ACT aims to move 80% of workloads to cloud

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 29 August, 2017

ACT aims to move 80% of workloads to cloud

The ACT government is taking a cloud-based approach to its digital transformation strategy to dramatically reduce costs and streamline operations.

The goal of the transformation strategy is to be recognised as a digital leader with a strong reputation for innovation, while promoting inclusion for all residents and visitors to the territory, Al Blake, territory CTO, said.

“This is about digital inclusion, about improving social outcomes by making things more accessible,” he said.

The digital strategy, launched last year, notes that cloud computing has driven down prices to an order of magnitude lower than that which could be achieved through on-premise infrastructure within the ACT. Advances in security and service management have also ensured that cloud is no longer the risky option.

Microsoft will be one of the major providers of cloud services for the strategy over its Azure platform, according to Gary Davis, ACT government executive director of ICT shared services.

“Microsoft cloud enables us to reduce our IT infrastructure footprint — hopefully we can move 80% into the cloud — that helps reduce costs, improve responsiveness and improve the services we deliver to citizens,” he said.

“The less money we spend on back-end administration of IT the more money can be allocated to the front end of citizen services, for example on health, education — more teachers, more doctors, more nurses.”

The territory has so far adopted Azure for projects including providing a data warehouse for the Health Directorate and providing cloud services across ACT schools for a teach-anywhere initiative.

The ACT is also using Azure Active Directory for monitoring, alerting, backup and recovery, data protection and security services, and has so far transitioned more than 100 workloads to the cloud.

Other ongoing cloud initiatives include a government-wide data lake using MapR and Linux; a new child youth protection system to be hosted in Azure; and an online voting system to manage enterprise agreements.

Microsoft recently launched two Azure cloud regions in Canberra for the Australian government via a partnership with Canberra Data Centres.

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