The Ministry of Defence has cut the shortlist for its £4bn IT overhaul project to three consortia, led by EDS, Lockheed Martin and Computer Sciences Corporation. A fourth group, which included IBM, BEA Systems and Computacenter, has missed out.
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The 10-year Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) project is being described as one of the world's most difficult infrastructure projects and will provide IT support to about 300,000 MoD and military staff. It will also integrate more than 300 legacy systems.
The scope of DII embraces all fixed sites within the UK and abroad, maritime platforms and deployed headquarters. It will include local area networks, servers, workstations, printers and associated software as well as messaging and core IT tool-sets. The scope does not embrace wide-area network services or business applications, but DII will be responsible for deploying these.
The eventual delivery partners will be selected on their ability to deliver the complete 10-year requirement, but the MoD will only initially commit to the first stage. Commitment to the second and third stages will depend on the contractors' performance, value for money delivered, and the MoD's needs.
The final contract, which will be subject to the government's gateway review for managing major projects, will be awarded in 2005.
The MoD has a poor record of delivering complex technology projects. A report from the National Audit Office last December slammed the ministry for underestimating the risks involved in major projects and for time slippage in procurement programmes.
In an effort to prevent similar problems with the DII project, the MoD will test the programme against the National Audit Office’s review of common causes of failure for IT projects.
Atlas consortium: EDS, Fujitsu, Cogent, General Dynamics, LogicaCMG
Lockheed Martin consortium: Lockheed Martin, Deloitte Consulting, Hewlett Packard, Qinetic, SAIC, Unysis
RaD11 consortium: CSC, BT, Thales e-security