Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has officially kicked off the Government’s first cloud services panel, appointing 49 successful vendors in the initial two tranches.
Agencies will not be forced to buy from the scheme - as is the case of a number of other IT procurement panels - but will be encouraged to look upon the list as a way to get into the cloud market in partnership with government-endorsed sellers.
The panel takes in software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and other specialist associated tasks like optimisation and systems integration.
It will replace the Department of Finance’s first experiment in the cloud procurement space, the data centre-as-a-service multi-use list, which was limited to purchases under $80,000 and for terms of less than 12 months.
The DCaaS list currently includes 103 vendors - the majority which have not made it over to the first or second tranche of cloud panellists. DCaaS will officially expire in October this year.
Those that have made the initial list span the breadth of the industry, from tech giants like IBM, Microsoft and Indian outsourcer HCL, to smaller market players like cloud consultant Doll Martin Associates, plus Google Apps reseller Dialog.
Agency buyers will be able to search a cloud service catalogue to navigate what is available through the panel and request quotes through an ICT procurement portal. the portal will be opened in early March 2015.
Cormann said the panel would enable the Government to "deliver services more efficiently, as well as provide services that are more responsive to business and community needs”.
It has an initial two year term, with options to extend for a further four years.
The announcement follows the Government’s push into a ‘cloud-first' approach, which demands that agencies “must adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money”.