The cloud and shared services IT infrastructure models, according to Glenn Archer in a recent article for CIO magazine, are on a collision course. The increasing availability of commercial cloud service offerings, combined with emerging hybrid cloud models, will challenge the value proposition of shared service organisations.
With both IT and operational budgets remaining under pressure, government organisations continue to pursue further efficiencies by reducing duplications and overlaps.
In Australia, the recommendations in the National Commission of Audit report issued earlier this year called for the federal government to take a more progressive stance towards the use of cloud services. The report criticised the slow adoption of cloud services in government agencies and recommended the introduction of a mandatory ‘cloud first’ policy for all low risk, generic technology services, and establishing a whole-of-government cloud computing provider panel.
One approach to gaining efficiencies is to pursue the consolidation of assets, resources, business processes and services that are (or should be) common across different agencies.The other approach is for individual agencies to rely on external service providers that can leverage assets and resources for a variety of clients.
In recent years, public and community cloud services been recognised as a valid alternative to more classical shared services arrangements.
Government IT strategies in many jurisdictions include both approaches through a combination of mandates, positive actions and choices.