The Victorian Government has called for feedback on its 2014-15 ICT draft strategy update which introduces ICT-as-a-service, standardised systems and BYOD throughout its agencies.
According to the Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips, the 2013-14 strategy, released in February 2013, was designed “to address the piecemeal effort of the former Labor Government that saw more than $1.4 billion in cost blow-outs”, while this impending strategy focusses on taking “advantage of the opportunities arising from the ever-evolving ICT industry”.
Rich-Phillips says “the Strategy has been developed to have a rolling two-year horizon with an annual update to ensure it continues to keep up with the sector".
Public consultation on the updated draft strategy is due to close 10 February, with the finalised annual update to follow.
A number of new initiatives are contained within the draft strategy which also provides an update on the 2013-14 strategy’s actions items.
ICT-as-a-service & ‘cloud first’ policy
“Taking advantage of the major technology trends” is a major focus for the next phase of the ICT strategy. In line with this, the draft strategy advocates a cloud-first policy.
“As systems become due for replacement, the opportunity will be taken to first evaluate cloud-based business technology services,” the draft says. To guide agencies, the Government will implement a whole of Victorian Government infrastructure-as-a-service roadmap aimed at moving agencies away from being a builder and owner of large ICT systems to a buyer of services.
The Government will look at “establishing a whole of Government platform, akin to a government Virtual Private Network for ICT Services”. According to the draft, a whole of government cloud strategy will be developed which will direct agencies “to implement cloud services where they create the best outcome, and where they create opportunities to re-use and share services and strengthen capabilities”.
NSW and Queensland are the other States which have so far introduced a cloud first model. Queensland’s 2013-17 ICT Strategy aims to create a “more efficient state where ICT-as-a-service is the default option”. NSW’s Cloud Services Policy, released in August 2013, requires agencies to “evaluate cloud based services when undertaking ICT procurements to determine the ICT delivery model that provides the best value sustainable model”.
Despite having no official cloud first policy, Tasmania indicates in its 2011 ICT Strategy that by 2017 “all common commodity ICT services will be consolidated and provided as-a-service to agencies”.
On a Federal level, the Coalition’s ICT Policy advocates cloud solutions for ‘light ICT’ user agencies noting the Government will “set a default expectation that private or public cloud solutions will be used whenever efficient scale is not achieved at agency level”.
Victorian agencies making the move towards purchasing ICT-as-a-Service (rather than building or owning assets) will be supported by the changing role of CenITex, according to the 2013-14 Strategy which states that CenITex is currently transitioning to a “leaner procurement, standards, architecture and integration capability”. The Strategy has a new action to “implement the future state for CenITex (including a roadmap for technology infrastructure services to government)”.
Related to this, in September 2013 an Expression of Interest (EOI) was issued for the delivery of IT infrastructure services to the Victorian Government.
Also according to the draft strategy, an extended CenITex board is being appointed to undertake the transition from 2014. Former South Australian Chief Information Officer (CIO), Grantly Mailes has been appointed as the chair and sole director of the board.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
A $12 million innovation fund to promote advancement in government use of IT was launched In December 2013 by the Victorian Government. Assistance for pilot projects or technology trials is available to both government and industry.
The first tranche of these projects has begun including a trial of BYOD, according to the draft Strategy, which earmarks the development of agency BYOD policies as a future initiative.
Additionally, mobile capability must be considered by agencies even when designing front line information services for non-mobile use. This mandate of the draft Strategy is likely to facilitate the up-take of BYOD throughout government agencies.
A move towards BYOD was also flagged in NSW’s ICT Strategy Implementation Update 2013-14. “The hardware category sub-group of the Procurement and Technical Standards Working Group is developing standards to guide agencies in their approach to options including mobility as a service that will support bring your own device capability,” says the Strategy Implementation Update.
Reusing and sharing solutions when considering new or updated systems is encouraged by the draft Strategy. Joint procurement is also encouraged where no existing solution is deemed suitable.
A single register of current agency systems was created in September 2013. The register will be used to identify “co-design and co-production” opportunities.
Interoperability projects are due to begin by July 2014 according to the Strategy. An analysis of service integration opportunities across agency clusters was completed in December 2013 with the results now available to agencies.
Reuse is a sentiment echoed by the South Australian Government in its ICT Strategy, SA Connected which indicates, “All agencies will demonstrate that genuine effort has been made to identify and use existing solutions before new initiatives are approved.”
The Victorian Government will also look at implementing a range of whole-of-Government systems including document management and customer relationship management.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.