DTA moves to replace $130 million-plus cloud services panel

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DTA moves to replace $130 million-plus cloud services panel

Opens tenders for new cloud marketplace.

The Digital Transformation Agency has moved to replace the whole-of-government cloud services panel after initially delaying the procurement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency on Thursday approached the market to fill its proposed cloud marketplace panel, which is now expected to launch in early 2021.

The panel was initially slated to launch by July 2020, but was pushed back to “late 2021” in February after feedback from the market.

In delaying the launch, the DTA extended the cloud services panel, which was established by the Department of Finance more than five years ago, until March 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic has also had a toll on the project, with the DTA further delaying the procurement in the wake of “unprecedented disruptions”.

The new cloud marketplace, which is anticipated to better suit industry trends and changing buyer needs, will offer cloud services - any ICT functionality offered ‘as a service’ - and cloud consulting.

This is a significant departure from the former panel, which is still based on the 2011 NIST definition of “what a cloud service should be in the context of the traditional as-a-service offering”.

“The DTA aims to establish a sourcing arrangement that is user friendly, efficient, and responsive to the Australian Government’s investment in and commitment to simple, clear and fast processes for ... agencies to buy cloud offerings,” the DTA said in the request for tender.

Panelists will be able to offer up to 25 cloud services through the marketplace, unless otherwise agreed to by the DTA.

These offerings - the cost of which will be capped for the term of the head agreement established - will be available to federal, state and territory governments, as well as some universities.

Existing panelists on the cloud service panel will need to recompete for a place on the new panel. Like the cloud services panel, there will be periodic refreshes of the arrangement.

In order to host data that is not available publicly, prospective cloud providers will be required to undertake the usual assessments and gain unclassified DLM and protected certification.

They will also need to prove that their cloud service is hosted in a data centre - or third-party data centre - located in Australia.

Prospective panelists will need to submit tenders to the DTA’s new digital tendering platform by June 25. 

The cloud marketplace will commence in early 2021 and run for up to five years.

As at October 2019, more than $130 million worth of government cloud contracts had been agreed through the cloud services panel over five years.

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