Will 2017 be an inflection point for the Australian Government’s digital transformation?

October 31 2017, by Aidan Tudehope | Category: Government

Recently I pondered whether 2017 would be remembered as the Australian Government’s inflection-point year for digital transformation and cyber security.

As I mulled this over it became clear that this year may indeed be the inflection point – a year in which the cloud stopped being a confusing fog, and a critical mass of agencies began to move serious workloads and applications to cloud environments.

A year when the essential policy pillars were put in place, and when demand and supply of cloud services fell into alignment.

Crucially, as agencies have begun to make the transition, the Digital Transformation Agency has been articulating the shape of sustainable, competitive supply markets for Government cloud services.

The Government is acutely aware cloud services are an enabler of digital transformation far beyond simple technology transitions.

Those guiding the transformation – from Ministerial level to policy makers – understand that this is a once in a decade opportunity to inject a new level of competitive tension into government purchasing frameworks, with service and price improvements expected to flow.

On the flip-side of these new procurement models, a competitive market will also drive huge opportunities for Australian businesses – especially for those providers who have the ability and inclination to innovate and respond to the particular needs of departments and agencies.

Global providers by design are not the be-all-and-end-all for Government

The Australian Government has recognised ICT procurement has favoured big, typically global providers who have done little to bring innovation to Canberra.

That’s not surprising. Global providers are geared for global markets where standardisation, repeatability and economies of scale are the order of the day. By their very size, business model and global focus, global providers will continue to struggle with Australian Government nuances and requirements.

Moving from legacy ICT to cloud offers a great opportunity to break the current procurement mold.

The Digital Transformation Agency has described its vision for a competitive, evolving and innovative cloud market, where agencies and departments can procure from three provider types:

  • Hyper providers – offering one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf services designed to meet mass market needs
  • Scale providers – big enough to offer deep security, guaranteed uptime, and the highest performance levels, while also able to respond to the unique needs of agencies
  • Micro or niche providers – providing small-scale, bespoke and specialised services

It seems a great time for a pertinent plug – Macquarie Government is the only ASD-certified scale provider for classified PROTECTED and Unclassified/UDLM workloads and data.

We have unmatched security credentials, a proud Australian heritage, a rock-solid financial base (ASX listed), we have invested in our own Canberra Data Centre (Intellicentre 4 Bunker) and have over 180 NV1 cleared engineers.

Most importantly we can point to a growing list of departments and agencies that rely on Macquarie Government to be the point of their spear in their transition to cloud. Enough said.

Agencies are taking a variety of approaches

Aidan Tudehope - Managing Director Macquarie Government and Hosting

Some agencies and departments are deploying new, “built for cloud” or cloud native applications. Some are setting up cloud environments to dynamically “lift and shift” workloads out of outsourced providers and their own infrastructure. Some are using trigger points as a launch pad to cloud, such as office building moves or when vhardware reaches end of life.

This dynamism on the demand side illustrates why a diversity of options on the supply side is at the core of the Government’s vision for a Canberra or Commonwealth cloud market.

There will be one irrefutable fact for the new Government cloud era – choice and competition will drive the best solutions, “Any colour you want as long as it’s black” won’t cut it.


Aidan Tudehope

About the author.

Aidan is co-founder of Macquarie Technology Group and has been a director since 1992. He is the Managing Director of Macquarie Government & Hosting Group and is invested in leading the contribution from the Australian industry on all matters Cloud & Cyber policy related.

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