NSW is vying with Queensland for the title of most cloud-forward jurisdiction with NSW Trade & Investment (DTI) seeking an Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform to reduce the reliance on in-house services.
DTI, which is the lead agency of the NSW Trade and Investment cluster, has issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) for an IaaS platform to host and test development systems in a hybrid cloud model.
In the long term, DTI will move ICT infrastructure to IaaS delivery, away from owning and managing its own infrastructure.
According to the EOI documents, the new model will integrate with DTI’s existing data centre arrangements.
“In the longer term DTI will move ICT Infrastructure to IaaS delivery and move away from managing and owning its own…This means a mix of rented capacity in a cloud based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers and the remaining infrastructure hosted in the NSW Government data centres.”
As DTI’s services have been built and managed across multiple entities in the NSW Trade and Investment cluster, they are spread over many disparate computer rooms. According to the EOI, an IaaS platform is aimed at consolidating these services into two data centres in Orange and Maitland.
DTI will only pay per use for the solution which must be equipped with the ability to be powered down when not being used “to reduce the cost of overhead of spare capacity”, according to the RFT.
The first system to be tested on the platform will be a cloud-based Disaster Recovery solution. Information and Communications Technology Disaster Recovery (ICT-DR) “will re-establish technology services in the event of a catastrophic failure of one of the main sites housing ICT equipment.”
This will be DTI’s second major foray into cloud. DTI is currently consolidating payroll and HR system from 16 agencies onto one SAP-based platform. According to the Department’s 2012-13 Annual Report, “This roll out has been the first such implementation in the Australian public sector, and the largest roll out of the product in the world.”
In 2012-13, the Department also successfully piloted Google cloud technology “for mail, scheduling, desktop video conferencing, chat and office automation”, according to the Annual Report.
Along with DTI, there are a handful of agencies around the state currently using cloud services. Under NSW’s Cloud Policy, “NSW Government agencies will now be required to evaluate cloud‐based services when undertaking ICT procurements to determine the ICT delivery model that provides the best value sustainable investment, taking account of the full range of cost‐benefit considerations.”
In February 2014, the Department of Finance and Services (DFS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) for a software-as-a-service Finance and Human Resource solution to cater for its 5,400 staff organised into 11 divisions within the cluster.
DFS is also in charge of the Data Centre Reform Project which aims to consolidate 130 data centres into just two in Silverwater and Unanderra. According to DFS’ 2012-13 Annual Report, “Private vendors will rent space in the data centres and provide cloud services to agencies on site. This will encourage agencies to move to “as a Service” provision of ICT.”
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has initiated a cluster-wide overhaul of its existing disparate IT systems called the Next Generation Infrastructure Services (NGIS) Project. TfNSW envisages the NGIS Project will result in new systems that work across the whole organisation for increased cost-effectiveness and efficiency. The Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) documents for the project stipulate that any IT sourcing contract must have “the commercial flexibility to allow for the adoption of Cloud.”
In December 2013, ServiceFirst issued a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for cloud storage services to transition new and existing workloads off ServiceFirst platforms. ServiceFirst provides back office shared services, including human resource and financial services to around 40 NSW Government client agencies. The RFQ followed a number of as-a-service trials in July 2013 in which Hewlett-Packard provided desktop-as-a-service, Unisys provided Microsoft-based messaging-as-a-service and Frondle provided Google-based messaging-as-a-service.
In September 2013, NSW Police also trialled cloud services along with a pilot of a mobile application. The app allowed frontline officers to issue digital infringement notices with the data hosted by Amazon Web Services.
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