Anatomy of a cloud deal


By GovTechReview Staff
Thursday, 26 September, 2013


NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade & Investment, Andrew Stoner, has described his department’s cloud computing deal with SAP as a “potential model for other agencies.”

Certainly, it’s going to be one of the highest profile cloud deployments in the public sector. Government Technology Review asked David Kennedy, the Department’s chief information and chief technology officer, about the initiative.

Q: Why cloud? A: This innovative approach will take less time to implement, reduce the need for investment in new hardware and better position NSW Trade & Investment for disaster recovery and future departmental realignment.

Q: What about the challenges associated with data sovereignty and security? A: Data and information control and security were of paramount importance and consideration with regards the chosen solution. SAP follows operating best practices for data centres and data control which includes compliance with internationally recognised regulatory compliance certifications, including: SAS-70 Type II Audit, SSAE 16 Type II Audit, ISAE 3402, ISO 27001.

The concerns in relation to offshore holding and processing of our data were assessed and managed as part of our overall risk based evaluation. Data contained within the ERP system is not classified or protected and the most sensitive information was identified as staff payroll and HR related data. Sensitive HR / Payroll data is held exclusively in Australia, with only a subset passed to the foreign data centre sufficient to allow full function.

Foreign hosted data with SAP in Germany is subject to EU Data protection directives and is not hosted in the US or by a US parented entity. All tender responses with foreign hosting components were required to address repatriation of data both on a routine ongoing basis and at end of contract.

Q: What about the benefits? A: This new single integrated enterprise resource planning system will be the backbone for finance (including budgeting, accounting, assets and reporting), purchasing and procurement, human resources (including leave management) and payroll for the organisation. The scope of the project is to consolidate four existing SAP ERP installations and multiple Aurion instances across multiple agencies and transaction processing centres into a new single integrated enterprise resource planning system.

While we have committed to a very demanding timetable in terms of delivery, the solution will be operational by December of this year.

Q: How will you roll this out? A: The transition and consolidation project is underway, the project will be completed in two parts, with initial consolidation of the core agencies (Former Industry and Investment NSW, Office of Water, Marine Parks Authority, Crown Lands, Arts NSW, Destination NSW, Food Authority, Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, Independent Liquor Gaming and Racing Authority, Soil conservation services) within the department on to the platform by the end of this year. The other NSW Trade & Investment cluster agencies (the cultural institutions – NSW Art Gallery, NSW State Library, Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum) will be on board by June 2013.

Q: How might cloud impact the sorts of services you are able to provide (both internally and to your external clients)? A: Although this SaaS solution is an internally focused system, we will be able to provide improved self service capability for all our staff located in over 220 offices throughout NSW. The integrated functionality with mobile devices will enable staff who often work out on the field to be fully connected and functioning. It will facilitate our staff being able to deliver better services to clients.

The identified savings from this initiative will enable government to reallocate those resources to front line service delivery. – Beverley Head

This case study originally ran in the September 2012 issue of Government Technology Review.

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