The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is exploring the concept of a federal “app store” of cloud services.
The agency told iTnews that it was considering using an app store to surface services on the government’s upcoming multi-use list (MUL) of Data Centre as a Service (DCaaS) offerings.
That DCaaS work could also be applied to Government MULs for “more general ICT Services”, said John Sheridan, AGIMO’s first assistant secretary of agency services.
Sheridan’s comments came in response to a recent Gartner report that stated that government interest in app stores were a natural fit with the rise of cloud computing.
Gartner analyst Andrea Di Maio recommended app stores as an effective way of balancing the benefits of centralised services and control with freedom of choice for business units and users.
By making government IT offerings transparent, unambiguous and comparable, Di Maio said app stores could reduce procurement times, increase user satisfaction, and reduce costs.
He recommended the use of app stores particularly for highly commoditized IT products and services, including cloud computing, and called for government chief information officers to:
Start developing a government app store as a catalogue to access information about highly commoditized IT products and services that can be purchased without competitive tendering.
Evolve the government app store by adding information about IT products and services resulting from RFIs or RFPs aimed at supporting framework contracts (or blanket purchase agreements).
Evolve the store so it can become an exchange mechanism to allow agencies to share and reuse software solutions, including mechanisms to support trust and version control.
Evolve the store to develop the ability to support software provision, deployment and updates.
Explore evolving the store further by providing RFP templates and other mechanisms to facilitate the procurement of non-commodity services.
Sheridan said the Australian Government would address a number of Gartner recommendations through the DCaaS MUL and budding software sharing service, ‘govshare’.
Govshare was established by AGIMO’s parent Department of Finance and Deregulation and designed to promote sharing of IT artefacts across government and the private sector.
Sheridan said AGIMO was looking to refine its software policies to support govshare, which drew on the US National Information Exchange Model.