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Cloud-first model contributes to cost savings

by Chris Huckstepp •
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Queensland’s ‘cloud-first’ model has been cited by Information Technology Minister Ian Walker as a key step to saving the State $39.8 million since the 2012 ICT Audit.

“Key steps to make these savings possible were our ‘cloud-first’ model and three new panel arrangements enabling agencies to move to cloud-based solutions, as well as signing a ‘cloud ready’ contract with Microsoft that saves taxpayers $13.7 million over three years,” he said.  

The Microsoft contract is worth $26.5 million and will see Public Sector staff moved from a Government owned and operated mail service to an Office 365 hosted service.

The Minister also referenced Queensland’s procurement procedures as responsible for the savings. 

“We have also streamlined ICT procurement across government and now have more than 150 prequalified suppliers who can deliver ICT services to government.”

The ICT Services panel is currently undergoing its first refresh since its establishment in 2013, with interested vendors having until 29 October 2014 to apply for inclusion.

The greatest savings came from streamlining and standardising telecommunications arrangements, where the Minister claims Queensland saved $10 million in 2013-14.

In 2012-13 and 2013-14, according to the Minister, Queensland endeavoured to:

  • Disconnect unused fixed telephone lines (saving $3.7 million); and
  • Sever unused mobile phone and data services (saving $4 million);

The Minister also said that removing 1880 printers from the State resulted in a saving of $11 million in print services.

However, Queensland is still far from the scale of the savings identified in the State’s ICT Audit, conducted by then Whole of Government CIO Peter Grant in 2012. The Audit assessed 1,730 Queensland Government ICT systems and found “significant annual savings available to the government of between $98 million and $185 million per annum across a number of different opportunity areas.”

An Intermedium survey in September 2014 found that the State is on its way to upgrading or replacing the most critical systems listed in the Audit, with the exception of critical systems under the responsibility of Queensland Health.

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