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Queensland: the most ‘cloud-forward’ jurisdiction?

by Sam Murphy •
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17 March 2014 is the expected release date of a major software-as-service Approach to Market (ATM) by The Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA), reinforcing Queensland’s emerging status as the most ‘cloud-forward’ jurisdiction in Australia.  A spokesperson for the agency has told Intermedium that the project is estimated at $100 million over its implementation.

Along with New South Wales, Queensland is the only other jurisdiction as yet with a set cloud-first policy.

The State’s 2013-17 ICT Action Plan aims to create “a major shift from traditional and wasteful methods of accessing and delivering government ICT to a modern, more efficient state where ICT as-a-service is the default option”. The Action Plan came after a recommendation from Peter Costello’s Commission of Audit that encouraged “The Government [to] adopt an ‘ICT as a service’ strategy and source ICT services…from private providers”.

The following is an outline of the  Queensland agencies which have gone (or are intending to go) to the market for an as-a-service solution since the delivery of the ‘cloud first’ mandate.

Queensland Police Service and Fire and Emergency Services

The newly created PSBA is responsible for all Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Fire and Emergency Services’ back-office systems. 

It has announced plans to issue an Approach the Market (ATM) for human capital management and payroll software-as-a-service to replace the current LATTICE human resource system.

A spokesperson from the PSBA told Intermedium it “…intends to release to the market a tender to procure an as-a-service human capital management capability on an estimated date of 17 March 2014”. 

The new solution will serve over 13,000 employees over four agencies, including:

  • Queensland Ambulance Service;
  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services;
  • Queensland Corrective Services; and
  • Public Safety Business Agency.

Despite these agencies now being grouped with QPS following the creation of the amalgamated emergency services support agency, the new system will only serve those agencies that were using the LATTICE system and will not therefore cover QPS.

The spokesperson told Intermedium  that $100 million has been allocated to the project and that “it is expected that full implementation will take approximately 2 –2.5 years after the contract has been awarded”.  

It will mark the largest payroll project for Queensland since the Department Of Health’s ill-fated implementation.

Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts

The Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) is responsible for whole of Government ICT policy and guidance. IT Minister Ian Walker told an Estimates Committee in July 2013 that an email-as-a-service solution could save up to $17 million per annum.

In August 2013 DSITIA told Intermedium that it was going to approach the market for a panel of suppliers to provide hosted email solutions to a number of cloud-ready agencies. DSITIA originally expected to be transitioned to email-as-a-service by the end of 2013.  However, a 31 December 2013 update to DSITIA’s ICT Dashboard  indicated that the $3.4 million project “has exceeded original timeframes”.  It also stated that the Department expected that Stage 2 of the project, email migration, would begin “by the next report”, but there is no current update to its status.  The project is scheduled to complete by December 2014.

In December 2013, DSITIA established a Whole-of-Government standing offer arrangement for Software Asset Management (SAM) Managed Services. The contract is estimated to be worth $9.75 million and was awarded to Dimension Data. Among a range of software brokering and advisory services available to agencies under the contract, it provides for the ‘Provision and management of a cloud hosted enterprise software asset management toolset, capable of capturing and storing deployment, entitlement and usage data across all agencies with varying infrastructure and systems’.

Department of Education, Training and Employment

The Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) has begun to move multiple systems to an as-a-service solution.  In April 2013, DETE issued an ATM for an as-a-service replacement of its Learning Management System which services over 20 TAFE campuses totalling 20,000 students. A spokesperson from the Department told Intermedium that the process of choosing a supplier is still underway.

In December 2013, the Department issued an Invitation to Offer (ITO) for a “stand-alone cloud based service catalogue” catering to all corporate services including Facilities, HR, Finance, Payroll, Legal, and ITC Services. The ITO closed on 10 February 2014.

DETE’s latest push towards cloud has been an ITO for a Student Management Solution to provide business automation and self-service administration for Queensland TAFEs. According to tender documents, “The solution will reduce operating costs through cloud based or fully managed services, intuitive interfaces and timely and accurate information.”

Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

In its 2012-13 Annual Report, the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCS) flagged ‘ICT as-a-service’ as top priority for 2013-14. The report stated that it would “implement [an] ICT Service Model adopting the principles of contestability and ‘ICT as a service”.

Also prioritised was the need to enhance its integrated Client Management System and Business Information system which could see DCCS adopt an as-a-service solution under the Government’s cloud-first policy.

According to the Action Plan, to assist in moving from owning assets to an ICT-as-a-service environment, all agencies are required to develop a departmental ‘As-a-service’ roadmap to divest ICT systems and assets by March 2014.

Related Articles:

Queensland Health rethinks $80 million SAP replacement

QLD Budget ICT cupboard is bare...again

DETE flies ever closer to the clouds

For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

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