MoD has spent £300m on digital transformation contracts, minister says

Ministry has 117 incumbent engagements covering digital, data and security 

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

The Ministry of Defence has spent almost £300m to put in place more than 100 external contracts to support its digital-transformation objectives.

According to Alex Chalk, the minister for defence procurement, the deals are divided across “five key themes”, enshrined in the Digital Strategy for Defence that was published almost two years ago: people; process; data; technology; and cyber.

Transformation activities across the first four of these are supported by a cumulative total of 48 contracts, including a £900,000 deal with management consultancy i3Works, which has been retained to assist a central internal MoD team to enable “overall cohesion and governance of the digital transformation programme”.

The ‘people’ theme of the ministry’s digitisation work is further supported by PA Consulting, Korn Ferry, and Turner & Townsend, which, between them, have won contracts collectively worth £13.3m.

The latter firm also forms part of the MoD’s supplier line-up in the area of ‘process’, where a total of £16.1m has been spent on deals intended to help the ministry “establish a transparent pan-defence digital portfolio, establish common architectural standards and design services, support enterprise-wide IT operations, establish digital category management, and implement and assure digital controls”.

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Other providers engaged in supporting this work include La Fosse, VIMA, KPMG, Capita, BMT Defence and Security, Tisski, and Net Consulting.

Across the two central themes of ‘data’ and ‘technology’, the ministry has awarded contracts totalling £132.4m in value. 

Consultancies PA and KPMG are also engaged in this area, as are Accenture, Microsoft, Inform, Atos, Cognizant, Capgemini, Actica Consulting, Digi2al, Improbable, Informatica, Global Resourcing, and Palantir. IT services firm SoftwareOne also provides the MoD with cloud services from Amazon Web Services.

The area of cyber is supported by 69 separate deals, worth a cumulative £127.5m including contracts related “defensive cyber and operations and cyber resilience”.

The list of suppliers in this area includes Qinetiq, Logiq Consulting, Boxxe, CGI IT, CDW, Leonardo, Vysiion, Garrison Technology, Rohde & Schwarz, and Kaze.

Chalk – who was answering a written parliamentary question from Rachel Hopkins, a shadow MoD minister – said: “Transformation activity is increasingly intrinsic to the entire digital spend of the department to maximise impact and pace and it would be difficult to itemise specific transformation contributions from the whole portfolio.”

A recent report from the National Audit Office criticised the MoD’s rollout so far of the Digital Strategy for Defence, which auditors claimed has been hampered by ageing technology and a lack of skills.


Sam Trendall

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