SA govt to exit hosting services business

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SA govt to exit hosting services business

As part of new IT strategy.

The South Australian government has revealed plans to exit the hosting services business and adopt zero trust principles for its systems and applications as part of a new five-year IT strategy.

The ICT, cyber security and digital government strategy was quietly released by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s ICT and Digital Government (IDG) division earlier this month.

It is the first time the three domains have been lumped together, which is expected to help “ensure IDG is focused on the right priorities”, and comes two years after the state’s last IT roadmap.

The strategy outlines the state’s digital aspirations across three priorities: ‘accessible and inclusive’, ‘collaborative’, ‘secure and trusted’ over the next three and five years.

Under the collaborative priority, the government said it will “exit [the] government hosting services business” by 2023, and instead rely more heavily on external hosting services providers.

That comes ahead of the expiry of the government's hosting services panel in October 2021, which has been replaced by a managed platform services panel that will be used to source public cloud services.

“The SA government acknowledges that private providers are best positioned to offer specific services, such as hosting and cloud-based services,” the 14-page strategy [pdf] states.

“Therefore it is intended that IDG will cease offering hosting services to agencies within the next three years.”

The government will similarly move away from its shared wide area network StateNet and adopt “zero trust network principles for government systems and applications”.

“SA government’s core network, StateNet, has provided significant value over the years, however now is the time to adopt zero trust network principles,” the strategy said.

“This modern approach will not only improve the state’s security posture, it will also make it easier for agencies to adopt cloud-based services so agencies can be more responsive to the needs of their customers.”

The government also plans to “deliver enterprise voice solutions based on agency user personas” to deliver savings by 2023, as well as expand its identity ecosystem beyond government by 2025.

Elsewhere in the strategy, the government has provided additional detail on the new online services portal (SAGOV), which was funded to the tune of $13.4 million in this year’s budget.

The personalised, consent-based portal is expected to become the single entry point for individuals and businesses to access online services by 2023.

By 2025, the government expects a “significant number of citizen and business services” will be delivered through the portal.

Services will adopt a “consistent omnichannel experience” across online channels such as through chatbots or in-person channels.

The government will also introduce a set of platform for surveys, community engagement, forms and other makeshift websites by 2023.

In the cyber security domain, the government hopes SA will become the “cyber state and heart of Australia’s cyber security industry” by 2025, with plans to boost its cyber workforce in the interim.

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