The Queensland Government has gone to market for a smaller than expected raft of technology and services to lay the foundation for a centrally managed government-wide data platform, which it hopes will be ready by 2010.
Queensland Govt CTO
The Invitation to Offer (ITO) released late yesterday evening is the first stage in implementing the state's so-called Foundation Infrastructure Project (FIP), which comes under its Technology Transformation Program (TTP) — an ambitious reform agenda hatched in 2006.
The goal of the FIP, headed up by TTP's program director Sharon Valuch, is to establish a centrally managed network, datacentre and services offering, which city-based agencies will have the choice to hang off by 2010. Citec, the state-owned ICT service provider within which the Queensland Government's chief technology office sits, will be critical in rolling out the project.
The government hopes via the ITO to establish a standing offer arrangement, which is expected to commence in October 2009 for a duration of three years with the option of two 12-month extensions.
Services and hardware included in the ITO cover equipment for Queensland's two primary datacentres, network infrastructure, such as ISP and WAN gateways, as well as security management tools.
Servers and storage hardware, however, such as mainframes, super computers, and hardware for regional centres — initially included in the ITO — have been dropped from the tender. This category has been limited to virtualisation software.
"It appears that instead the TTP, and CITEC, will rely on the existing whole-of-government purchasing arrangement (QP707) already in place with Fujitsu, Dell and Data #3 covering HP, IBM and Dell server hardware and services for additional and replacement server technologies," Longhaus principal research analyst Sam Higgins told ZDNet.com.au.
The executive summary of the ITO documents, penned by Queensland's chief technology officer, Bob Gurnett, noted that the scope of the project had been pared back from plans outlined in the Service Delivery and Performance Commission's 2006 review of ICT governance across the Queensland Government.
The plan had been for the project to extend to agencies across the state rather than just the CBD and certain headquarters, but following a Cabinet Budget Review Committee assessment in February last year, the project's timeframe and geographical spread had been reined in.
Gurnett's office will use the standing offer arrangement to facilitate the roll-out of services to come as a result of the FIP deployment, he said.
Longhaus analyst Higgins said the reduced scope of the project would likely make it more manageable for the state; however, he said that positioning Citec as the key service provider and integrator could temporarily see an "EDS effect" take hold within the Queensland Government — a phenomenon which gripped the South Australian Government when it commenced its wholesale outsourcing of infrastructure with EDS in the 1990s.
"I don't expect Queensland will suffer the industry atrophy that South Australia did, but CITEC will become that hub of technology infrastructure activity over the next 24 months," said Higgins.