Queensland government to go cloud-first

Cloud by default for government agencies under ICT strategy update

Cloud computing will be placed "at the centre of government ICT reform" under a new IT strategy update released by the Queensland government today.

The government this morning released a Cloud Computing Implementation Model and a cloud computing addendum to the state's 2013-17 ICT strategy.

The model outlines a future for state government ICT of a "trusted cloud ecosystem" with a "'storefront', marketplace and technical brokerage platforms, in which a community of cloud service providers, consultants and partners operate".

A hybrid model will see a combination of as-a-service and traditional approaches used to deliver ICT for government agencies.

"Over time the consumption of many different types of cloud services from multiple suppliers may lead to a highly-heterogeneous and distributed ICT environment. This diversity must be carefully managed to ensure the potential benefits of adopting cloud services are realised, and achieved in a timely manner," the implementation model states.

The strategy is based on recommendations from the Independent Commission of Audit made in February 2013.

Those recommendations were that the state government "adopt an ICT-as-a-service strategy and source ICT services, especially commoditised services, from private providers in a contestable market where this is feasible and represents value for money" and that the government "utilise as appropriate cloud based computing and other emerging technologies as enablers to complement its ICT-as-a-service strategy".

"The Queensland Government will look to place cloud computing in a prominent position in government ICT reform by taking a ‘cloud-first’ approach," the addendum to the government's ICT strategy states.

"This approach to the sourcing of ICT functions (similar to that taken by other government jurisdictions, e.g. United States of America, United Kingdom and New Zealand governments) will require agencies to adopt cloud-based services as the default ICT-as-a-service solution unless a sound business case exists for a contrary solution."

IT and innovation minister Ian Walker said the cloud strategy would save the state money.

"The Strategy and Implementation Model is an update to the Queensland Government’s ICT Strategy and is critical to progress our ICT as a service policy, allowing us to only pay for what we use," the minister said in a statement.

"We’ve seen this in action through initiatives such as the recent 'cloud ready' Microsoft deal that will save the government $13.7 million."

"The strategy update and implementation model were completed after extensive industry and government consultation and was a key recommendation of the Independent Commission of Audit and Queensland Government ICT Audit," the Queensland government's CIO, Andrew Mills, said.

The National Commission of Audit recently recommended that the federal government adopt a cloud-first approach.

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