Fed's shared services successor in protected cloud build

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Fed's shared services successor in protected cloud build

FORTRESS gets an upgrade.

One of the successors to the federal government’s former Shared Services Centre is set to build a protected-level cloud environment for securely sharing sensitive documents between agencies.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business (DJSB) unveiled the plans for what will be a Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure based solution in a brief on the digital marketplace earlier this month.

The new environment will replace FORTRESS, a hangover from the then-Shared Service Centre, which had its functions carved up and reassigned following a machinery of government change in December 2016.

The protected-level system for the creation, storage and management of documents and emails is currently used by more than 2000 clients from 18 agencies, including the portfolio agencies from the DJSB and Department of Education and Training.

But with demand continuing to grow for FORTRESS, the department can no longer “justify the cost and effort of maintain a secure, protected level IT environment”.

“The technical environment has reached end of life and is approaching capacity limits, outgrowing the original design,” it said in a brief on the digital marketplace.

“With the heightened focus on security it is also likely that further client agencies will consider taking advantage of this service for their protected service needs in future.”

After receiving advice that the system should move to a Software-as-a-Service model, the department is calling for assistance designing and building the protected-level environment, which will be accredited by IRAP.

“The proposed solution will be build using the Citrix Cloud, Microsoft Azure IAAS (VDI, DP Content Manager, SQL, supporting services), and Office 365 technologies, using the department’s Secure Internet Gateway,” the brief states.

The new system will allow staff to share “sensitive documents through departmental and non-departmental IT systems to executives and parliament, in an accessible and highly secure environment”.

The chosen supplier will also be expected to supply the migration roadmap from the existing service.

Work is expected to get underway next month and continue until July, during which time testing and a possible limited pilot will be conducted.

However “migration services will be excluded from scope for this financial year due to a predicted election period”.

It is anticipated the build will cost between $500,000 and $1 million.

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