The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) may have become Canberra’s first agency to take the plunge into the cloud computing deep end, while the rest of the public sector tentatively toes the surface.
Theirs is a move that will no doubt attract the attention of Canberra’s ICT decision makers, and the Department’s success or failure will likely influence agency uptake into the future.
The DCCEE last week published a $12.8 million contract with Fujitsu for hosting of its core business systems for five years out to December 2017.
According to tender documents released when the DCCEE approached the market in February 2012, the deal will cover software, platform, infrastructure and desktop services charged on a usage basis, including:
- Software-as-a-Managed-Service delivering Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint applications for up to 1,000 internal departmental users;
- Platform-as-a-Managed-Service delivering server and storage services metered on a per-server-per-month model;
- Infrastructure-as-a-Managed-Service for specialist and unexpected workloads beyond those of standard business application services (covered by PaaMS), and charged at a finer granularity than per-user-per-month; and
- Desktop-as-a-Managed-Service, taking on the ongoing management and operation of an existing virtual desktop infrastructure.
While the DCCEE doesn’t expect that its new arrangement with Fujitsu will cost it any more or less than its current deal with Uber Global, it says that it will enhance control and capability.
“The new contract is expected to be cost neutral but will increase guarantees of service delivery and availability.
“[It] will provide improved management control by the Department, and increased auditability and accountability by the hosting provider,” said a spokesperson for the Department.
The Fujitsu deal will replace the DCCEE’s $7 million contract with Uber Global which will expire in June of this year, after three years of operation.
However it will not overlap with the ICT services currently provided to the DCCEE and its own client agencies (such as the Clean Energy Regulator) under a shared services arrangement with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet worth just over $10 million per annum.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in turn sources these ICT services from ASG, under a $26 million deal which will reach an initial expiry this year.
The Federal Government has borne criticism from many sectors of the ICT community for what is perceived to be an overly cautious approach to cloud adoption, particularly in contrast with ambitious whole-of-government programs underway in some of the States and Territories.
The Government’s approach hinges upon a cloud policy stating that agencies may deploy cloud solutions when, “they demonstrate value for money and adequate security”.
The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has, however, established a Multi-Use List of providers of cloud and cloud-like services.
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