Australian government cloud services panel sees new additions

​Cloud services provider Bulletproof and Hitachi Data Systems Australia are in the latest list of companies to be added to the Australian Department of Finance's whole-of-government cloud services panel.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Australian government CTO John Sheridan has announced a further five companies that have been added to the Department of Finance's whole-of-government cloud services panel.

In a post on the department's website on Friday, Sheridan revealed the new additions. They are Bulletproof Networks, Hitachi Data Systems Australia, Bang the Table, NTT Com ICT DC Solutions, and Veritec.

The latest additions come as a result of the Abbott government's digital strategy, with the Department of Finance going to tender in September last year for a whole-of-government cloud services panel to provide software, platform, and infrastructure as a service to the government.

"The panel aims to offer agencies scalable and flexible cloud services via industry offerings, and do so in a way that reduces the burden on industry," said Sheridan at the time.

In February, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announced the first 49 companies to be added to the panel. Microsoft, Datacom, IBM Australia, and Macquarie Telecom were among the first to be included.

There were two successive announcements in February, listing other new additions, with Dimension Data Australia, Hypernode, and iiNet among those announced on February 20, while Oakton Services, Technology One, and Dell Australia were among nine new additions named on February 27.

The government had originally expected to finalise the panel at the end of 2014.

The revised cloud policy, which was released in October, stipulates that government agencies must adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data, and delivers value for money.

The move was made after it was revealed that despite the government spending almost AU$6 billion per year on IT, the total procurement of cloud services by federal agencies since mid-2010 came to just AU$4.7 million.

The latest editions come as Acer reveals that the Western Australian Department of Finance has awarded it membership of the new Common Use Arrangement (CUA) Contract for Computing and Mobile Devices.

The CUA is intended to provide an efficient and centralised procurement framework to assist WA agencies to cost effectively acquire their computing and mobile device needs.

Friday also saw the release of the government's Drupal-based Government Content Management System, GovCMS, which is aimed at providing a content management and website hosting solution to Commonwealth entities

"GovCMS will provide entities with the opportunity to create and manage websites, based on best practice and compliant with Australian government standards, including security and accessibility," said Sheridan in September, when it was announced that the website would be implemented in partnership with Acquia.

"I'm pleased to see GovCMS come to fruition from a journey that began with a Feasibility Study in April 2014, which identified GovCMS as an important service offering for Australian government entities," said Sheridan in a statement on Friday. "The GovCMS website provides quick and intuitive access to key information about the full GovCMS offering."

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