The plan follows the announcement of the federal Australian Commission of Audit’s mandatory “cloud first” policy. The state Independent Commission of Audit and Queensland Government ICT Audit had similar findings to the federal guidelines which recommended using cloud services to save money. Going forward, Queensland agencies will need to justify non-cloud IT spending.
Just a few weeks ago the national Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ZDNet that cloud would be a priority after the 2014-2015 budget. The federal government also announced it would not replace the Australian Government CIO after Glenn Archer left. Instead, Rosemary Deininger, first assistant secretary of the new Efficiency, Assurance and Digital government cluster division will take on the former CIO responsibilities. It’s unclear whether this might be hindering federal efforts to move forward with “cloud first”, lagging behind state counterparts.
Ian Walker, the Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts for Queensland said in a media statement, “The Strategy and Implementation Model is an update to the Queensland Government’s ICT Strategy and is critical to progress our ICT as a service policy, allowing us to only pay for what we use. We’ve seen this in action through initiatives such as the recent ‘cloud ready’ Microsoft deal that will save the government $13.7 million.”
Queensland is ahead of the national initiative for “cloud first”, implementing now rather than waiting until the 2014-2015 budget as the federal government suggested.
“The Queensland Government’s adoption of cloud-based services will enable it to transition from mainly internal, high-cost customised ICT applications and solutions to lower-cost, standard, interchangeable services where quality improvements and cost reductions are driven by highly-competitive market forces,” according to the Cloud Computing Implementation Model document (PDF). “Simultaneously, cloud services present the opportunity to reduce vendor lock-in, enable self-service and accelerate innovation and productivity in the delivery of contemporary public services to Queensland’s citizens.”