NSW Finance scopes private cloud pilot

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NSW Finance scopes private cloud pilot

ICT strategy implementation on track, industry hears.

The NSW Department of Finance and Services has set its sights on non-sensitive data for a private cloud pilot expected to launch by the year’s end.

Finance Minister Greg Pearce today told industry members that the State Government had begun scoping out the project and would release details of its plan in weeks.

The pilot would be led by Pearce’s department under the state’s three-year ICT strategy, unveiled in May.

Pearce said today that the Government was looking to establish a private cloud in areas where it would not “get bogged down in issues” like data ownership and security.

Agencies were due to move to Finance’s private cloud environment from mid-2013 but Pearce would not identify any involved.

“We’re looking at a pilot government cloud project,” he said. “We’ve begun scoping of works for this and will inform industry of progress in coming weeks.”

The private cloud pilot was to be built on the NSW Government’s data centre consolidation project and supported by a whole-of-government ICT security policy.

Don’t miss iTnews’ Data Centre Strategy Summit on February 11-13, 2013 at the Royal Pines, Gold Coast.

The latter was currently awaiting the approval of the NSW Government ICT Board of departmental directors-general.

In its strategy document earlier this year, the State Government described the private cloud as a first step towards “possible migration to the public cloud as these service offerings mature”.

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the State Government was working to attract new ICT investments, highlighting public cloud provider Rackspace’s recent decision to establish its first Australian data centre in Erskine Park.

When Rackspace announced its data centre plans in August, Stoner said that he was not aware of any NSW agencies that planned to take up Rackspace offerings.

Stoner said today that reforms put in place by the ICT strategy would allow agencies to take up cost-effective offerings from “Rackspace or any other business”.

“It’s why our procurement strategy for ICT has been reformed,” he said.

“Whether it’s cloud or particular applications, we want to open it up and drive competition and benefits for the end-users as well as the taxpayers.”

Today’s Ministerial ICT Forum was held in a crowded Parliament House theatre and attended by the likes of IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Optus, HP and Apple.

It was the State Government’s second major industry consultation session for its ICT Strategy. Government CIO Michael Coutts-Trotter said the number of forum participants had nearly doubled since last year’s meeting.

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