adoption of cloud computing model in government

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  • 1. For discussion Paper No. 2/2011on 22 March 2011 DIGITAL 21 STRATEGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Adoption of Cloud Computing Model in GovernmentPurpose The Government will be adopting the Cloud Computing 1Model to meet rising public demands and community expectations one-government services and reap the benefits of emerging technologies.This note highlights the key features of our strategy.Governments Strategy for Cloud Computing Adoption2. We plan to adopt the following strategy in re-provisioning thecentral IT facilities in building the Government Cloud environment. Wewill - (a) adopt, on an incremental basis, Cloud Computing for the provision of e-government services; (b) develop a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) portfolio of government applications/services that are readily amenable to the Cloud service approach; and (c) establish the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities in the Government coherently to provide the shared service platforms, infrastructure and information technology (IT) capacities to support this SaaS portfolio.1 Cloud Computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a sharedpool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications andservices) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort orservice provider interaction. Cloud Computing comprises three layers from a user perspective:Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. -- 1 --
  • 2. 3. Cloud Computing is a global trend affecting the IT industryfrom both the supplier and user angles. In the course of formulation of thePan-government IT Strategy2, we have examined strategies, practices andinitiatives of other economies, including Australia, Mainland of China,Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Differentgovernments have developed their plans for the gradual adoption of Cloudservices, as they see this as an opportunity to improve business outcomesthrough eliminating redundancy, increasing agility and providing ITservices at a potentially lower cost. It is also apparent that major ITsuppliers, at both international and local levels, have started to repositiontheir products and services to operate under a Cloud-based environment.Proposed Action Plan4. We propose to establish the Government Cloud environmentthat comprises three service layers - (a) Software as a Service (SaaS): We will develop shared services for a portfolio of applications/services, including the core systems/services to support electronic information management (including collaborative working and electronic record keeping), human resources management, electronic procurement and support for paper-less meetings. These common shared services will be used by all government bureaux/departments (B/Ds). (b) Platform as a Service (PaaS): We will develop a new platform for supporting common e-government applications, and a new user directory service for unified identity management, communications and collaboration that complements the government electronic messaging system.2 The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) has formulated aPan-government IT Strategy comprising of five strategic dimensions, namely Governance on ITInvestments, IT-enabled Business Transformation, Information and Data Management,Technology Architecture and Infrastructure, and Human Resources for the Government ITProfession. -- 2 --
  • 3. (c) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): We will establish the underlying infrastructure including servers, networks, storage and operating systems on a flexible and virtualised basis. The first batch of government IaaS initiatives includes establishing a virtualised environment in the Government Central Computer Centre, which consists of data centres in Wanchai, Tsuen Wan and Sai Kung.5. The proposed Government Cloud environment will include anin-house private Cloud owned and operated by the Government, anoutsourced private Cloud comprising facilities dedicated to theGovernment in secure data centres operated by contractors, and publicCloud for generic services where we do not need or have less control overhow the services are provided. An over-arching consideration indetermining whether applications and/or data are to be placed in private,public or hybrid Clouds is the level of sensitivity and confidentiality of thedata and information involved. A high-level programme timetable forimplementing the above initiatives is given in the Annex.Anticipated Benefits6. The proposed programme for establishing a GovernmentCloud environment is an enabler for the transformation and continuousimprovement of public service delivery and support to the underpinninggovernment policies. It offers the opportunity for the Government toincrease the value that the community enjoys from the more extensive useof IT in the Government, and also addresses the rising expectations ofdifferent stakeholders (including citizens and Governments internal users)for better public service delivery.Benefits to the Community7. To the community, one of the benefits of deploying thegovernment central IT services to the Cloud Computing model is theoverall agility in providing public services and enhancing productivity inimplementing government policies. In addition, this programme willensure convenient and coherent customer experience across differentservice channels, and create the option to support additional joined-upchannels in future. -- 3 --
  • 4. Benefits to the Government8. The Cloud approach aims to provide synergy and newopportunities for data/system functions sharing and re-use, particularly forprocesses straddling across government B/Ds for further improving theefficiency and effectiveness of the government workforce. It enablesimplementers to focus only on innovations that bring real business valueinstead of the platform set-up and integration related work. Thedeployment of IaaS can also lead to cost savings in both capital andrecurrent expenditures on computing resources, because workload can beallocated flexibly and dynamically to the available computer systems, andless equipment can be used. This also demonstrates the Governmentsexemplary role in the reduction of overall carbon footprints andenvironmental impact.Benefits to the IT Industry9. For the IT industry, this programme is expected to offerdifferent opportunities for local service providers to provide respectiveservices under the Cloud Computing model. The skills, infrastructuresand business models established in the development process can also fosterthe further development of the IT industry into other areas of local andexternal economies.Matters Requiring Attention10. Migration to a cloud-based environment is not risk-free. Weneed to revisit how it could affect procurement and funding models andassociated contract terms and conditions, how it could affect business andservice continuity, how it could affect information security and dataprivacy, and how we can facilitate the interoperability of cloud services, etc.Whilst many of the issues would not have ready solutions, we see a needfor Government to lead by example, embrace the changes and facilitateindustry development in this critical development. Whilst committing toadopting a cloud-regime on an incremental basis for the provision ofcentral IT services, we will work closely with the industry to shareexperience and align options for enhancing the quality and sustainability ofthe Government Cloud environment. -- 4 --
  • 5. Indicative Financial Implications11. The anticipated capital expenditure for implementing theidentified major initiatives as stated in the Annex is in the order of $200million to $300 million. We will adopt an incremental approach andconduct periodic review to confirm the benefits inherent in the new servicemodel, identify any new issues that require further adjustments to suitGovernments requirements, and also gear up the local IT market toprovide the necessary products and services.Way Forward12. We will re-provision the government central IT services andfacilities to run under a Government Cloud environment and support theidentified major IT initiatives in an incremental manner. The GovernmentCloud environment and services will be made available to differentgovernment B/Ds, so that they can execute their own IT-enabled changeinitiatives in a more agile, cost-effective and joined-up manner.13. We will work closely with the Hong Kong Science andTechnology Parks Corporation, the Applied Science and TechnologyResearch Institute, the Hong Kon