WA govt looks to as-a-service model for IT

State government to embrace cloud services in a big way

Western Australia's government is seeking to shift from its traditional ICT procurement model to a cloud-heavy, as-a-service model.

The program, dubbed GovNext-ICT, is intended to save up to $650 million over 10 years.

"GovNext-ICT is about paying only for what we use, moving away from owning and operating ICT infrastructure, so we can concentrate on delivering the business of government," WA finance minister Bill Marmion said.

Savings of $65 million a year are achievable, the minister said.

So far the state's health, education, corrective services, transport, finance, and attorney-general's department have committed to taking part in the program.

WA Police, Main Roads, and the Public Transport Authority will also be part of GovNext-ICT.

Together, the agencies represent 80 per cent of the state government's ICT spending.

"GovNext-ICT is the most significant government ICT project in WA history," Marmion said.

"It is estimated that if we continue along with the current 'own and operate' model, we will be forced to spend over $3 billion on ICT infrastructure in the next 10 years."

The initiative is being led by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) and the WA Department of Finance.

WA in September appointed its first CIO, Giles Nunis.

The state government earlier this year announced it would appoint a CIO to drive more efficient IT spending.

The WA budget earmarked some $110 million in cuts from the ICT budgets of a range of departments, with the state government looking to put $25 million of the savings into an ICT Renewal and Reform fund.

The Office of the GCIO and the Department of Finance have launched an expressions of interest process for GovNext-ICT.

The EOI is seeking respondents capable of potentially providing the state government with data centre co-location services as part of a data centre consolidation program, multi-tenanted private cloud capability with public cloud integration that can house the government's 18,000+ virtual servers, and a state-wide communication network for government agencies.

The GCIO and finance department are seeking to establish a whole-of-government head agreement, which they envisage would have a five-year term and an optional five-year extension.

"The GovNext-ICT Program will initiate a transformative shift from a ‘commodity based’ purchaser under an ‘owner operator’ infrastructure model to a ‘consumption based’ purchaser under a ‘services’ infrastructure model," the EOI document states.

"It aims to utilise the maturing capability of the private sector to provide flexible cloud-based compute, network and storage infrastructure services that match demand with capacity."

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