Information Overhaul for NZDF

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is seeking to rectify serious issues with its Information Management capabilities, issuing a tender for market feedback on options for fixing its "obsolete" systems, in three phases over five years.

A 2023 report by the NZ Cabinet Government Administration and Expenditure Review Committee found “the NZDF has obsolete IM systems that do not allow them to treat information as a strategic asset. It lacks standardised and current IM tools that are common in other organisations of the same size and scale. It lacks IM systems that allow access to data across multiple security domains, and to manage data that has been provided by our intelligence partners abroad.

“Personnel create their own bespoke and disconnected IM systems as ‘work arounds’ for obsolete IM systems.

“Users of NZDF information often cannot locate and routinely have to recreate information, leading to wasted time and a lack of confidence over what information is assured. This risks making decisions based on inaccurate or out-of-date information.”

A Request for Information (RFI) has now been issued seeking information and pricing indications on a broad range of solutions and services including:

• Digital Workplace

• Enterprise Data and Analytics Platform

• Enterprise Search

• Enterprise Digital Archive

• Artificial Intelligence

• Process Automation and Improvement

• IM Foundation Management

Objectives of the multi-year programme include integrating information, so information is available how and when personnel and strategic partners need it; and “improving Information management people capability so our workforce is capable of using and exploiting the volume and complexity of information NZDF holds.”

The tender also notes that the NZDF has an urgent demand for Data Management and Analytics which may be implemented in 2024/2025 ahead of the remaining programme.

“The Programme will enhance NZDF’s digital capability by delivering improvements in data, analytics, and information management, fulfilling legislative responsibilities, and enabling NZDF to navigate a more complex, information-rich digital military environment. The Programme will close the gaps that currently limit NZDF’s ability to work with Strategic Defence Partners and Allies.

“In general, NZDF requires that any NZDF-related data and information used in software tools and applications should be stored or hosted in New Zealand, or approved Australian facilities.”

Building a new data analytics and information management system was overdue and essential to working with overseas defence partners, according to the NZDF tender.