The South Australian Government has issued a request for tenders (RFT) for suppliers to join the state’s Hosting Services Panel (HSP), which supports the procurement of cloud-type solutions.
Agencies can purchase hosting services across three service segments using the HSP arrangement:
- Unmanaged Co-location Hosting Services;
- Shared Hosting Services; and
- Dedicated Hosting Services.
Unmanaged Co-location Hosting Services refers to ‘floor space’ or ‘rack space’ in a facility where the State houses its own equipment, while Shared Hosting Services sees the State’s data instead hosted on the panel member’s infrastructure which is shared between multiple customers.
Dedicated Hosting Services are when the panel member provides infrastructure purely for the State’s use and can involve different levels of management service provision right up to allowing for agencies to ‘virtually outsource’ their entire operations.
Security is naturally a significant concern for the State and tender documents specify that “all Hosting service segments must be delivered from sites within Australia”.
Suppliers must also comply with the ‘Information Security Management Framework (ISMF)’, which includes guidelines around the provision of cloud computing.
Tender documents also indicate that facilities can be used to host ‘critical applications’. However facilities hosting critical applications will be considered as ‘State Government Critical Information Infrastructure’ (SGCII), meaning they will have to comply with additional security requirements and provide services to enable agencies to comply with the ‘Protective Security Management Framework’ (PSMF).
The open panel arrangement allows for the addition of suppliers and it is being periodically opened for new suppliers. The closing date for submissions for the current round of applications is 16 October 2013. The SA Government anticipates the final opening of the panel will be conducted in 2018.
Established in 2008 to facilitate the provision of hosting services to agencies, the panel had a value of $6.6 million over its initial three year term. In 2011 the panel was extended for a further ten years and is expected to have a value of $55 million to $65 million over the ten year extension period.
Currently there are four suppliers on the panel:
- Hostworks; and
- Adam Internet
South Australia has already travelled a considerable way down the cloud computing path in other areas. Speaking to Intermedium last year, Chief Information Officer Andrew Mills outlined a range of cloud solutions which have already been adopted by the State including a service platform for mainframe, a single messaging-as-a-service system and payroll-as-a-service for two-thirds of the Government.
Cloud will continue to be play a major role for SA into the future.
The SA Connected draft position paper on ICT for South Australia outlines a shift away from buying hardware and software and towards “buying services”, as well as encouraging agencies to seek “shared solutions”, further indicating the State’s willingness to look to the cloud to meet its ICT needs.
Additionally its document on ‘Strategic Procurement of ICT products and services’, clearly states the need “to consider the impact of ‘as-a-Service’ and ‘Cloud’ offerings”.
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