blog Those of you who followed the Commission of Audit release several weeks ago would be aware that one of the key recommendations in terms of the Federal Government’s technology infrastructure was that it establish a ‘cloud-first’ procurement policy. Yesterday the Department of Finance took its first step towards implementing that policy, opening a survey which will canvass cloud vendors’ views on the issue. Finance Assistant Secretary Mundi Tomlinson writes on the Department’s blog:
“As part of the consultation process a Cloud Procurement Working Group has been established to consult agency representatives regarding their requirements for cloud services.
In order to achieve a balanced view of what the market can offer, I am seeking input from cloud service providers by inviting you to complete the survey at the link below by AEST 5.00 pm 28 May.
Finance intends to invite interested cloud computing providers for face to face discussions in the near future. The providers will be selected from a mixture of small, medium and large companies and the discussion will focus on issues relevant to the requirements of the Cloud Panel. Interested providers can indicate their willingness to participate in these discussions in the survey.”
What’s not precisely clear at this point is how this new panel will differ from the old one, or how the new ‘cloud-first’ policy will differ from the old one. Seasoned watchers of the Federal Government will recall that the Government had already established a cloud computing panel back in October 2012. In addition, various politicians, including then-Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, had already proclaimed a ‘cloud-first’ policy for the Government, back in May 2013.
Although the Federal Government is indeed pushing heavily into cloud computing solutions in some areas (such as in public-facing websites), and while there have indeed been small examples of cloud computing deployments at some agencies, in general Canberra remains a broadly cloud-free zone, with most IT projects being squarely along traditional lines. One wonder what, if anything, the shiny new policies will make, given that they would seem to be modelled precisely on the ineffective old ones.