Department of Science, Information Technology & Innovation: Spatial Infrastructure Modernisation

Empowering the Department to support innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation

Organisation Profile
The Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) leads the Queensland Government’s science, ICT, innovation and digital services policy. The Science Division administers scientific research and delivery programs that drive innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation for its citizens, business and government. 

Business Situation
The Science Division faces critical challenges as it prepares to meet these ambitious goals. Their ICT domain is extremely complex, with extensive data holdings, processing capacity and information systems to meet the demands of managing Queensland’s natural environment. Many of these systems have evolved over 20 years to manage significantly greater data volumes and an increasing variety of scientific data and information products. The Division needed help to address these challenges and navigate to a science computing infrastructure that would enable them to:

  • be an innovative, clever and connected organisation;
  • leverage their vast information assets and complex modelling capabilities;
  • deliver excellent specialist science and geospatial support services, and
  • continue to lead policy and programs that grow the Queensland economy.

To achieve these outcomes, the Science Division turned to Business Aspect.  The collaboration enabled the Division to draw on Business Aspect’s deep capabilities and domain knowledge gained over more than a decade of working with the Department. 

What we achieved
Business Aspect worked closely with the Science Division to develop a comprehensive strategy and transition plan.  Beginning with a discovery process to understand and assess the current state of all the Division’s systems, the objective was to identify and develop a future state infrastructure to support improved data strategies and knowledge management including:

  • use of cloud solutions to improve the performance of their HPC Climate and hydrology modelling, and
  • achieving greater operational efficiencies for their multi-petabyte storage facility.

A comprehensive mapping of services and associated ICT systems and infrastructure was undertaken to define the functional scope of the Division’s business services and dependencies on other state and federal government agencies and external partners. The assessment included applications, desktop services, network and security services, backup and storage services, infrastructure services, mobile services, service desk management, supporting processes, third party contracts and underpinning contracts. Information captured from documentation and stakeholder interviews was used to create an IT Systems and Services model using an enterprise architecture modelling language.  This information was assembled into a Science IT Resource Register in a format that can be maintained by Science Division staff.

The future state analysis identified the key business objectives for these systems. These objectives were found to align to a number of common themes, such as greater collaboration and ease of information access, automation and more sustainable funding models. 

Twelve key recommendations were made covering six thematic areas relating to governance arrangements, funding models, ICT infrastructure and support services, data and information strategies (knowledge management), collaboration and adoption of cloud services. These recommendations recognised the importance of key systems that were fundamental to the business outcomes of the Division and identified those that required immediate attention. 

Outcome

Business Aspect helped the Science Division identify their future ICT requirements that will support the Department’s goals and define the path forward. 

The Division was provided with a comprehensive assessment of their IT Systems, and a description of the future state requirements to support the Division’s goals, including solutions to migrate the at-risk systems and transition strategies with associated resource and cost considerations.  The overall Transition Roadmap identifies six transition milestones from current state to future state. 

This project has provided DSITI management and scientists with the information to develop and prioritise redevelopment strategies, to construct business cases for redevelopment funding, and to negotiate IT support and service provision relationships with its partners.

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