The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed two major IT contracts with a combined value of nearly £1.5bn in a move to save £1bn over 10 years.
The contracts have been split into two projects – the New Style of IT and Global Connectivity – designed to overhaul the MoD to improve its computing capabilities and save money.
In combination the projects will deliver an IT system that allows the MoD to make use of cloud computing and software, such as Microsoft Office 365, and embrace workplace mobility.
The New Style of IT project is a renegotiation of the original extension of the Defence Information Infrastructure. It will be used to supply technology that allows the MoD to work in a more flexible, capable and collaborative way while maintaining high security levels.
A £933m contract has been awarded to the Atlas consortium led by HP and comprising Airbus Defence and Space, CGI and former major government supplier Fujitsu.
Global Connectivity will replace the Defence Fixed Telecoms Service when it ends in July 2016, and will focus on delivering communication capabilities for the MoD.
Fujitsu has won a contract by itself worth in excess of £550m to provide core global connectivity services to the MoD for the next five years.
The MoD is still lacking contracts to fulfil the voice, video and mobile phone elements of the Global Connectivity project, but said that these will be addressed in due course.
Defence secretary Michael Fallon explained that the contacts with Atlas and Fujitsu will allow the MoD to be more efficient and cost-effective.
“We must keep pace with those who pose a threat to UK security, whether overt or cyber-based. The new contracts will enhance our fighting capability and make us more efficient in our work,” he said.
“Alongside this enhanced capability we have managed to secure huge savings of £1bn over 10 years. All of this money will be reinvested back into defence, ultimately helping to keep Britain safe.”
Defence is an area where the government is keen to see more technology adoption, such as the British Army exploring the use of cloud systems despite the obvious security concerns.