With the Australian Government’s first cloud strategy all but wrapped up, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is looking towards more collaborative and inclusive options for the next stage of its cloud computing vision.
Newly appointed Australian Government Chief Information Officer, Glenn Archer, wrote on the AGIMO Blog last week that the release of draft certification requirements for cloud solutions “essentially marks the completion of the work outlined in the current Cloud Strategy”.
“Given that this strategy is also now almost two years old, we have for some months now been working on a revised approach to cloud usage by the Australian Government,” he said.
A spokesperson the Department of Finance and Deregulation confirmed that this revised approach takes the form of AGIMO input into a National Cloud Strategy currently being developed by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE).
In a move that could signal increased cooperation between the Federal Government’s inward facing ICT agency and its industry and society focussed ICT agency, the Strategy will focus on leveraging the benefits of cloud across both the public and private sectors.
“This Strategy will examine the broad role of Cloud technology and the various opportunities and potential for the nation and our economy. It will include a section looking specifically at Government’s use of Cloud for which AGIMO is leading the work.
“AGIMO continues to be responsible for policy in relation to the Government’s use of technology – including Cloud – whereas DBCDE are responsible for the Digital Economy Strategy and exploring the implications and opportunities for Australia as a whole,” Finance advised.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard revealed that the National Cloud Strategy was under development in her address to the Digital Economy Forum on 5 October 2012.
“A lot of [today’s] contributions really have been about the power of cloud computing, and also the need to spread understanding about what this means, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“So I will ask Minister Conroy to bring people together in a discussion about that. I think it needs to be a genuine government-industry partnership, and for us to embark on a cloud computing strategy so that we can capture in terms that are going to make sense to people,” she said.
Archer’s comments also indicated that the National Cloud Strategy might assume a more confident perspective on cloud use within Government than its predecessor, foreshadowing a consideration of “the use of Cloud based services by Government and where it might look to accelerate adoption”.
The Australian Government Cloud Computing Strategic Direction paper was released in April 2011, and had at its core the qualified policy directive that agencies may use cloud solutions when they represent value for money and meet the Government’s security requirements. Deliverables included a series of cloud guidance documents, the transition of public facing AGIMO websites to cloud hosting, and the establishment of the Data Centre-as-a-Services (DCaaS) Multi-Use List.
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