SA govt to replace two expiring IT support deals with new panel

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SA govt to replace two expiring IT support deals with new panel

Adds public cloud support as agency adoption accelerates.

The SA government is planning to replace two expiring IT support arrangements with a new consolidated panel arrangement that will support public cloud services for the very first time.

After reviewing the government’s server management needs earlier this year, the state’s strategic procurement branch has put out the call for a managed platform services panel.

The panel will replace the state’s decade-long Distributed Computing Support Services and Hosting Services Panel arrangements, which will expire in June 2020 and October 2021.

The move follows the revelation earlier this week that the scope of the SA government’s end user computing outsourcing deal with DXC had been radically altered in light of projected budget blowouts.

The DCSS contract with DXC and NEC, which was initially signed in 2007, provides agencies with the day-to-day management and support of state-owned physical service equipment.

The most recent incarnation of the mandatory deal was established in July 2014, with the government estimating that $267.5 million would be spent over the life of the six-year deal.

The $65 million HSP arrangement, on the other hand, was introduced in 2008 for agencies to procure hosted services, including PaaS and IaaS services, from 15 suppliers.

The strategic procurement branch said the new panel would fill a gap in the government’s procurement toolbox by offering hyperscale cloud services to agencies for the first time.

“Agencies are progressively investigating and/or moving to small private cloud offerings, or more commonly, hyperscale cloud platform such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud,” documents state.

“However, while private cloud solutions are available in HSP, there is currently no centralised approach to purchasing hyperscale cloud services or third party management of such services.”

The government has taken the swing behind cloud service into account with other recent IT contracts, including its newly re-signed government-wide mainframe outsourcing deal with DXC.

Unlike the two previous arraignments, the new panel will support the convergence of technologies by covering “requirements for data processing and storage across various platforms and configurations”.

This includes “state-owned and supplier-owned servers, physical, virtual and cloud, managed and unmanaged hosting”, suggesting a greater number of suppliers will be appointed to the panel.

The panel will be separated into four service categories: state server management, hosted server management; unmanaged co-location hosted services and hyperscale cloud management.

Agencies will be required to purchase services through the panel, though some services relating to state server management and hosted server management are optional.

The strategic procurement branch said the “fit-for-purpose, flexible arrangement” would address the state capitalise on the “convergence of technologies”, as agencies increasingly to the cloud.

Up to five suppliers are expected to be appointed to the state server management category, while an “appropriate number” will be appointed to the other categories, informed by the evaluation of offers.

The contract will run for up to six years.

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