Department of Defence CIO Dr Peter Lawrence told CeBIT Australia in Sydney on Tuesday that his department is updating its cloud strategy, calling it part of a larger suite that drives the department's decision making.
"We've been using cloud services for a few years now," he explained. "We're updating it with large partners and large organisations."
The last time the department wrote a cloud strategy was back in 2014, and Lawrence believes any cloud strategy needs to address current business needs.
"Your cloud strategy should be part of your overall strategy as just one of the options you can employ to be able to deliver the outcomes you need," he said.
"I think you have to look at the whole business environment that you operate in, as we become more data-driven, as we become more adaptable, more agile with the environment that you operate in, you've got to ask yourself how that translates into the services within the organisation -- traditional ways of delivering services won't do that."
With an influx of data now held within all organisations, Lawrence said it's important to think about how to handle it in different ways, but not neglect delivery models or cost structures.
"The world I'm from, cloud is one of those options," he said.
"It's one of our drivers, it certainly helps me in the context of I know where the data is and I can understand it's secure, it's managed appropriately, it's in an environment where I actually can ensure what's happening.
"We are tasked with a mission from government and our challenge is how do we enable that in the most appropriate way? Cloud is part of that solution."
The Department of Defence is one of the largest consumers of IT in Australia, and is also the government department containing the most private and classified information.
"We sometimes get locked up into classifications, some of which absolutely should be classified," Lawrence explained.
"We are having discussions around what are appropriate levels of classification which we hold things."
While tight-lipped on the specifics, he said such discussions are focused on making it easier for defence to engage with industry and other government departments.