Completion of Action Item 4 of Australian Government’s Cloud Policy

Author: 
John Sheridan - CIO & CISO

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Hi,

The Australian Government released a new cloud policy on 8 October which requires government departments and agencies to adopt cloud services where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of government data and delivers value for money.

Action item 4 of the policy requires the Data Centre as a Service (DCaaS) Multi-Use List (MUL) to be reviewed during 2014. The DCaaS MUL was established to provide agencies with a simple way to procure Cloud and Cloud-Like Services. It was a deliverable of the Australian Government Cloud Computing Strategic Direction paper.

The DCaaS MUL review has been completed. It concluded that the establishment of a Cloud Services Panel could address limitations of the DCaaS MUL. A Request for Quote (RFT) for Cloud Services was released on 23 September and closed on 20 October. As the Cloud Services RFT is now under evaluation, I can release the review’s recommendations.

The review examined the performance of the DCaaS MUL with regards to its objectives and goals, operational processes and benefits to Government. The review determined that the DCaaS MUL had achieved the majority of its objectives:

No. Objectives Assessment
1. Flexibility New services and suppliers were added to the MUL through seven tranches of application. The DCaaS MUL currently consists of 103 suppliers with 1592 services.
2. Agility A standard, relatively short, head agreement (signed once upon joining the arrangement) and template quotations, responses and work orders were used to increase the speed of procurement. As of 31 October 2014, 39 work orders have been signed with a total executed value of $1.78 million (inc. GST).
3. Balanced Risk Risks associated with using the DCaaS MUL are low as the services are limited to under $80 000 (inc. GST) and contract terms are no longer than 12 months.
4. Pre-Qualification All suppliers on the DCaaS MUL underwent simplified financial checking procedures and provided verifiable references. Entities would like to see further pre-qualification, particularly with regards to security.
5. Ease of comparison There are over one thousand services available on the DCaaS MUL presented in a spreadsheet format. This makes it difficult for entities to navigate and find the types of services they require.

A number of lessons learnt were identified. These have assisted Finance in improving its approach to Cloud procurement arrangements, including:

  • Establishing a panel instead of a multi-use list which will remove the restriction of contract term and value currently in place under the DCaaS MUL,
  • Assisting entities in understanding how to use the procurement arrangement, and
  • The provision of a service catalogue tool that will assist entities in finding cloud services that meet their requirements.

The evaluation of responses to the Cloud Services RFT is progressing and it is anticipated that the new Cloud Services Panel will be established in January 2015.

John

Last updated: 24 January 2018