Australian Government looks to certify cloud providers

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Australian Government looks to certify cloud providers

Canberra prepares to embrace cloud computing.

The Australian Government intends to certify cloud computing providers for a whole-of-Government procurement panel to help its agencies mitigate the many risks of migrating workloads to the cloud.

In a wide-reaching draft strategy paper released late Friday, the Department of Finance and Regulation outlined plans to allow agencies to “choose cloud based services if they demonstrate value for money and are adequately secure”.

The document [PDF] laid out a timetable for how Finance would allow agencies to adopt cloud services over the next 12 months. The Department intended to retain a central capacity to approve or deny migration projects according to potential risks and benefits.

“Agencies will be required to notify Finance when considering cloud-based services to inform possible whole of government approaches,” the paper said.

The timetable included in the draft strategy paper included the following goals:

  • By the end of January, the Federal Government intends to establish a working group called the “Cloud Information Community” (CLIC) to develop a governance framework for cloud computing adoption, best practice guides and a service provider certification program.
  • By March 2011, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) will deploy its data.gov.au and govspace.gov.au sites to a public cloud provider as guinea pigs for a future cloud computing procurement panel.
  • By July 2011, the Government intends the CLIC to have established a service provider certification program to approve cloud computing providers aligned with the Government’s approach.
  • By December 2011, the Government intends to set up a whole-of-Government procurement panel for agencies to consume cloud computing services.
  • During the entire 2011 calendar year, AGIMO will also assist those Federal Government agencies with low levels of virtualisation to help them prepare for a future in which cloud computing adoption is an option. By February 2012, the Government intends to have made progress with its whole-of-Government data centre strategy to make this job easier for smaller agencies.
  • The final goal, scheduled for December 2012, is for the Government to develop a web-based “storefront” or service catalogue of pre-approved cloud computing services for Federal Government agencies to choose from.
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