13 agencies, 30,000 users poised for desktop-as-a-service in New Zealand

Initial costs won’t be much lower but agencies will benefit over time, Government chief information officer says.
Written by Rob O'Neill, Contributor on

New Zealand’s all-of-government approach to ICT procurement is starting to deliver, with five agencies poised to shift their internal desktops onto new shared services.

Other cloud products being readied for launch, as reported by ZDNet last month, include a document and records management service and an office productivity service that will standardise the approach to email and calendars.

Updated guidelines for the implementation of cloud services by government agencies, guidelines which may open the door to overseas cloud providers for some applications, are also expected.

Five agencies are ready to take up desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) as soon as the service is available, Government Chief Information Officer Colin MacDonald said. Eight more agencies and Crown entities are close behind.

Together that will amount to more than 30,000 computers using the new service.

The new all-of-government desktop computer service will make workplaces more flexible and help agencies work together more closely to deliver better public services, he said.

Contracts for the DaaS service were awarded to New Zealand company Datacom, and global suppliers Dimension Data and Fujitsu. Telecom New Zealand may also be in the running to supply virtual desktops.

 “This means agencies don’t have to buy, build, install and operate computer hardware and software,” MacDonald said. “Instead they can purchase it as a service and access it through the internet, paying only for what they use, like a utility. Agencies can scale up or down as it suits them.”

Initial purchase prices may be similar to current costs, but agencies will not need to go to tender and will benefit over time from economies of scale achieved by volume discounts.

“Agencies can focus on creating more services that customers want and expect, rather than having to worry about owning, operating and maintaining large amounts of ICT infrastructure, ” MacDonald said.

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