NSW govt goes 'public cloud by default'

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NSW govt goes 'public cloud by default'

Reveals new policy position for all IT procurements.

NSW agencies will be expected to adopt a “public cloud by default” approach for all future IT procurements under a shake-up of the state government's cloud policy.

Customer service minister Victor Dominello revealed the change late on Friday as part of a new cloud strategy aimed at accelerating public and private cloud adoption.

It comes just months after the government established a whole-of-government sourcing agreement to help agencies consume Vault Cloud and Amazon Web Services cloud services.

The government has not updated its cloud policy since 2018. It has required agencies to evaluate cloud-based services for new procurements since introducing a cloud policy in 2013.

Dominello said the strategy and policy will “embed a ‘public cloud by default’ principle across all ICT procurement decisions” to boost the adoption of cloud in a “united and secure manner.”

The policy [pdf] indicates that this applies to "new agency ICT services and the material replacement or renewal of any existing services, platforms, and infrastructure".

Where public cloud is not suitable for agency requirements, private cloud services through GovDC can be used by "exception", though agencies will be required to request this.

All agencies will be expected to develop their own cloud strategies and transition plans and submit them to the government's ICT and digital leadership group by July 2021.

Some central agencies like Service NSW have already indicated their intention to shift as many of their on-premises workloads into the public cloud as possible.

The government expects all government agencies will be using public cloud "for a minimum 25 percent of their ICT services" by 2023, according to the strategy [pdf].

Dominello said the documents will also require agencies to “have the highest security, privacy and contractual safeguards when going to market” in line with the cyber security policy.

“Our cloud strategy puts in place the strongest security, privacy and procurement foundations to ensure the public sector follows best practice when buying and managing cloud services,” he said.

“It is a move that will accelerate innovation, modernise service delivery and create better outcomes for the citizens of NSW.”

In June, the Department of Customer Services struck a government-wide Cloud Purchasing Arrangements (CPA) contract with Vault Cloud to improve access to its secure cloud services.

A government-wide contract with AWS followed shortly after, with agencies able to procure cloud services via the Digital Transformation Agency’s federal sourcing deal. 

Updated at 6:02pm to include additional information from policy documents

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