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Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)

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A sustainable technology future for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)

Background

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is responsible for the growth, sustainable development and protection of the Queensland State’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries. The core business areas of DAF are Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Biosecurity Queensland and Corporate Services.
Operating within the Department, Information Technology Partners (ITP) also provides services to six other Queensland State Government Departments, including:

  • Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM)
  • Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS)
  • Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and Commonwealth Games (DTESB)
  • Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP)
  • Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR)
  • Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI), Science Division

ITP’s services are delivered across more than 9,000 users, 10,000 workstations and 300 plus sites throughout Queensland.

“The new mobility solution will provide our staff with the ability to work efficiently, anywhere and at any time.
For example, Agriculture Officers will eventually be able to help farmers on the Darling Downs complete drought relief funding applications on the spot, and in the future, Park Rangers will be able to manage and respond to the varied requirements of their role in the field as needed.”
Peter Floyd, Director of Operations,
Information and Technology Partners.

The Departments identified technology as a key focus within their Strategic Plans for 2015 – 2019, including using infrastructure and processes to achieve business efficiency, digital service delivery, and information sharing with service partners.

ITP is responsible for the delivery of the Digital Workplace Strategy for the Departments, which aims to equip staff with more collaborative, mobility-based solutions for their work.

Business Challenge

The day-to-day activities of employees across the Departments are diverse, wide reaching and often rely on poor (or no) connectivity in the most remote parts of Queensland where they work. For some time now, ITP has been providing staff with touch devices without a suitable platform to support them.

What’s more, the existing mobility solution used across the multiple Departments was predominantly based on Windows 7, with some users on Windows 8.1. Consequently, there were cost and complexity issues due to the ongoing need to support multiple environments.

ITP built a business case for the deployment of a new Windows 10 solution, with the aim to consolidate technology across the Departments and provide a foundation for desktop-based applications. It would also provide a starting point for consolidation onto the Microsoft technologies available, which would help to simplify support and partner management.

Importantly, the project is linked to ITP’s Ever Greening initiative – an initiative that positions ITP as an early technology adopter with the ability to roll out large-scale IT projects across the multiple departments.

Business Benefits

Upgrading to Windows 10 delivers many organisation-wide benefits, including:

  • Improved workforce mobility leading to better productivity and user satisfaction
  • Streamlined remote access to networks and applications
  • Improved security around sensitive data and files
  • A more consistent and user-friendly experience
  • Reduced IT costs and complexity
  • Enhanced efficiencies through rationalisation onto the Microsoft technology stack
  • Seamless deployment of apps across departments

Additionally, the new solution enables the Departments to support elements of their strategic plan, including the dissemination of information during an emergency, as well as enhanced information sharing through policy guides to staff in areas of poor connectivity.

For example, this is particularly important for DAF’s Biosecurity Queensland, where staff need to mobilise quickly in the event of a biosecurity crisis. The ability of staff to access information in a timely manner supports this mission.

Furthermore, the solution supports the delivery of the service innovation strategy, which seeks to ‘Expand the network of delivery partnerships, digital service delivery and one-stop shop services to improve customer experience’.

The new Windows 10 solution is the foundation of the efforts to mobilise users under the Digital Workplace Strategy, with lighter, more powerful mobile devices to enable them to carry out their tasks when they’re on the road. The mobility solution allows staff to capture and disseminate information, with the data captured on these devices providing the basis for the Key Performance Indicators across the Departments.

Of note is the fact that the push for these mobile devices has come from business users into the ICT Division, and has been a bottom-up, not top-down imperative.

Solution Details

Data#3 was chosen by ITP to assist with the implementation of the new Windows 10 solution based on industry expertise, a proven track record, and the ability to deliver consistently high quality outcomes across licensing, infrastructure and people projects. Data#3’s extensive relationship with Microsoft, was also a key factor for their selection.

Data#3 was engaged to provide technical governance, technical documentation, best practice recommendations for Design, Support, Testing and Implementation, deployment and management of new features in Windows 10, as well as change and communications support.

The overall focus of the project was to design, build and test Windows 10 across the Department’s environments in a controlled fashion. The project consisted of two phases – a Proof of Concept (PoC) targeting 15 devices, and a Pilot targeting approximately 150 devices.

The first stage was to build a consistent foundation on a Windows 10 platform that started to utilise as much of the standard Microsoft stack of technologies as possible, plus consolidating existing operating systems into the new Windows 10 solution.

Conclusion

The pilot was successfully completed at the end of April 2016. The next step is to deploy the new Windows 10 solution across all the Departments ITP supports.

“Partnering with Data#3 on this significant project has been extremely successful to date,” says Peter Floyd, Director of Operations, Information and Technology Partners.

“Their expertise and experience in implementing projects of this nature has ensured the process has been smooth from the start, including their ability to seamlessly integrate with our internal experts. What’s more, the change management capabilities they’ve provided give us great confidence in rolling out the solution across the Departments.”

Floyd continues:

“Once the new solution is fully implemented, our staff will benefit from greater mobility, productivity and connectivity. For example, environmental scientists will be able to complete specific testing of water quality of rivers that feed straight into the Great Barrier Reef, on the spot. This may sound small to some, but the collective impact across our customer base and all of the diverse roles within all of the Departments, cannot be underestimated.”

Learn more about The Anywhere Workplace

Download the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Case Study.

To learn more about how Data#3 can assist your organisation, call 1300 23 28 23, or Enquire Online.

Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Windows 10, Mobility, Public Sector, The Anywhere Workplace

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