Dept of Climate Change tests waters on IT outsourcing

The department has called for expressions of interest for a managed IT service model encompassing software, platform, infrastructure and desktop services

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is contemplating the move of its entire IT infrastructure to an outsourced managed services model to support existing business applications and websites.

The department handles policy and program implementation for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promotes energy efficiency and adapting to climate change, and contributes to global climate change reform.

The agency has expressed interest in a managed services environment that can manage the operation of business systems and the transition of existing systems from a legacy environment to the new platform.

The hosting environment will include four IT service delivery models – software, platform, infrastructure and desktop services.

“The department is a current user of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint applications,” departmental documents read. “The department is interested in the availability of these applications on a SaaMS [software as a managed service] basis for up to 1000 internal departmental users.”

The platform as a managed service (PaaMS) must have pre-configured server components together with testing environments for the development and deployment of business applications. It will include server and storage services with a ‘per-server, per-month’ billing model.

The infrastructure as a managed service (IaaMS) component must provide access to computing services such as processing, storage and network connections and will be used for specialist and unexpected workloads.

The department will also introduce a virtual desktop infrastructure for a significant portion of the agency which will operate Microsoft Windows 7, Office 2010 and Lync.

“The department is interested in providers who have the capability to take on the virtual desktop infrastructure in addition to the platform hosting services environment if required,” departmental documents read.

“In this case, the platform hosting provider may be asked to take on the ongoing management and operation of the virtual desktop infrastructure.

“Alternatively, the department or its representatives may choose to take on the management and operation of this infrastructure.”

The department runs 20 business applications on approximately 300 virtual servers which handle commercial transactions and require high levels of reliability and availability.

“Organisations dealing with the department expect a high level of assurance that departmental systems will be available when required to lodge registrations and submissions and process high-value transactions in responsive and reliable way,” departmental documents read.

“In the future, the department may be required to support business applications with a considerably higher transaction workload than the current quarterly reporting cycle.

“The department requires a platform hosting services architecture that can scale to meet the potential requirements for high-intensity transactional throughput.”

The department also expects full visibility of the infrastructure from the computing and hardware to the network devices and appliances. However, it must comply with the Australian Government requirements for data handling for National Security Agencies with a protected classification level and privacy markings.

“It is expected that all applications should be migrated from the existing environment to the new platform hosting services solution by the end of January 2013.”

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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