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Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Gopala Krishna Behara

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Cloud Computing and the Drummond Report

Our next best practices white paper and workshop is going to be ‘Cloud Computing and the Drummond Report‘.

This is a dramatic report recently published to chronicle the fiscal position of the Province of Ontario, with a comprehensive list of recommendations for what reforms are needed to drive improvements at this level of government.

Our white paper will be equally dramatic in terms of how we describe Cloud Computing can be leveraged as exactly the right platform of technologies and as a process of modernization that will help realize many of the important cost-saving recommendations put forward.

These will be mapped on to key sections such as:

“Use Alternative Service Delivery Options for Information and Information Technology Functions

While less visible in the public’s eye than service delivery, information and information technology (I&IT) functions form the technological backbone of government operations.

These functions include services such as a help desk, local and wide area network management, mainframe operations, web hosting, and the development of applications that can advance the government’s business vision and provide flexible solutions to IT problems faced by all organizations.

Previously, there were separate I&IT infrastructures developed by over 20 ministries. In the late 1990s, however, the government combined this hodgepodge of IT solutions into eight ministry clusters and one corporate cluster. Further efficiency and better value for money can be found by eliminating redundant services and centralizing common functions.

Recommendation 16-10: The government should shift its service delivery of information and information technology (I&IT) from in-house to external sources, where feasible.

The government’s existing I&IT infrastructure already uses a blended approach of service delivery made up of both in-house and external service delivery that includes both small and large arrangements with vendors. This blended approach typically reflected decisions to keep certain functions in-house, which retains the I&IT expertise that comes with being a knowledgeable owner. In a constrained fiscal environment, however, outsourced contracts may make the difference between the continuation and the end of some services.

Blended approaches to service delivery have been successfully adopted by British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. They have also been used broadly at the national level in the United Kingdom. The difference in outsourcing I&IT services is a choice of scope.

Most jurisdictions explicitly engineer a solution to remain a knowledgeable owner in some areas, so policy, standards development and strategic/operational planning normally remain in-house. In the current fiscal environment, the Commission believes that government IT service delivery should be driven by considerations of relative value-for-money and effectiveness calculations.

Simply put, governments cannot afford to remain the only centres of expertise when it comes to IT service delivery if more cost-effective options are available.”


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