“Cloud computing has huge potential to radically change how public services are delivered” – Howlin
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D., has today published the Government’s Cloud Computing Strategy for the Public Service.
Welcoming the publication Minister Howlin stated “The Government recognises that Cloud Computing has the potential to radically change the nature of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provision in the public service and significantly reduce costs. Accordingly, it is a key element of the strategic future of ICT in the public service. This Strategy, which is based on extensive engagement, research and trials with the industry over the last 2 years, places Cloud Computing at the heart of our ICT Strategy.
The Government also recognises that Cloud Computing is evolving and there are considerable challenges, including pricing, to be dealt with over the coming years. This Strategy sets out a range of measures we wish to implement over time and in a phased manner so that real cost savings can be achieved.
We also want to continue to engage positively with the private sector in the implementation of these measures and ensure that the public service gets best value for money through competition.
We anticipate that the implementation of the measures set out in this Strategy will help us to achieve the following benefits –
• enhanced and more efficient ICT operations in the public service,
• a considerable reduction in the number of computing facilities and data centres that we have to operate and support,
• a reduction in the numbers of people required to operate and manage our ICT environments, and
• an overall reduction in our costs.
Once measures have been proven to deliver real savings they will be mandated across the public service.
We do not have a monopoly on good ideas so any suggestions on how we can improve our Cloud Computing Strategy can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The text of the Cloud Computing Strategy for the Public Service is available here
Notes to Editor
The Cloud Computing Strategy is part of the Government’s overarching approach to using ICT to reform the public service. It follows on from the eGovernment Strategy published in April of this year.
Public Service CIO Council
The Public Service CIO Council was established in November 2011. Full details of the Council and its work is available at http://ciocouncil.gov.ie.
Cloud Computing is a radically new approach to the delivery of ICT services which promises –
• “anywhere” access to shared computing resources;
• “freedom” from capital expenditure on back-end computing equipment and software;
• the ability to provision computing services very quickly and cheaper than traditional models; and
• the ability to pay for such services on some form of metered or per-use basis.
Government’s Cloud Strategy
This Strategy, which is based on extensive engagement, research and trials with the ICT industry over 2 years –
• places Cloud Computing at the heart of our ICT Strategy;
• sets a course for centralising solutions for our common ICT needs and implementing them as a set of shared services;
• commits to reducing the number of our computer and data centres from potentially hundreds to approximately 10 primary facilities;
• aims to use external service providers as much as possible in the fulfilment of this approach;
• aims to maximise competition in the provision of Cloud-based ICT services by establishing multi-vendor procurement frameworks;
• details and timelines lists of ICT activities that we will migrate to Cloud Computing and shared services over a number of phases; and
• highlights our need to consider a new ICT organisational structure and new ICT funding and governance arrangements over time.
Accordingly, it is a significant reform of how we design, develop, procure and operate our ICT environment and services.
It’s important to note that Cloud Computing is evolving and as a consequence there are still considerable challenges relating to security, legalities, jurisdiction, availability, reliability and pricing. Accordingly, we will implement the measures set out in this Strategy over time, as these challenges can be dealt with, and as tangible cost savings can be realised.