NSW tests industry on moving government to the cloud

NSW is about to embark on a pilot of five projects aimed at determining how feasible it is to move its government services to the cloud.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The NSW government has begun to involve the industry in its plans to move services to the cloud, putting out two calls to market today to transition its desktop and messaging services away from its traditional infrastructure.

The NSW Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce revealed on Tuesday that the state government would conduct a trial of five cloud projects. According to a statement by the minister, the five projects will cover email as a service; enterprise resource planning as a service; shared service multi-tenanted email as a service; infrastructure as a service; desktop as a service; and email and collaboration as a service.

Participating government departments already include WorkCover, Fire and Rescue NSW, the Department of Trade and Investment, and Businesslink.

ServiceFirst has issued the two calls to market; the first seeking industry involvement to deliver messaging as a service (MaaS), and the second for desktop as a service (DaaS).

ServiceFirst has defined messaging as both email and calendaring, including address book management, spam and malware filtering, and the necessary identity and access management controls to ensure the services are safe.

Companies responding to the MaaS call to market will be required to provide a proof of concept for about 100 accounts, allowing the NSW government to study the effects of moving to the cloud before possibly moving to a wider deployment. The proof of concept will run for up to three months.

ServiceFirst's DaaS call to market runs for a similar period of time and a similar number of clients, but will look at trialling a "solution that provides end users with access to typically used applications to perform their duties." This will involve supporting a full suite of software, from the base operating system, and typical "office" applications, to multimedia viewers and file compression.

Security is also covered under the DaaS call to market, with responders required to manage patches and updates, anti-malware software, host-based firewalls, end-point security, and encryption.

The proofs of concept for both calls to market will need to be able to scale up for over 30,000 desktops across over 300 sites.

The two tenders represent the latest in a string of announcements from the NSW government over the past few months as it overhauls its IT strategy. At the beginning of the year, it reminded industry of changes to its procurement contracts, splitting them into two tiers and moving to an online application process for all of its contracting arrangements. The new arrangements and contracts come into effect at the end of this month.

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