Queensland has updated its ICT Strategy to include a Cloud Computing Strategy and Implementation Model, which introduces a mandated cloud-first policy.
According to the Strategy, “This approach to the sourcing of ICT functions will require agencies to adopt cloud-based services as the default ICT-as-a-service solution unless a sound business case exists for a contrary solution.”
In May 2013, the Queensland Government announced the adoption of a cloud-first approach to procurement, however, no formal documentation had been released until this Implementation Model.
In the meantime, Queensland made a number of moves, signifying its readiness to adopt cloud as the default solution. The most significant of these was a Whole of Government IT Services deal signed with Microsoft in April 2014 for cloud-based email services. The cloud solution is designed to save $13.7 million over three years.
A media release from the Chief Information Office states, “The strategy and implementation model will help us reduce our ICT costs and ensure we have access to the latest technologies while keeping our information secure.”
Under the Strategy, agencies will be required to develop roadmaps for the adoption of ICT-as-a-service. A cloud computing decision framework will also be developed to guide agencies on risk and data security.
The Implementation Model notes that the transition to cloud-based services will support future mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies.
The Queensland Government’s cloud-first policy comes after Victoria’s ICT Strategy Update in May 2014 that made it compulsory for agencies to evaluate cloud-based solutions first for new and renewed systems. It also noted that a Whole-of-Government policy position would be developed to guide agencies in the development of a BYOD policy by February 2015.