In what could be termed as a highly lucrative deal, International Business Machines Corp (IBM) has signed an agreement with the Australian government to become its chief technology partner. The deal is supposedly worth AUD 1 billion (USD 740 million) and will employ IBM for the next five years, with services such as automation and blockchain technology being offered to various government agencies.
Harriet Green, the Asia-Pacific head for IBM, said that the contract will involve providing technological services to several federal departments such as home affairs and defense. She expects that the technical capabilities of the youth and the employment of Australians will be the critical factors in the success of this partnership, by supporting the implementation of IBM’s services.
IBM will be tasked with designing renewed platforms for the protection of public data. The government estimates that it could help taxpayers save up to AUD 100 million. The IT giant will be crucial in ramping up the country’s data security, with reported cyber-attacks targeting platforms like Facebook, Ticketmaster and also some governments agencies. The company already has existing relations with departments like human resources and the taxations office, while agencies which were not working closely with IBM earlier can now buy from it without the need to sign new contracts, reports suggested.
According to further sources, IBM will be jointly working with Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency as a part of the deal, running an innovation program focused on popular technology domains like AI, quantum and blockchain. The program is said to help Australia in attaining its objective of becoming one of the topmost digital governments worldwide by 2025.
Amidst efforts to combat falling profits, IBM has welcomed the billion dollar deal even though the rate of every Australian dollar is just 74 cents in the U.S. Previous records disclose that two years ago IBM was reproached for botching up the national census project and had to pay AUD 30 million in compensations, giving this contract an added significance.