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Treasury workers to go mobile

by Michael Read •
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The Commonwealth Treasury has approached the market for a new End User Computing (EUC) platform to give its workforce greater mobility in their work.

The EUC platform is to deliver a range of application and data services to office-based and off-site departmental staff.

According to the RFT documents, the EUC platform is to deliver Treasury four key capabilities:

  1. Virtualised Desktop – Implementation of a virtual desktop capability to deliver an “in office” desktop experience to staff on a variety of end user devices.
  2. Application Mobility – An app store interface to provide Treasury mobile users with the ability to execute corporate applications.
  3. Data Mobility – Implementation of a secure mobile data distribution solution in conjunction with the Department’s existing mobile data management solution.
  4. Application Virtualisation – Deploying a common application virtualisation platform for the delivery of applications to all environments.

The decision to approach the market for the new system followed a review conducted to examine the existing Treasury end user computing landscape.

According to the RFT documents, the review found that the current systems would not meet future Departmental requirements.

It is envisaged that the new platform will enable Treasury to further its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Software as a Service (SaaS) capabilities.

“Enhanced mobility is required to deliver an increasing number of application and data services to a broader range of end user devices. The virtualised desktop capability will augment the mobility platform and provide Treasury greater agility and choice when delivering internal EUC services”, states the RFT.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been on the rise within Federal agencies. The Department of Health was one of the earliest to implement VDI, with the rollout of virtual desktop completed in July 2012, according to a spokesperson from the Department.

Health is using a model where its “current infrastructure service provider hosts and maintains the virtual desktop infrastructure”, said the spokesperson.

The Department of Defence’s Next Generation Desktop Project includes “virtualisation of a significant percentage of Defence’s desktop environment”, according to a Department spokesperson. The project, which commenced in 2012 has cost close to $60 million so far with an expected completion date of August 2014.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is also utilising VDI “to support aspects of our operations domestically and globally”, according to a spokesperson for the Department. As with Defence, its VDI is hosted in-house.

The new platform is consistent with the ambitions of the Australian Public Service Mobile Roadmap, released in June 2013.

The Roadmap urges agencies to seize the productivity gains that workforce mobility and BYOD can offer.

“A recent Deloitte Access Economics study estimates an $11.8 billion productivity benefit over 2012-2025 as mobile shifts from being a device for individuals to being a platform underpinning businesses”, it says.

AGIMO hopes to have a best practice guide for BYOD implementation published by June 2014, and in the interim will support agencies making the leap and investigate common approaches that the APS could take to remote access solutions.

It will also ask agencies to share mobility policies and architectures amongst one another, opening up potential for solution sharing.

The EUC platform redevelopment comes at a time of frugality for the Treasury. In 2012-13, Treasury’s expenditure on ICT goods and services declined by 8 percent to $13.3 million. In 2013-14, expenditure is down by 10.5 percent to $5.8 million when compared to the same time last year.

An industry briefing will be held on Friday 21 March, before the deadline for submissions on 15 April.

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

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