Fed Govt steps up on shared cloud plan

The Federal Government has proposed advancing its shared cloud strategy for government agencies, unveiling a draft strategy for a "community cloud".

The Federal Government has proposed advancing its shared cloud strategy for government agencies, unveiling a draft strategy for a "community cloud".

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) described the community cloud as "cloud-computing services shared by several organisations that have shared requirements (eg, mission, security requirements, policy and compliance considerations)". Agencies that provide similar services to the community would be the likely candidates for community cloud services, it said.

AGIMO first assistant secretary Glenn Archer yesterday published a draft guide that he said will provide guidance to government agencies on how to structure and govern community clouds.

The office recommends that when agencies team up to establish a community cloud, there should be a formalised agreement that lists the terms and conditions governing how agencies can participate. There should also be a lead agency for the community cloud, and the "cross-agency agreement" should contain all of the relevant information about security, standards and compliance measures for the community cloud.

The merger of the Child Support Agency, Medicare Australia and Centrelink into the massive Department of Human Services (DHS) was the first test of the government's dip into shared infrastructure for agencies. Former DHS CIO John Wadeson said last year that he didn't believe the model could be extended to agencies that don't perform similar functions to each other. This sentiment was echoed by his successor Gary Sterrenberg earlier this year, in an interview with ZDNet Australia.

AGIMO has called for feedback on the draft guide, and will accept comments until 8 June.

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