The Digital Transformation Agency is on a mission to uncover the barriers to cloud adoption in the federal government, and will use its newfound procurement remit to think up ways to compel tentative agencies to consider alternative ways of sourcing IT.
The rebadged agency has recently welcomed new colleagues from the Department of Finance - many of whom are alumni of its predecessor AGIMO - and is starting to rework the government’s cloud computing strategy.
One of the new additions, ICT policy director Andrew McGalliard, has been charged with building “the evidence base” to sell cloud solutions to Canberra.
He said his team has already started speaking with stakeholders to “identify the key outcomes, services and features government needs from cloud”.
“We’ll find out what isn’t working and what are the perceived barriers to cloud, which will help shape strategy," McGalliard wrote.
Many of the DTA’s Finance inductees will have already seen the federal government’s approach to cloud computing take a number of forms.
Its first cloud strategy encouraged agencies to dip their toes in the water by pushing websites and other public-facing systems to external hosting.
Then, in late 2014, the Coalition brought in a “cloud first” mandate which demanded agencies “adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money”.
But the DTA’s comments suggest it may now be looking for a slightly more nuanced approach.
“It won’t be a case of one-size fits all,” McGalliard said.
“Many government systems use bespoke solutions which agencies have maintained and developed for many years.
“The strategy will make it easier for agencies to decide when to adopt cloud and what combination of cloud and traditional ICT best meet their business requirements.”
The campaign will be buoyed by the Australian Signals Directorate’s recent certification of the first cloud services deemed secure enough to store Commonwealth classified information.
“When complete, the strategy will provide opportunities for increased whole-of-government adoption of cloud technologies and reassure agencies that cloud services are robust, reliable and secure,” McGalliard said.
The new-look federal government cloud computing strategy is due out later this year.