The MoD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded IBM a contract to help make the running of its £24 billion property portfolio more energy and operationally efficient.

DIO is responsible for the management of around 4,000 separate sites worldwide, including military barracks, land, air and naval bases, and military training grounds.

Using IBM’s smarter buildings software and services, DIO expects to reduce building operating costs and find ways to better use its existing real estate.

DIO will use IBM technology to replace its "outdated legacy IT environment" and create a new centralised information management system to allow faster analysis, said DIO.

Andrew Manley, DIO chief executive, said, “IBM analytics technology helps us continue our work in creating a world-class infrastructure to put DIO at the leading edge of the technology transformation process happening right now across the MoD.”

The IBM TRIRIGA system will provide an integrated property management platform comprising of software and consultancy services. This will give DIO central visibility of its property and data on how efficiently they are being used.

A geospatial mapping capability, created by business partner Esri UK, will provide a real-time visualisation map to display the scope of infrastructure and assets.

The new system will be launched in a number of "capability releases" through to April 2014, said the DIO. The potential value of the contract has not been disclosed.

Georgina O'Toole, an analyst at TechMarketView, said, "We understand that IBM will collect and process data from the lower level systems such as those associated with the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract let in 2011.

"We know that Steria already holds a contract to provide a housing management system to DIO for the management of the housing estate. It may well be that an interface will be required between the Steria and IBM systems."

After the selection of Atlas (led by HP) for the current core Defence Information Infrastructure (DII(F)) programme, said O'Toole, other suppliers had to focus on delivering complex software development and integration projects in order to maintain a presence.

"As DII(F) and other core contracts are restructured the infrastructure and applications supplier landscape within UK defence has the potential to be severely disrupted over the next few years," said O'Toole.

The MoD revealed this week that between 2009 and 2011 it spent a whopping £3.6 billion on IT and telecommunications for use across the department and armed services.

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