Lockheed Martin set to win Defence's $500m data deal

Following a tendering processes that began last year, the Department of Defence is likely to award its centralised processing project to Lockheed Martin Australia.

The Department of Defence is expected to award its centralised processing project — a contract worth over AU$500 million — to Lockheed Martin Australia.

The centralised processing project, which is part the of the department's AU$1.9 billion IT reform, will see Lockheed Martin consolidate the Defence's infrastructure and applications from 280 smaller data centres to larger facilities: 11 domestically and three internationally.

"Lockheed Martin Australia has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the provision of centralised processing services to Defence," the Department of Defence said in a statement, with belief the project will improve "overall effectiveness and efficiency of data centre delivery".

Lockheed Martin was initially up against IBM and HP for the contract, before HP was cut out of the tendering process last September.

Speaking about the tender in June last year, Department of Defence CIO Dr Peter Lawrence said the move will mean better data security, and scalability and infrastructure management would also become much simpler.

"Having all the processes in one place will centralise things. So it should make it easier in time to be able to actually manage both the applications and the infrastructure in a more centralised way, which will, over a period of time, make it easier to access common data," he said.

"Right now, when we want to upgrade an operating system on our servers, we have got to go to everywhere. We might have servers in every one of those 280 locations. It is a time-consuming and onerous task."

Defence said it will now enter into further negotiations with Lockheed Martin Australia to finalise the contract for provision of Centralised Processing services.

Finalisation of this process is also subject to Government Second Pass approval later this year. At this stage, no contract has been awarded.

The centralised processing project is in line with the federal government's Commission of Audit report , released yesterday, that recommended government agencies simplify their processes.

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