Late last year, the New Zealand Government announced that it would develop a business case for all 32 government departments to adopt cloud versions of office productivity software.
The business case was due to be presented to Ministers by the end of April 2012, although it has not yet been publicly released. However, indications are that the New Zealand model will closely emulate the government cloud currently in development in the United Kingdom.
The UK Government's "G-Cloud" programme has been underway for some time now and, according to the strategy paper published in March 2011, its agenda is to consolidate data centres, networks, software and IT assets, via a private "G-Cloud".
A Government "CloudStore" has recently been released in beta form, and already offers over 1,700 ICT services to the public sector. Interestingly, around half of these offerings have been developed by small to medium sized suppliers. Suppliers apply for "accreditation", and once this is processed and their services are approved, accredited services are loaded to the CloudStore and become immediately available to all government departments to purchase.
Initial feedback on the G-Cloud is that, although ambitious, the programme is going to change the landscape of IT in the UK, and potentially pass on large savings to the public sector. Already, about 30 government organisations have made purchases from the CloudStore, with the value of individual purchases ranging from a few hundred pounds up to over £1m.
We will be watching with interest as version 2.0 of the CloudStore goes live this May, and as the New Zealand business case is released.