The NSW government has come up with a new way to pitch public cloud offerings to its agencies, who might still be wary of sending their data over the open internet.
It has signed Amazon Web Services and Rackspace up to its Cloud Connect program, and is in discussions with other providers to get them on board too.
Under the program, NSW government customers can consume services from AWS or Rackspace through the secure gateway at the state’s purpose built data centres in Silverwater and Unanderra.
The Office of Finance and Services IT strategy chief, William Murphy, explained to the Transitioning to ICT-as-a-Service Summit in Sydney yesterday that “public cloud providers, who are outside our government data centre, can connect securely to that data centre and provide services to agencies from behind our secure perimeter”.
“It's for those people who feel like they have got some particular risk around accessing public cloud through the internet. This way they can access those same services through a secure channel,” he told iTnews.
Murphy explained that a lot of his team’s cloud approach to date has been about making agencies feel authorised to take up cloud options so they can consider them on a “level playing field” with more traditional IT sourcing alternatives.
They have already convinced 65 vendors to sign up to the GovDC cloud marketplace, which means they offer IT services from within the facility itself, to other GovDC tenants. Minister Dominic Perrottet has also announced that ERP-as-a-service products, expense management systems and contingent workforce vendor management systems are the latest additions to the marketplace.
“Essentially what we have done is help people get over barriers to making these clearer and in many cases smarter ICT capability decisions,” Murphy said.
The OFS is also in the midst of designing a refresh of the state’s cloud policy, which is close to being due for review after its first release in September 2013.
He said industry could expect the revised plan in the first half of 2015.
Murphy remained circumspect on whether there would be any material changes to the government’s stance, but indicated that the document would be updated to reflect changes to the state and to the industry in the time that has passed since it took effect.
“When we put that in place there wasn't a lot of cloud business happening in government.
“Well there is now,” Murphy laughed.
“So what we want to do is work with people who have been down that road, learn some lessons and see if we can make that tool more valuable.”