The Federal Government is proposing to scale up its use of cloud services under a strategy that appears aimed at axing further IT costs out from the public sector.
The National Cloud Computing Strategy, launched by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy at the CeBIT conference today, promotes the "informed" adoption of public cloud as a way to improve service delivery and lower costs.
The potential for cloud to lower costs is mentioned 17 times across the strategy's 36 pages.
"The adoption of cloud services can assist agencies to reduce costs and improve their service delivery," the strategy notes.
"Agencies can leverage their purchasing power to drive common standards and achieve secure cloud service solutions at a lower cost."
The strategy provides a loose commitment to "ensure that government agencies are required to consider public cloud services for new ICT procurements".
"Government agencies will choose cloud services, where the service represents the best value for money and adequate management of risk, compared to other available options," the strategy states.
The Department of Finance and the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) have been tasked with drafting "guidance" on this by the "end of 2013".
Long-term, the Government is also keen to test whether it should become an operator of private cloud services in its own right.
"There may also be some opportunities for whole-of-government clouds to improve the efficiency of government," the strategy notes.
"By early 2014, AGIMO will explore the feasibility of the development of a government cloud in order to analyse the benefits and drawbacks of a more centralised approach to the provision of cloud services to government agencies."
Additional reporting by Ry Crozier.