by Shahida Sweeney

Dimension Data to ramp up cloud services for federal government

Nov 24, 20143 mins
Cloud ComputingGovernment

Global systems integrator, Dimension Data, is expanding its presence in Canberra with the launch of managed cloud services exclusively for Federal government agencies.

Starting in the New Year, agencies will be able to purchase cloud services using consumption-based models, through a dedicated data centre in Canberra.

These services are built around the Telecommunications Industry Association’s international TIA-942 security standards involving the planning and building of fully-secured data centres.

During a Canberra launch on Monday, Communications Minister, Malcom Turnbull, said this fully-managed service will enable agencies to benefit from cost-savings, improved efficiencies, and increased staff productivity.

In embracing the cloud, he said that organisations need to move out of a “box hugging” mentality to more fully adopt a cloud first strategy.

The federal government spends $6 billion annually on ICT services. But it is “disappointing” to see that only $6 million has been spent on cloud services since 2010, Turnbull said.

The uptake of cloud services is led by a consumerisation of IT, Turnbull said. These encompass smart phones, mobile devices and online community-based channels being used by consumers that are driving the demand. But the Federal government has been slow to embrace the cloud.

This slow uptake was influenced, in large part, by data sovereignty, security and cross border transaction concerns. A dedicated Canberra cloud centre addresses access arrangements as defined by the Australian government’s information security management protocol.

Among the security checks, Dimension Data plans to address the Federal Attorney General’s risk management guidelines for its cloud services. These guidelines were designed to handle classified government information.

Dimension Data’s MCP will connect to the Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) – run by the Department of Finance – when fully operational.

The National Disability Insurance Agency and the Department of Finance have already signed up to use the cloud services.

Dimension Data CEO, Rodd Cunico, said that being able to use a cloud platform on Australian shores addresses data sovereignty concerns. The latest service will be used exclusively by government agencies and their data will be held securely in Canberra, he said.

“Dimension Data’s Canberra cloud platform will be tenanted exclusively by government agencies and their data will be held securely in Canberra,” he said.

The Canberra MCP will provide capabilities around Dimension Data’s global cloud platform. These include infrastructure-as-a-services as well as Microsoft solutions on the cloud and the SAP ERP offerings.

Dimension Data’s recent Oakton acquisition means that more government-specific solutions will become available, Cunico said.

These address key themes around digitisation, open data, information management, collaboration and inter-connected government services. These will be brought to market in Australia as cloud-based, as-a-service offerings.

Shahida Sweeney traveled to Canberra as a guest of Dimension Data.

Follow Shahida Sweeney on Twitter: @ShahidaSweeney

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