Federal government releases “cloud-first” policy in a bid to cut ICT costs in a move welcomed by Microsoft

Andrew Sadauskas /

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have released a “cloud-first” ICT policy for the federal government, which they claim will reduce costs, lift productivity and develop better services.

Under the policy, released on the Department of Finance website, federal government departments must adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money under the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

However, the report acknowledges that cloud procurements in AusTender have totalled approximately $4.7 million since July 2010, while total federal government spends approximately $6 billion a year on ICT.

The policy notes the public sector at both state and federal level makes up around 30% of ICT spending in Australia, and increased adoption of cloud services by the federal government “sends an important signal to the private sector”.

Microsoft is set to be major beneficiary of the policy, announced just days after Azure became the first public cloud service in Australia to pass an Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Industry Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessment.

“The new policy landscape commits the government to actively consider cloud services, streamlines the approval process for cloud, while reinforcing the need for risk-based decision making and compliance with government security requirements,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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