The Department of Defence has awarded the Australian branch of global strategic consultancy McKinsey & Company a $9.8 million contract for a digital twin project.
According to Defence, the digital twin — a digital representation of a physical asset — is to help the department with the future structuring of the Australian Army, according to the Army Force Structure Implementation Plan.
The digital twin is expected to assist the department in identifying which areas the army needs to invest in and to provide evidence for the investments, with a proof of concept (POC) expected to be complete by March 2022.
The POC will support both existing and future decision support tools and will be developed in a series of sprints, focusing on major systems, skilled personnel and physical elements.
“Building a digital twin for future capabilities enables [the] army to optimise investments to be future ready in a rapidly evolving strategic position,” a Defence spokesperson said.
“Populating this model with data will enable [the] army to understand and quantify gaps, make risk-based trade off decisions and empower the senior leadership group with data insights previously unknown.”
Meanwhile, the whole contract, which was award to the local branch name of McKinsey Pacific Rim, is to last over nearly a two-year period, from 30 August 2021 to 30 June 2023.
The consultancy was chosen due to McKinsey’s track record with implementing similar systems for other clients, the spokesperson added.
To prepare for the digital twin, the army will launch two learning programs: analytics for leaders and translators and enterprise agility training, also for senior personnel.
The usage of a digital twin comes as, according to the Defence spokespeson, “the greatest major transformation of the Joint Land Force since the Second World War is underway”.
Part of this, the spokesperson continued, involves figuring out the army’s future force structure, which necessitates a data-led transformational development path, they claimed.
McKinsey's win with Defence comes weeks after the Department awarded Dell a $7 million contract for notebook procurement in early August.