International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has signed a five year contract to the value of AUD $1 billion (US $740 million), to develop blockchain for the government of Australia, over the next 5 years.
The deal, signed on Thursday 5th July, is the largest technology contract to be negotiated by the Australian government. David La Rose, managing director of IBM Australia & New Zealand stated:
“We look forward to helping the Australian Government to re-define the digital experience for the benefit of all Australians.”
The major contract will see blockchain technology utilised to improve data security within federal departments, including defence and home affairs, across different realms of the state’s jurisdiction, including taxation and border control.
The country’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) 2018-19 budget has already earmarked $530,000 for blockchain research, a move that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is said to have specifically requested.
IBM’s Asia Pacific head, Harriet Green stated that with this deal by 2023 it:
“saves the Australian government money, over $100 million dollars, and puts them in the top three of digital governments in the world,”
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, IBM’s Green suggested that the new partnership will give Commonwealth citizens access to the the “world’s greatest technologies”, she said:
“the employment of Australians to support and help the implementation, would be hallmarks of the new partnership”
IBM won the contract despite its recent issues, where in 2016 it paid AU$30 million in compensation to the Australian government for their failings on the twice-a-decade national census survey, that saw attacks forcing it to be temporarily shut down.
The IBM head, Green went on to explain that over the term of the contract, renewed platforms will be created to protect citizens’ data, adamantly stating that there will be “a lot of focus on security.”
David La Rose, managing director of IBM Australia & New Zealand stated:
“This agreement is a testament to our forty-year partnership with the Australian Government. It shows trust and belief in our ability to transform and provide world-leading capabilities, leveraging our investments locally in AI, blockchain, quantum and cloud,”
IBM’s unprecedented advancement with blockchain technology is fast proving to be a cornerstone innovation for the company, with its immutable and encrypted ledger ensuring security for all parties.
Earlier in the very same week, ‘we.trade‘ powered by IBM’s blockchain platform and developed by nine major European banks, including HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Santander and Société Générale, successfully completed ten live financial trades.
Interestingly, many governments are now impressing the need to implement the technology. A British government official announced just last week that blockchain can save the UK government £8 Billion (US $10.5bn).