Enterprise infrastructure provider ISI has been awarded an AU$31 million government mainframe operation services contract from Lockheed Martin.
ISI will be one of eight key suppliers to Lockheed Martin'scontract for the Australian Department of Defence, which it secured earlier this month.
As part of the project, ISI will be responsible for operational and management support of Defence's mainframe environment.
ISI CEO Steven Hedge said the contract will allow Defence to secure its mainframe capability for the next eight years and beyond.
"Other platforms simply don't have the reliability and security of mainframes, and it's both expensive and disruptive to write new apps or try to move existing apps on to other systems," he said.
"Mainframes are used by the majority of Australia's top 200 companies, which tells you the technology is not only relevant, but continues to provide opportunities for skills development and long-term employment.
"The challenge for most of these companies is how to optimise their IT headcount, given the focus on next-generation mobile and cloud-based application development and services. The obvious answer is to assign mainframe operational support and management to specialist service providers, which allows existing staff to be deployed in those areas that drive innovation and actively benefit and differentiate the company."
ISI currently employs over 30 mainframe specialists, and has embarked on recruiting another 23 people to provide support for the contract with Lockheed Martin.
The centralised processing project is part the of the department's AU$1.9 billion IT reform, which will see Lockheed Martin consolidate Defence's infrastructure and applications from 280 smaller datacentres to larger facilities: 11 domestically, and three internationally.
Earlier this week, Lockheed Martin announced that it is investing AU$8 million to establish anin Melbourne. The facility will be equipped to provide a range of regional research and development and program delivery services. The capabilities that will be based at the facility will expand existing local skills in online security, data management, applications development, and larger-scale IT services.