blog It’s not often that Delimiter covers news from across the ditch, but given the current debate about the uptake of cloud computing in Australia, I thought this one worth mentioning. The country’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service. The full media release (and there’s more information here)
A new all-of-government office productivity software service will help agencies streamline their support systems as they focus on transforming their customer services, says Government Chief Information Officer, Colin MacDonald.
The contract for Office Productivity as a Service (OPaaS) has been awarded to New Zealand company Datacom which will initially supply email and calendar services, including archiving and data loss prevention, to government agencies. Other services to be rolled out include file-sharing, mobility services, instant messaging and collaboration services.
“OPaaS is the third building block in a suite of services designed to standardise and simplify ICT management in government agencies, help them work together, and make them more efficient and effective,” he says.
“OPaaS will be hosted in the cloud so agencies will always have access to the newest and most secure software without the need to manage these applications themselves. Agencies only pay for what they need, when they need it, without the need to own and maintain their own infrastructure. This saves money and frees agencies up to focus on creating the services customers want and expect,” Mr MacDonald says.
The new service complements two recently released cloud products, Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Enterprise Content Management as a Service (ECMS). Mr MacDonald says the products are significant steps in improving and simplifying the government’s approach to ICT management within agencies, in line with the goals of the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 announced a year ago.
“This is all part of the government’s drive to achieve ICT-enabled better public services.” Internal Affairs worked with Department of Conservation, NZ Transport Agency, NZ Qualifications Authority and Ministry for Primary Industries to develop the OPaaS offering.
The news is interesting in the Australian context because, despite the fact that our State Governments are pushing hard into cloud computing, along very similar lines as in New Zealand, we haven’t really seen the same strong push in the Federal Government. The most recent move in this space in Canberra has been the GovCMS cloud computing initiative for government websites.