Some 10,000 military and civilian staff of the UK Ministry of Defence will for the first time gain online access to MOD information services such as human resources systems, following the completion of a major project led jointly by Capgemini UK plc and Microsoft UK Ltd.
Users in locations around the world – including Britain’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – will be able to use credit-card style chip-and-pin authentication via the Government Gateway to obtain secure ‘self-service’ access to MOD HR systems for a variety of purposes, including filing their expenses, updating their personal details and booking themselves on training courses.
The new procedures follow the successful completion of the 18-month Internet Access to Shared Services (IASS) project carried out in collaboration with Capgemini, Microsoft, several units within the MOD and specialist IT vendors. As a result of new security processes developed as part of the IASS project, secure access to MOD shared services is expected to be available to MOD personnel from any PC, laptop or mobile phone with an Internet connection on an ‘any place, any time’ basis.
Following successful trials with defence units in several parts of the world, the new system will be rolled out in 2009 to some 10,000 MOD staff, mostly in overseas locations, who will now for the first time have easy and secure access to MOD internal information systems.
David Longhurst, the MOD’s project leader for IASS, said: “We have been modernizing our internal administrative processes by changing from paper-based systems to an electronic service. While this has worked well internally, we were left with around 10,000 staff unable to access to our internal systems online from their place of work. We wanted to give all of them secure access to the appropriate MOD systems from any Internet-connected PC.”
The MOD says that the new IASS solution is also expected to save several millions of pounds over the next ten years by cutting paperwork and administrative chores and putting some 20 routine HR processes onto an online self-service basis via an employee portal.
Security within the IASS solution is based on a ‘defence in depth’ strategy, and great care has been taken to put in place a good level of protection of sensitive personal data whilst providing staff with the services they need . In addition to the mandatory use of chip-and-pin smartcards, there are extensive security features based on Capgemini’s Identity and Access Management Services and Microsoft’s Intelligent Application Gateway. The IASS solution is hosted on the MOD’s DECS (Defence Electronics Commerce Service), which is provided by Capgemini as a managed service running on hardware at one of the company’s secure data centres in the UK.
David Longhurst added: “Capgemini and Microsoft have done a great job in working with our own teams to deliver one of the most complex and secure systems ever installed at the MOD.”
The MOD says that if the rollout of IASS to the 10,000 staff this year is successful, the system could be made available in the longer term to all or most of its 320,000 military and civilian personnel.
Cliff Evans, Vice President of Defence and Identity Management for Capgemini, said: “IASS is a very good example of how we work collaboratively with the MOD and with its other partners, particularly Microsoft, to deliver innovative technology solutions that can realize significant back office benefits, releasing money for use in the front line.”
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, the Collaborative Business Experience. The Group relies on its global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to get the right balance of the best talent from multiple locations, working as one team to create and deliver the optimum solution for clients. Present in more than 30 countries, Capgemini reported 2008 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs over 92,000 people worldwide.
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