To those paying close attention, the news that Australia is getting savvy with how it sources applications and technologies may not be new: various projects are being led by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), which launched in 2016 and which handles digital and IT functions; others by the new “Services Australia”; announced in May 2019. The broad aim: busting bureaucratic bottlenecks and getting value for money.
Las Vegas-based Rimini Street, a third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP software products and a Salesforce partner, has been one major winner of the aggressive push to cut costs and streamline ICT procurement, recently clinching a new whole-of-government volume sourcing agreement with the Australian Government, with the aim of generating significant enterprise software support savings.
The agreement is part of the government’s broader agenda to transform ICT procurement to make it simpler, clearer and faster for agencies. What does that mean, in practice? Computer Business Review fired some questions at Rimini Street GVP Mark Armstrong (who also heads up EMEA operations) about the recent win.
Where do you come in for Canberra?
The DTA’s vision is to deliver the world leading digital services.
Rimini Street is one of the first few vendors to be signed by the DTA and the goal is help government agencies accelerate their roadmaps and innovate.
This is very much line with our thinking around what we’re calling the four forces influencing enterprise software roadmaps moving forward.
We talk about there being a new CIO mandate to drive innovation to support the organisation and a need to focus on operations and organisation optimising IT to create the capacity for innovation. More relevant to this situation we also see that IT operations are evolving as organisations adopt a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy.
With applications spread across internally-deployed and cloud environments or shared across multiple cloud providers there is a real need for a unified support strategy.
Combine this evolution with the need to adopt disruptive technologies to underpin innovation and there’s a real opportunity for third party support to be a key enabler for public sector organisations by helping to release funds and resources to support these transformation initiatives.
What are some Typical Examples of Spend-Bloat they Can Strip out?
There is a growing realisation across the public sector around the world that the applications and technologies running their back offices may not drive competitive advantage. This includes ERP and technologies such as Oracle Database.
Different departments, local authorities and public sector bodies have built up disparate legacy systems, so there is a real drive to optimise these existing systems to manage operational costs and create the right foundations for more agile, digitally-enabled services.
Another challenge I have seen speaking to public sector organisations across EMEA is managing the transition to the Cloud and shared services. This empowers users to adopt applications more easily and can lead to issues such as Shadow IT. As IT teams attempt to get to grips with cloud-based services there is the realisation that organisations may be over-licensing, so private and public sector organisations are very aware of the need to control operational expenditure.
Where are the Aussies Focussing?
In 2019-20 one key area is better governance, specifically aligning all investments through whole-of-government portfolio management.
I would argue that the Australian Government is leading the way in this respect and showing their peers around the world how they can take back control of their IT roadmaps and expenditure.
Given the priority that is being given to shaking up the public sector under the new Government in the UK there is a real opportunity to re-align relationships with the main enterprise technology vendors using third party support.
It gives public sector bodies time to consider how they best move their IT strategies forward and it gives them choice to decide which applications they move to the Cloud immediately to drive innovative new services, while keeping and optimising other back-office systems to reduce the cost of keeping the lights on.