NSW Govt prepares SaaS panel contract

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NSW Govt prepares SaaS panel contract

To support cloud deals from February.

The NSW Government will extend its ICT procurement framework to cover software-as-a-service from next February to meet agencies' demand for cloud computing.

NSW Department of Finance and Services’ principal solicitor Larry Noble told industry today that it had begun writing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) module for the Procure IT framework.

State government organisations are currently required to comply with Procure IT version 3 in their ICT supplier contracts. The framework includes 16 modules with specific requirements for products and services such as software, hardware, hosting and training.

Modules support a range of IT supplier panels. Noble said the NSW Government would look to introduce a SaaS panel in due course.

“There is already demand for that [SaaS] module,” Noble told iTnews at a Norton Rose seminar, highlighting “three or four” agencies that had already approached the market for SaaS.

“Because [agencies] have to use Procure IT, they wouldn’t have been able to enter into software-as-a-service agreements without the consent of the [State Contracts Control] Board.”

Earlier this year, NSW Trade and Investment inked a $14.5 million contract to consume finance, human resources and payroll software from a hosted SAP environment.

A Trade and Investment spokesperson told iTnews today that it was on track to move nine of its member agencies to the hosted environment this month, with the remaining seven to follow in June.

"NSW Trade & Investment was granted approval in April 2012 by NSW Procurement and the State Contracts Control Board to release a Request for Tender for an ERP solution delivered under a software-as-a-service arrangement," he said.

"This approval was granted given the absence of existing State Government contracts and panels for SaaS, and the ProcureIT SaaS module which was pending release."

The NSW Government has been developing a whole-of-government catalogue of applications, devices, IT infrastructure, platforms and software as a service under its three-year ICT Strategy 2012.

The Department of Finance plans to develop and implement policies to support the catalogue – including policy frameworks for public cloud offerings – by mid-2013.

Noble said development of the SaaS module required a great deal of research into the pros and cons of the delivery model and how such a contract might be administered.

The Government plans to start work on infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service modules after introducing the SaaS module in February.

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