William Murphy, Executive Director of ICT Policy at the NSW Department of Finance and Services, says that planning and consultation will characterise the first implementation tranche of the State’s recently released ICT Strategy.
“Much of the next twelve months will be about getting the building blocks in place. It’s about identifying the appropriate standards, identifying the ways we’re going to work, and identifying what we’re going to do first,” he said.
However the implementation roadmap, described by Murphy as “ambitious”, does include a handful of action items that should start to materialise before the end of 2012, including:
- Building the whole-of-government Service Catalogue (to commence Q4);
- Executing agency virtualisation plans (to commence Q4);
- The establishment of a pilot private government cloud (Q4); and
- Pilots of two industry early engagement projects (from Q2).
Murphy likened the soon-to-be established Service Catalogue to a government app store, of the kind that has been rolled-out by governments overseas.
“The UK government some years ago announced it was developing a government app store, which has since evolved into its recently announced Cloudstore. It’s probably going to be a similar model to that,” he said.
Unveiled in February, the UK Cloudstore is an online portal where agencies can access over 1,700 apps provided by more than 250 suppliers, on a pay-as-you-go basis. According to the BBC, small and medium enterprises are behind about 50 per cent of the offerings.
Murphy said the Service Catalogue would initially be developed from IT contracts already in place in NSW.
“Eventually, given the emergence of new business models, especially around cloud sourcing, we will be looking to develop new ways of engaging the industry for those services,” he said, while also hinting that it was unlikely that procurement from the Catalogue would be mandatory.
“Because we have done all of the legwork, the value proposition to come through that mechanism is that there wouldn’t be any incentive to go elsewhere,” he said.
Deciding on the composition and scope of a pilot Private Government Cloud is also on the agenda for the coming months, with a number of agencies having already approached Murphy and his team to be part of the exercise.
Stakeholders are due to reconvene in about a year’s time to take stock of how the Strategy has progressed, and to re-assess the roadmap for another 12 months.
“The plan is that every year we will get together, with government, with the industry, with ministers, and talk about where we’ve got to, what we’ve achieved and what we’ve learned, and also the emerging opportunities and what we should be focusing on in our next tranche of action.
“The strategy doesn’t map out a five year or a ten year road map.
“Embodied in this approach is a recognition that the IT landscape is evolving. I think if we put a five year strategy together five years ago we wouldn’t have contemplated smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, things which have transformed the way we do business today,” said Murphy.
This is the third story in Intermedium’s NSW ICT Strategy series. Keep an eye on the Knowledge Base for more updates as the implementation gets underway.