The New South Wales government has launched a new strategy that will require all agencies to use public cloud services by default, in a bid to modernise service delivery and achieve better outcomes for the public.
The strategy will call on agencies to have the highest security, privacy and contractual safeguards when going to market for computing services, according to customer service minister Victor Dominello.
“Our Cloud Strategy puts in place the strongest security, privacy and procurement foundations to ensure the public sector follows best practice when buying and managing cloud services,” he said on Friday.
“It is a move that will accelerate innovation, modernise service delivery and create better outcomes for the citizens of NSW. A modern and reliable Cloud Strategy and Cloud Policy will enable government-wide adoption of public cloud services in a united and secure manner.”
The cloud refers to the on-demand consumption of computing services and resources, such as servers and storage, over the internet. While public clouds are owned and operated by third party cloud service providers, private cloud offerings refer to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single organisation, with services and infrastructure maintained on a private network.
NSW government agencies currently consume private cloud services through the NSW Government Data Centres (GovDC). Under the new policy, all state government agencies must make use of public cloud services as the default, but will be permitted to use private cloud services through GovDC where public cloud services aren’t suitable.
The state government has argued that using public cloud services as the default has many benefits, such as eliminating dependency on end-of-life infrastructure, provisioning services to scale in line with growing and changing citizen needs, and ensuring the availability and reliability of ICT services to maintain public trust in government.
The strategy aims for all state government agencies to be using public cloud for a minimum of 25% of their ICT services by 2023, with a 25% reduction on ICT infrastructure procured by agencies with capital expenditure.
It addresses key challenges across the four themes of procurement, security, funding and talent over the next three years, and has several key parts:
- Government-wide adoption to be achieved by developing the supporting mechanisms to enable all agencies to consume cloud.
- Agencies will build and operate their ICT using industry-leading public cloud services to remove the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing ICT while utilising innovative services from industry.
- Achieve alignment across the NSW government by using a consistent set of cloud design and architecture principles, the NSW Government Cloud Policy, and the NSW Government Cloud Adoption Framework to make the best use of cloud services.
- Agencies will secure and protect citizen data by applying appropriate security controls.
- Drive better outcomes for the public by using public cloud services to accelerate digital service delivery to meet the growing and changing needs of the people.
The strategy will be overseen by the NSW government ICT and Digital Leadership Group, and is part of the state’s broader digital transformation program.