The Queensland government expects to start fielding expressions of interest from infrastructure-as-a-service providers within the fortnight, ahead of the formal establishment of a cloud services procurement panel.
Full submissions from interested vendors are likely to be due before January 13 2014.
The panel’s scope will focus on public cloud services up to the operating system layer, with additional managed services considered optional. Vendors will need to deliver virtual machine (VM) compute, storage and network capacity services.
Provision will take place according to “a self-managed delivery model where the provider is required to provide a fully operational infrastructure environment into which the eligible customer can deploy business applications,” explained a pre-tender notice.
Services will need to adhere to the definition of ‘cloud computing’ developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US.
The panel, which will be under the management of the Department of Science, IT, Innovation of the Arts (DSITIA) but open to use by all other Queensland agencies, will offer government bodies a pre-qualified list of trusted vendors they can consult ahead of the cloud transformations demanded by the state’s cloud-first policy.
It is the government’s third approach to market to realise its “ICT-as-a-service” vision, having already taken bids from small circles of hand-picked cloud email providers, divided into offshore and onshore categories.
In unison with a program of ICT asset and service privatisation, the government is looking to ramp up the adoption of cost efficient external services in an effort to “significantly reduce” its $1.6 billion annual spend on technology.
Agencies will be expected to submit plans and timeframes outlining their own transition from owned and operated assets to an ICT-as-a-service environment by March 2014.
DSITIA will release further cloud guidance for the use of agencies later this month, including a formal stance on the circumstances under which government entities will and won’t be permitted to host information offshore.