INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY PLAN

INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY PLAN
Part 3 ICT Pages 59 - 64
5/7/03
8:36 AM
Page 59
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Strategic Plan 2003 – 2005
59
PART THREE
INFORMATION
COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY PLAN
INTRODUCTION
There is an urgent need for the
Department of Foreign Affairs to transform its current ICT infrastructure and
to develop common information technology applications, networks, databases, security and network management capabilities to facilitate the
achievement of its strategic objectives.
The ICT plan encapsulates the
strategic vision for the ICT technological
environment that the Department of
Foreign Affairs would like to establish
over the next three years. The purpose
of the plan is to create a consensus
vision of how information technology
can best be used in supporting the
Department’s strategic goals.
The ICT plan will also provide
guidance and information on adopted
and proposed standards that will lead
the Department to an open systems environment. The plan is therefore designed
to assist the Department in making
informed decisions when choosing
appropriate system specifications to
meet current and planned requirements.
The department has fallen behind
in the development and growth that has
changed and improved the methods
that information is managed, transmitted, shared, and used to enhance the
capabilities and performance of individuals, business units and organisations.
To address these gaps, the
Department commissioned the development of a Master Systems Plan
(MSP) that is scheduled to be completed by end May 2003. The Department
needs to continue pursuing a concerted and co-ordinated effort to deploy
modern office automation platforms,
and local area networks at all overseas
posts, as well as an improved fast, reliable and secure global communications network that is centrally managed
to support the users.
Part 3 ICT Pages 59 - 64
5/7/03
60
8:36 AM
Page 60
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Strategic Plan 2003 – 2005
THE FUTURE
Whilst the Master Systems Plan is
being developed, the Department is
positioning itself for a radical new
information-based world where its ICT
environment will:
• Allow missions and Head Office to
benefit from the new technologies
used
• Take full advantage of information
access and tools
• Streamline operations to improve
service and enhance the productivity of the workforce
• Provide secure, yet broad-based
access to a large quantity of internet information while reducing
enclaves (or silos)
• Provide flexibility to embrace
emerging technologies and
respond rapidly to new and changing requirements
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
To make the most of the emerging
capabilities of technology in order to
further the achievement of the
Department's foreign policy objectives,
six technological priorities will be pursued. These priorities will establish a
technological framework for the conduct of international affairs, known as
e-Diplomacy.
These priorities, of equal importance, are:
• The finalisation of the Information
•
•
•
•
•
Communication Technology Master
Systems Plan
A secure, managed, global network based on commercial products and technologies while using
approved security devices
Expanded suite of systems that supports the substantive work of foreign policy applications
Modern integrated messaging and
document management i.e.
Knowledge and Information
Management (KIM)
Streamlined administrative applications that increase productivity
A trained and productive workforce
PRIORITY 1 : FINALISATION OF A
MASTER SYSTEMS PLAN
THE PROCESS
A consortium was appointed to
establish the master systems plan. The
project is being managed by the
Department and monitored and verified by SITA
PROJECT SCOPE
• The project will provide the
Department with a strategic
Business and Information
Technology review that will
enable the Department to deploy
solutions that will facilitate the
achievement of its strategic objec-
tives.
• The assessment will include the
need for knowledge and information management and will ensure
that the model developed is of
world class standard.
• Internal Audit will provide input to
ensure that the correct processes
and procedures are followed
THE MSP WILL PROVIDE:
• An evaluation of the existing ICT
infrastructure
• Identify technology gaps between
the current infrastructure and the
strategic vision of the
Department.
• Identify candidate technologies
• Evaluate and update the existing
ICT strategy
• Establish standards
• Provide a functional description
of the envisaged technology
infrastructure
• Provide an analysis of the
requirements needed to develop,
implement and maintain the
applications and systems
required in the Department
• Cost estimate for the deployment
of the proposed systems
• Risk analysis and impact assessment
• A management summary that provides a high level, holistic view
of the ICT environment
Part 3 ICT Pages 59 - 64
5/7/03
8:36 AM
Page 61
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Strategic Plan 2003 – 2005
PRIORITY 2 : A SECURE GLOBAL
NETWORK
BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS
The global network will meet the
following business requirements:
• Command and Control Messaging
– un-interruptible, secure, highly
reliable network services for mission critical traffic
• Applications and Data Access –
web-based and data-processing
applications for diplomatic activities, administrative and other business processing
• Full Internet Access –access to the
wealth of information sources on
the Internet with secure departmental e-mail facilities.
