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back to article MoD mega gov-IT project only mildly catastrophic - NAO

The UK Ministry of Defence has received some qualified praise for its ongoing, enormous effort to replace hundreds of different internal IT systems comprising scores of thousands of machines with a single integrated infrastructure. The Defence Information Infrastructure in some typical modern military action War is Dell …

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Happy

"War is Dell nowadays, apparently"!

Excellent quote! :D

Anyway, I suppose the contractors can claim that the big change in requirements of having to bring in the much-longer than anticipated Iraq and Afghan campaigns does offer some mitigation. But only 3% over budget!?!?! Hmmmm, has anyone checked the manifest for £20,000 hammers?

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Coat

Just goes to show...

...Jungle DPM doesn't work very well in an office environment.

The urban camo one of course...

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Happy

@David...

...sorry to be pedantic but the picture is of a Combat 95 shirt in Woodland pattern DPM or Disruptive Pattern Material. The jungle shirt is not available as a C95 version, is made from lightweight tropical material and the colours are a little brighter (or they were on mine, at least).

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like EDS were seen off by guys with guns.

3% is nothing in a world where the NHS thing has been many times over budget. It's the difference between outsourced projects where nobody takes control and in house projects run by disciplined teams of specialists. In order to run a land war in Asia you need fantastic logistics and organisational skills and the same can be said for a major IT project. The Army have it, EDS and the other outsource cowboys don't.

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Coat

Re: Looks like EDS were seen off...

Hey AC, there's a flip side to your argument that you maybe want to consider. Maybe DII hasn't been an utter fiasco because the customer (MoD) has finally got their shit together. I used to work for a MoD supplier (not EDS!) and it made me weep to see how projects were delayed and made more costly because the civil servants couldn't make a decision and stick to it.

And as a victim of outsourced projects I'll really disagree with your assessment - task #1 is to make sure that there's a clear management line, and don't waste everyone's time by duplicating what your suppliers are doing, or micromanaging them. Oh, and last time I checked (see http://www.atlasconsortium.info/visionandmission) - there's more than just EDS doing DII, so there's plenty of shoulders to bear credit (or blame!). That said - ahem - I won't disagree that EDS-UK is in desperate need of a management refresh - maybe HP will be able to do something on this (fingers crossed).

Kudos to the DII teams though - 3% uplift when (I assume) there's been a little feedback from the extended Iraqistan deployments is not unreasonable. Now - as the article says - no sitting on (wilted?) laurels, time to focus more on increasing the velocity of delivery guys and gals!

Meanwhile el Reg editors : any chance of giving the esteemed Mr Page a holiday? Here's a story with MoD and EDS in it and he seems to have failed to serious slag off either - and he's not trotted out the usual "DefenceUK sucks - we need to buy everything from the USA" line as usual So I'm guessing that he's tired and in need of two weeks in the Bahamas or Florida to recover... :D

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Black Helicopters

Colour me stupid, but ...

I thought that it was considered bad form to have a "single integrated infrastructure" for networks of great importance. And if the lives of servicemen depend on the network, then to my mind it is of great importance.

By all means connect up all the office wallahs, so that some hacker can break in and find out all they can, but when it gets to more important stuff I'd not want integration of any sort.

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Anonymous Coward

EDS Seen Off?

@Anonymous Coward

So you aren't aware that EDS is the prime contractor on this project then?

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Anonymous Coward

It depends who runs the projects

The three DII projects I worked on were mainly run by Military project managers and not civil servants.

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Anonymous Coward

Contractors

The contract was placed with EDS and Fujitsu, so not much chance of Dell getting a look in unless there have been major changes in the last 3 years

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Coat

Re: It depends who runs the projects etc

"The three DII projects I worked on were mainly run by Military project managers and not civil servants." - good point sir, this maybe explains why DII hasn't been the usual disaster. Don't suppose we can get the DII PM's to train their compatriots in the NHS and other .gov.uk projects - especially. HMRC and DWP? Heck the money saved might be enough to actually get the troops stuff they need - body armour, bullets, housing that isn't slums, etc. (I'm assuming - of course - that Darling and the PM wouldn't claw back the savings - I know I'm naive!)

AC wrote "So you aren't aware that EDS is the prime contractor on this project then?"

I was - which is why I said there's more than just EDS doing DII - heck, no way do I want them to get all the credit (if there is any)!

(Coat icon in acknowledgement of that I'll have to go for a walk now to cool off...)

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Thumb Up

Good, Quick, Cheap

Pick two (at most).

Looks like they picked two - well done!

This is how systems get developed.

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