is future-proof and ready to support Australians for generations to come.

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