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Tasmania plans for a move to the cloud

by Paris Cowan •
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In three years time the Tasmanian Government hopes to have a long-term solution in place to meet the infrastructure hosting needs of its agencies – and it is looking towards the cloud.

A business case is currently underway to identify the State’s best options from 2015 and beyond. In the interim, however, the ICT Policy Board plans to expand membership of its Networking Tasmania II (NTII) panel as well as setting up a brand new whole-of-government panel for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) procurement.

At its August meeting, the Board agreed to add “one or more” new suppliers to the Networking Tasmania II (NTII) Panel, to enhance the arrangement’s capacity to provide data centre services to the public sector.

The whole-of-Government NTII Panel currently offers agencies managed end-to-end wide area network services, connection services, Internet gateway and Government directory services through its three suppliers: Telstra, iiNet and Aurora.

It is valued at $30.4 million over the term from April 2012 to May 2015, with the bulk of this value ($25 million) going to Telstra as the primary contractor. Its previous term, with the same suppliers, was worth $31.8 million over three years.

The ICT Policy Board also agreed to the establishment of an additional panel of IaaS suppliers for the procurement of “higher layer managed services”, which has the potential to be the first mandatory whole-of-Government cloud procurement arrangement seen in Australia.

While no concrete dates have been provided for approaches to market, it is intended that both contracts will expire towards the middle of 2015, to make way for a long term infrastructure solution for the Government.

The Office of eGovernment, which supports the Board, will soon begin work on a business case to identify its best sourcing options for this long-term solution, which will see data centre and infrastructure hosting demand met beyond 2015.

Documents released by the office this month show that it expects that this long-term solution will leverage cloud-based Application-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service provisioning models, with the final mix to be decided once the project has been fully scoped.

The data centre and managed services transition timeline has been formulated in response to the State’s ICT Strategy handed down in December 2011. The Strategy envisions that by 2017 “all common commodity ICT services will be consolidated and provided as a service to agencies,” including data centre and storage services.

It also sets out ambitions to implement a common Government-wide approach to:

  • Integrated voice services
  • Email
  • business processes and shared ICT services for HR, finance, information management and web/communications
  • emergency despatch services
  • government radio
  • Identity management

The Office of eGovernment says that it is working to stabilise its existing in-house primary data centre as an immediate priority. It engaged a team of consultants in March 2012 to assist with the project and advises that work is due to be completed by the end of the year.

In December 2010 the Tasmanian Government invited offers for a lease of space in a fully managed data centre facility, to replace capacity from its Salamanca Place facility that was being decommissioned. It retains a data centre on Bathurst Street Hobart.

In other Tasmanian news, the ICT shared services unit TMD has made good on its ambitious time-frame to set up a Specialist ICT Services Panel within one-month of the close of tenders in mid-August 2012.

To date 29 suppliers have been included on the panel, the value of which has been estimated at $1.5 million over its three year-term. With TMD overseeing the provision of in-house and outsourced whole-of-government telecommunications, IT and business solutions to Tasmanian Government agencies, Intermedium commented earlier in the year that the arrangement will essentially serve as a de facto whole-of-government panel.

Related Articles:

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Tasmania invites tenders for ‘closest thing’ to whole-of-government IT Services panel

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