WA’s GovNext-ICT was recently in the news when the WA Government signed three new contracts expected to deliver cost savings of $65 to $80 million annually.
The new contracts
GovNext-ICT made the news in January, when the government signed contracts with Atos, Datacom and NEC as part of the overall $3 billion ICT overhaul budget.
In his media statement, WA innovation minister Bill Marmion said the contracts would “save an estimated $65 to $80 million annually in ICT infrastructure expenditure as the Government moves to a regime where agencies only pay for what they use.”
The contracts effectively put Atos, Datacom and NEC on a ‘pre-approved’ list and they will compete with each other for government contracts as they arise. The minister’s office says this will reduce procurement costs and save time for both government departments and suppliers.
This is in line with the GovNext-ICT Info Paper’s strategy of appointing consortium-level vendors who can deliver a full range of services such as cloud services, network services and telephony services.
What is GovNext-ICT?
GovNext-ICT is part of Western Australia’s overall ICT strategy, Digital WA: Western Australian Government ICT Strategy 2016–2020.
One of the official descriptions of GovNext ICT is that it’s “transitioning WA Government from being an owner and operator of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure towards being a consumer of commercial compute, storage and network services.” This is a key differentiation, a separation that’s in line with the Federal Government’s strategy and many other state ICT strategies that are moving toward open government, cloud services, IT sharing, and so on.
GovNext-ICT has clear-cut aims:
- Consolidation of the 60+ data centres into interconnected and more efficient data centres with a WA government cloud.
- Migration of government services onto public and private clouds.
- Establishment of a unified network across all of the WA Government’s agencies.
The GovNext-ICT Info Paper talks about the new approach freeing government ICT to be: “more agile, scalable and flexible”.
Salsa Digital’s take
Australian government agencies at all levels (federal, state and local) are all upgrading their policies and systems to make the most of areas such as cloud computing, whole-of-government solutions and panels of pre-approved vendors to speed up the procurement process. It’s a fantastic drive for government and Salsa Digital looks forward to reporting about more government initiatives such as WA’s GovNext-ICT. If you want more information, the GovNext-ICT Info Paper is a good (and succinct) read!