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IBM over the next five years will serve as the central technology partner of the Australian Federal Government.
As per the agreement, the computing giant will assist those Down Under with various hardware, software and cloud-based solutions. A Melbourne-based research team, for example, will be dispatched to accelerate the use of technologies like AI, quantum computing and blockchain in government. Experts in another group will work on world-leading cyber security solutions and develop supercomputing applications for government services.
IBM, like other technological holdovers of yesteryear, is reinventing itself amid shifting trends in computing. As The Street highlights, the company is becoming a cloud-first operator and that makes it an attractive partner for big banking and government partners. Its “strategic imperatives” division, which includes analytics, cloud, mobile, social and security services, generated more than $36 billion in revenue in fiscal 2017.
This isn’t the first time Australia’s government has contracted IBM to do work. A few years back, IBM served as the lead contractor to handle a national census. The survey was crippled by four distributed denial of service attacks that caused a 40-hour outage. Ultimately, IBM accepted blame for the incident and coughed up around AU$30 million in compensation.
Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated this was the highest value contract negotiated by the Australian Government. This has since been corrected.
Lead image via Krisztian Bocsi, Bloomberg