• Integrated Financial Systems –
Scaleable applications at missions,
update of foreign currency conversions and access to BAS
• Voice – secure and open voice
communication
• Innovative Business Applications –
video conferencing, distance learning and other applications.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NETWORK OF THE
FUTURE
• Reliability and availability – minimise interruptions and disruptions
• Scaleable capacity on demand –
accommodate the growing and
changing needs for networking
services and bandwidth
• Security – protect information and
internal IT assets whilst providing
access to open communications
• Consistency with industry direction
– capitalise on commercial trends to
keep up with user demands
• Manageability – provide a single
converged network infrastructure for
data and voice communications that
can be managed and supported.
TARGET SOLUTIONS
• The Department intends to use VSAT
satellite services and open standards
and protocols to ensure that capabilities remain current as technology and
industry trends evolve. Virtual Private
Networks (VPNs) will be established
across VSATs and other commercial
circuits to meet the Department’s networking requirements.
• Security will be addressed, as we do
now, by using encryption to ensure
data integrity and firewalls to protect
the Department’s network from
attack.
• Classified information will be carried
on a separate high security Intranet
network that will be isolated from the
open network to prevent access from
unauthorised sources.
• The Department is working closely
with other Government Agencies
such as SACSA, SANDF, NIA, SITA
and the GTOC to design and imple-
61
ment appropriate levels of network
security with risk management procedures.
The open network of the future will
be capable of full access to the Internet
for all users at all locations. The Internet
will provide a vehicle for collaboration
and partnerships among members of
the international affairs community.
Through the Internet, Departmental staff
will be able to interact with their counterparts in foreign governments, other
RSA agencies, non-government organisations and the South African public.
IMPLEMENTING THE GLOBAL NETWORK
ICT, guided by the MSP, will undertake the planning and development of
this much-needed global network. As
resources permit, and in accordance
with priorities, missions will be provided
with access to the network. Departmental
Branches and Missions will be provided
with both secure Intranet and open
Internet accesses. Full global connectivity
will be assured, with scaleable circuit
capacity provided initially through the
Internet and VPNs. Thus, users need not
wait until the target solution satellite
based very small aperture terminal
(VSAT) network is fully deployed to begin
reaping the benefits of global networking. With appropriate security techniques, the Internet and other commercial
services available at various locations
will be used to create secure VPNs.
Part 3 ICT Pages 59 - 64
5/7/03
62
8:36 AM
Page 62
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Strategic Plan 2003 – 2005
HARDWARE REPLACEMENT
In order to ensure that the
Department is not caught in the technology trap again it is essential that a
sustainable plan be developed and
implemented. Equipment and applications must be replaced or upgraded in
a progressive manner.
• Hardware must be replaced over a
three-year cycle, with a minimum
replacement of one third of the
Department’s equipment per year.
• Operating systems (OS) must be
replaced in a manner that will
ensure that it is transparent to the
user. Specialist applications must be
supported.
• Application software must be
upgraded to keep abreast of the systems in place. This upgrade must be
done regionally to ensure compatibility within that region and the users
must be trained in the new systems.
PRIORITY 3 : GLOBAL ACCESSIBILITY
• Departmental databases will be
made accessible to any authorised
user, regardless of location.
Information management tools will
enable users to search, retrieve and
analyse information from any
source, without requiring specialised
knowledge of either the technology
or individual databases.
• With the ever-increasing importance
of multilateral diplomatic efforts and
global initiatives, the Department’s
substantive information technology
systems must be re-tooled to support
changes in emphasis to those
broader activities.
• Authorised Officials will have access
to:
• Databases on global issues
• Tools and information that support strategic planning, economic
analyses and policy formulation
• Multilateral and bilateral treaties
and economic agreements
• Research information available
from a wealth of sources
• Powerful tools are available and are
becoming increasingly cost effective
for supporting collaborative processing in a highly dispersed global
environment. Technologies such as
GroupWare, video conferencing
and workflow management will be
used to enable teams to work
together on projects, documents,
tasks and issues (the Cluster
approach).
