Australian Gov’t Signs $740M USD Blockchain Deal With IBMbr>
Tech giant IBM has secured a AUD$1 billion ($740M USD) five-year agreement to become a “central technology partner” of the Australian government.
Under the contract, IBM will offer services related to blockchain and automation to federal departments. All government agencies will be able to access IBM technologies, and agencies that currently partner with IBM, including the Department of Human Services, ATO, Department of Home Affairs and Defense, will see an improvement in their current contract arrangements.
“Previously, agencies have negotiated individually with major suppliers which often resulted in different pricing structures across government,” said human services minister Michael Keenan. “As a major buyer of IBM’s products and services, the deal enables us to maximize the return on our ICT investments and ensures that taxpayers are always getting the best possible value for money.”
The Australian government estimated that the partnership would result in AUD$100 million ($74M USD) in savings to taxpayers.
IBM will also help agencies re-engineer platforms to protect and encrypt citizen data against cybersecurity threats. The contract also includes a research component. IBM’s research and development team in Australia will examine how to accelerate the roll out of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing in the public service.
David La Rose, IBM Australia managing director, said the agreement reflected the growing importance of tech to the government’s transformation agenda.
“For agencies it will be more simple and cost-efficient to engage with IBM. While our technologies make it possible for government to delivery smarter, integrated, always-on digital services for citizens,” La Rose said. “This agreement is a testament to our forty-year partnership with the Australian government. It shows trust and belief in our ability to transform and provide world-leading capabilities, leveraging our investments locally in AI, blockchain, quantum and cloud. We look forward to helping the Australian government to re-define the digital experience for the benefit of all Australians.”