Cloud talks underway in NSW


Discussions between the NSW Government and Australia’s major cloud providers are currently underway to ensure the State has a clear idea of what the market has to offer, before it proceeds with a pilot of a private government cloud solution.

“We cannot go into this strategy with our eyes closed,” Acting Executive Director, ICT Strategic Delivery from the NSW Department of Finance and Services (DFS), Dr Pedro Harris, told delegates at a Sydney AIIA forum earlier this month.

“What I want to achieve is an understanding of the different offerings available to us as well as an understanding of the different strategies...if one provider doesn’t suit the next one might,” he said.

The informal program of engagement started with members of State Contract 2846 (for servers and storage technology) but quickly expanded as other vendors received news of what the Government was planning.

“I think we have picked up most of the main providers. I think I would have spoken to just about every provider on every table in the room here.

 “A lot of providers got wind of our private cloud plans through the ICT strategy, so they made contact with us and as they made contact we spoke to them. Referrals also came through William’s area [Murphy - Executive Director of ICT Policy at the DFS], through the Minister, through the AIIA.

“We haven’t actually gone through a tender or any public process, it has all been through internal mechanisms and through events such as these,”  he said, adding that anyone who hadn’t yet consulted with the Government on this matter should meet him and get a business card.

The NSW Government’s ICT Strategy, released in May this year, sets out a timeline for a whole-of-government migration to a private cloud environment by 2015. A pilot cloud offering is due to commence this quarter.

According to comments made by the Finance and Services Minister in October this year, a NSW Government cloud policy should currently be under consideration.

“This will support agencies in making the transition to cloud-based solutions and will provide clarity for industry around our needs.

“Coming soon is the establishment of a pilot private cloud offering for the government. We’ve begun scoping the works for this and we will inform industry of the progress in coming weeks,” said
Minister Greg Pearce.

Pearce also told The Australian that the Government was working to identify an “appropriate range” of cloud solutions that had the potential to be deployed at a whole-of-government level for the use of NSW agencies, with work to be done by early 2013.

The DFS is currently looking to permanently fill the Executive Director, ICT Strategic Delivery role currently being filled by Mr Harris, with applications via the Jobs.nsw website closing this week.

Related Articles:

Federal Government straps on its cloud computing training wheels

NSW Budget 2011: ICT plays a central role at the central agency - Finance and Services

ICT Strategy: Transport’s cloud champion to join NSW Strategy team

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