PRIORITY 4 : KNOWLEDGE AND
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (KIM)
• The Department's messaging system,
which is extremely important to virtually all substantive and administrative activities, is in a stage of transition. Efforts are underway to standardise on a single mail package.
• The current concept of informal mail
messaging and formal cable messaging will be replaced in the near
future with a document management
and information exchange system
based on encryption, authentication
and strong digital signatures.
Officials will then be able to create
messages and multi-media documents at their desks and will be able
to share them with individuals and
other organisations as needed.
Technology will enable teams to
work together on a document or be
able to share a set of documents
regardless of where they are located.
• Commercial products are available
and could easily be used to standardise on electronic mail, image
management, document storage and
retrieval and workgroup computing.
• The benefits of an information messaging exchange will allow officials
to search local and central archives
(databases) and retrieve messages
consistent with their access privileges. Authorised Intranet users will
have access to a separate high security database for classified messages.
PRIORITY 5 : STREAMLINED
OPERATIONS
• We have already pursued different
opportunities to improve the workflow efficiency of administration
Part 3 ICT Pages 59 - 64
5/7/03
8:36 AM
Page 63
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Strategic Plan 2003 – 2005
operations. Many of the labourintensive operations have been
automated, such as the automation
of message transmission and reception. However, streamlining is especially critical at overseas posts,
where administrative and technical
staff is limited and scarce resources
must be focused on mission priorities.
• The technical support at missions
has not kept pace with the expansion of services. Installation and
maintenance of outdated equipment and software has become
more complex. If the current computer technology life-cycle of
approximately three years continues, demands for technical support
will increase. Even with advanced
communication networks and applications, the role of administrative
staff at missions cannot be scaled
back.
• Commercially available products
and services, once customised,
could almost support administration
and routine tasks. The use of standard software and products will
ease the training and support burdens and will allow officials to capitalise on rapid advances in software technology. By means of the
Internet and Web technology, the
Department can centrally maintain
administrative applications for such
functions as finance, human
resources and logistics while providing rapid access to the information from any mission in the world.
PRIORITY 6 : TRAINED WORKFORCE
• The Department faces an ongoing
challenge in the recruitment and
retention of skilled technical and
data processing professionals
needed to support its global operations. Human Resource
Development (HRD) will be
approached to develop an ICT specific HRD plan to address development of existing staff and recruitment of additional staff.
• The ICT specific training programme will be for all levels of
technical and support staff. The elements of the programme will be
benchmarked against Human
Resources models available in the
market. This training will be provided through a variety of means and
technologies. All entry-level staff
will receive a standard set of information technology and technical
training to prepare them for the
start of their careers as knowledge
workers.
• In line with this, it will be essential
for all users to undergo skills training in the use of the system applications and facilities. This training
will include:
63
• The use of the Intranet
• Searching databases
• Accessing secure and open networks
• Use of office packages
• Security awareness
ICT PROJECTS AND ESTIMATED COSTS
A list of ICT projects, estimated
time frames and costs is attached as
an Addendum.
RISKS
THE FOLLOWING POTENTIAL RISKS ARE
IDENTIFIED:
• Master Systems Plan not completed
on time
• Human Resources: Recruitment and
retention of staff
• Mission Support Centres not adequately capacitated.
• Project plans not approved
timeously.
CONCLUSION
• For its effective functioning, the
Department must explore and
utilise the full benefits of information technology provided by the
converged infrastructure of voice
and data hardware and software
platforms, network facilities and
associated services, including the
following features:
• Centralised information centres
Part 3 ICT Pages 59 - 64
5/7/03
64
8:36 AM
Page 64
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Strategic Plan 2003 – 2005
to store and provide access to
information through knowledge
and information management
• A secure, robust global network
to support end-to-end connectivity
• Real-time financial reporting
• An integrated solution for enterprise network management to
ensure cost effective support and
maintenance
• Standards based infrastructure
services to promote interoperability and ease of maintenance
• Modern hardware platforms,
including standard user desktops, thin client workstations and
computers for mobile computing.
• The infrastructure will have inherent
attributes of reliability, scalability,
flexibility, availability, manageability and maintainability. All these
attributes presuppose commonality
across the entire architecture from
the user platforms to the infrastructure required to support the
Department's mission.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement