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Federal Government straps on its cloud computing training wheels

by Paris Cowan •
Free resource

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has today launched operations of its whole-of-government Data-Centre-as-a-Service multi-use list, a non-mandatory procurement arrangement with symbolic value that is likely to outstrip its dollar value.

The DCaaS arrangement is significant as the first Federal coordinated procurement initiative offering cloud and cloud-like solutions to agencies, and has some potential to shape agency attitudes towards of the much-hyped delivery model.

AGIMO has indicated that it expects the multi-use list to behave like a proving ground for cloud use by the Federal Government, and if its use benefits agencies it could be just the confidence boost a risk adverse public sector needs to move forward with the delivery model.

A fact sheet released by the agency says that the multi-use list “provides agencies with an opportunity to become comfortable with new services and service delivery models. Using these services will provide agencies with valuable experience with security, legal, management, compliance and auditing issues”.

Targeting the low value and low risk end of the market (procurements are restricted to $80k in value and 12 months in length) the DCaaS multi-use list will act like training wheels for a Government that wants to explore the benefits of cloud sourcing models whilst minimising the risk of agencies going over the handle-bars.

Meanwhile the restrictions mean that the total value of procurements going through the list are likely to remain modest.

AGIMO says that its intention is to target the 50 per cent of Federal agencies procuring less than $2 million worth of ICT each year, who bear a procurement administration burden out of proportion to their expenditure.

Intermedium’s market analysis shows that ICT contracts with a value of $80,000 or less made up just six per cent of the total market value in 2011-12, at a combined $363 million. This end of the market, however, saw 11,000 individual deals commenced, or 59 per cent of the total number of ICT contracts recorded as having a start date within 2011-12.

An initial batch of 35 suppliers offering a whopping 945 different services will make up the first tranche of DCaaS offerings, but applications for inclusion will remain continuously open for the arrangement’s initial two-year term.

AGIMO will act as a mediator between members of the list and procuring agencies. Agencies will send all RFQ’s to AGIMO, who will then match the requirements to services available in the DCaaS catalogue and then forward the RFQ onto applicable suppliers. Responses will also come back through AGIMO before being handed on to the agency, allowing for performance monitoring at every step.

While pricing information is available to agencies through the service catalogue, AGIMO advises that this represents a maximum price threshold, and that the RFQ process represents an opportunity to negotiate better value terms.

With membership open to all vendors who can meet minimum insurance terms and reference checks, competition is likely to emerge around the compulsory performance scores that each customer agency is required to provide at the completion of a DCaaS contract.

Numerical scores will be calculated based on:

a)    quality of service;

b)    accuracy;

c)    responsiveness;

d)    understanding of Agency needs/requirements;

e)    professionalism and experience of Personnel working on the service; and

f)    value for money.

Prior scores will be viewable by agencies preparing to approach the multi-use list for quotations.

Related Articles:

AGIMO thinks beyond the panel when it comes to Data Centre-as-a-Service

AGIMO proposes to streamline procurement for smaller agencies

Tasmania plans for a move to the cloud

  • Federal
  • IT Services
  • Finance & Services
  • Cloud Computing
  • DCaaS
  • Panels