Queensland government reviews cloud strategy

Queensland Government Chief Information Office eyes 2019 release of updated strategy

The Queensland Government Chief Information Office (QGCIO) expects to release an updated cloud computing strategy in 2019.

In May 2014 the state government released the current strategy, which emphasised “the adoption of ICT-as-a-service as key focus”.

“The Queensland Government’s adoption of cloud computing, as one form of ICT-as-a-service, will enable it to transition from mainly internal, high-cost customised ICT applications and solutions to lower cost, standardised services where quality improvements and cost reductions are driven by highly competitive market forces,” the document, released alongside the Queensland Government Cloud Computing Implementation Model, said.

“Cloud computing presents the opportunity to reduce vendor lock-in, enable self-service procurement and provisioning, and accelerate innovation and productivity in the delivery of contemporary public services to Queensland’s citizens.”

In support of a “cloud-first” approach, the strategy envisaged the transformation of agencies’ ICT divisions from service providers to service broker roles.

The implementation model outlined the vision of a community infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud for government entities and the creation of an ICT marketplace and store front.

In September last year the Queensland government unveiled its digital strategy — dubbed DIGITAL1ST — that called for increased use of cloud by alongside a push to enable mobility across the state’s public sector, the use of machine learning and the launch of proof of concept cases for “intelligent automation” across corporate services.

A spokesperson for the QGCIO told Computerworld that the state government’s current cloud strategy is “being reviewed to make sure it reflects the current environment”.

That process requires “extensive informal and formal review across a wide range of stakeholders” and is expected to be completed next year, the spokesperson said.

Earlier this year the federal government released an updated version of its cloud strategy. Development of the Secure Cloud Strategy was overseen by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).

The 2014 Commonwealth whole-of-government strategy advocated for the use of public cloud for test and dev and Web hosting and the evaluation by government agencies of “private, community, public or hybrid cloud services for operational systems”.

The 2018 strategy had a much stronger emphasis on the use of public cloud services, stating: “The public cloud market offers a broad range of services and providers that enable agencies to keep their technologies and business processes up to date. Public cloud can provide fast and competitive options for agencies.”

Research released earlier this month by Gartner revealed that the Australian IaaS market grew 32.5 per cent in 2017, compared to a global average of 29.5 per cent.

The local IaaS market was worth A$393 million in 2017, the analyst firm said. The global cloud market reached US$23.5 billion, up from $18.2 billion.