NEC, ATOS and Datacom have been appointed by the Western Australian Government to digitally transform their IT Services. The agreement is a major step on the digital transformation program, GovNext-ICT. It sees a centralisation of contracts for key infrastructure and is intended to end the wastage in government IT spending.
In 2015, Giles Nunis was appointed as the first GCIO. This first announcement removes the decentralised, and expensive infrastructure that the Western Government relies on. According to WA Minister for Innovation, Bill Marmion, this should save AU$60-80 million annually.
NEC will migrate the legacy on-premises infrastructure into a hybrid model. They will deliver data centre co-location services, private cloud services, public cloud integration, network and communication services, identity management and ICT operations. This should realise 40% cost savings in licensing fees and infrastructure costs alone. The WA government will also benefit from improve disaster recovery and business continuity. With Western Australia also looking to provide 70% of its services on line it will provide the architecture to deliver that.
Marmion commented: “The appointment of NEC as one of three suppliers of ICT infrastructure to the Western Australian Government marks the beginning of an exciting new digital era for the public sector. The new arrangements will modernise technology across government and provide the technical platform for the State’s ICT Strategy Digital WA. We look forward to working with NEC, and the two other suppliers, over the term of this contract.”
NEC will implement a cloud brokerage service. This will allow government agencies including education, health, finance and transport to select both IaaS and PaaS services. They will consume those services under a consumption based model. This sees them paying only for those that they select to use. The brokerage model will allow agencies to access the best pricing solutions and also standardises deals for comparison across the government organisation.
The Western Australian Government has taken a big step to providing the choice for agencies to migrate. It is now up to those agencies and Nunis to drive through those changes. G-Cloud has been running for several years in the UK. Not every department across local and central government has yet migrated to the solutions offered through the portal. It is down to Nunis and his team to push through the changes required to transform government IT. This will leverage the potential cost savings that are talked about in the press release.
Will this also result in staff savings? That is not clear. It is possible that employees will move to one of the three providers as the solutions are moved into centralised data centres and the cloud. This is what has happened in other countries where governments have entered into this type of deal.
For NEC Australia this demonstrates their breadth of expertise in transforming government digital services. Most government departments will move from on-premises solutions to hybrid or even full cloud-based solutions. NEC are delivering some key components for that change in Western Australia. Mike Barber, Chief Operating Officer at NEC Australia commented “NEC Australia is proud to support a cutting edge technology project for the Western Australian Government that allows each agency to control technology costs on an as-needs basis.”