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During 2003-04 the ABS Information Technology (IT) environment continued to perform well as a productive and robust platform for ABS operations. The overall reliability of systems, and the level of end-user satisfaction, was maintained.
The roll-out of the new 'desktop' ('Desktop@ABS') with improved software management, knowledge management facilities, and the Windows XP operating system, was completed. The new desktop is more robust and manageable and the reaction of staff was very positive.
The deployment of notebooks to field interviewers and commissioning of infrastructure to support the introduction of CAI went smoothly, although some delays were encountered due to the need to ensure that the notebook security software met the requirements of the ABS.
The cost of operating the IT environment was significantly reduced during the year. Data storage, back-up and recovery facilities were significantly upgraded and UNIX server platforms were consolidated to provide extra capacity as well as reduce maintenance and operating costs.
New applications and infrastructure were developed to support the Business Statistics Innovation Program - in particular the delivery of systems for form despatch, data capture and collection management, and improvements to other aspects of business survey processing.
As with many organisations, the ABS was impacted by the Blaster Virus in late 2003 with the network having to be shut down for a short period while remediation was undertaken. As a result the ABS further strengthened its defences against virus attacks and spam. As well, the timeliness of the security patch application has been improved.