DIGITAL 21 STRATEGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE. Adoption of Cloud Computing Model in Government

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1 For discussion Paper No. 2/2011 on 22 March 2011 DIGITAL 21 STRATEGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Adoption of Cloud Computing Model in Government Purpose The Government will be adopting the Cloud Computing 1 Model to meet rising public demands and community expectations on e-government services and reap the benefits of emerging technologies. This note highlights the key features of our strategy. Government s Strategy for Cloud Computing Adoption 2. We plan to adopt the following strategy in re-provisioning the central IT facilities in building the Government Cloud environment. We will - (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 shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Cloud Computing comprises three layers from a user perspective: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service

2 3. Cloud Computing is a global trend affecting the IT industry from both the supplier and user angles. In the course of formulation of the Pan-government IT Strategy 2, we have examined strategies, practices and initiatives of other economies, including Australia, Mainland of China, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Different governments have developed their plans for the gradual adoption of Cloud services, as they see this as an opportunity to improve business outcomes through eliminating redundancy, increasing agility and providing IT services at a potentially lower cost. It is also apparent that major IT suppliers, at both international and local levels, have started to reposition their products and services to operate under a Cloud-based environment. Proposed Action Plan 4. We propose to establish the Government Cloud environment that comprises three service layers - (a) (b) 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). 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 a Pan-government IT Strategy comprising of five strategic dimensions, namely Governance on IT Investments, IT-enabled Business Transformation, Information and Data Management, Technology Architecture and Infrastructure, and Human Resources for the Government IT Profession

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 an in-house private Cloud owned and operated by the Government, an outsourced private Cloud comprising facilities dedicated to the Government in secure data centres operated by contractors, and public Cloud for generic services where we do not need or have less control over how the services are provided. An over-arching consideration in determining whether applications and/or data are to be placed in private, public or hybrid Clouds is the level of sensitivity and confidentiality of the data and information involved. A high-level programme timetable for implementing the above initiatives is given in the Annex. Anticipated Benefits 6. The proposed programme for establishing a Government Cloud environment is an enabler for the transformation and continuous improvement of public service delivery and support to the underpinning government policies. It offers the opportunity for the Government to increase the value that the community enjoys from the more extensive use of IT in the Government, and also addresses the rising expectations of different stakeholders (including citizens and Government s internal users) for better public service delivery. Benefits to the Community 7. To the community, one of the benefits of deploying the government central IT services to the Cloud Computing model is the overall agility in providing public services and enhancing productivity in implementing government policies. In addition, this programme will ensure convenient and coherent customer experience across different service channels, and create the option to support additional joined-up channels in future

4 Benefits to the Government 8. The Cloud approach aims to provide synergy and new opportunities for data/system functions sharing and re-use, particularly for processes straddling across government B/Ds for further improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the government workforce. It enables implementers to focus only on innovations that bring real business value instead of the platform set-up and integration related work. The deployment of IaaS can also lead to cost savings in both capital and recurrent expenditures on computing resources, because workload can be allocated flexibly and dynamically to the available computer systems, and less equipment can be used. This also demonstrates the Government s exemplary role in the reduction of overall carbon footprints and environmental impact. Benefits to the IT Industry 9. For the IT industry, this programme is expected to offer different opportunities for local service providers to provide respective services under the Cloud Computing model. The skills, infrastructures and business models established in the development process can also foster the further development of the IT industry into other areas of local and external economies. Matters Requiring Attention 10. Migration to a cloud-based environment is not risk-free. We need to revisit how it could affect procurement and funding models and associated contract terms and conditions, how it could affect business and service continuity, how it could affect information security and data privacy, and how we can facilitate the interoperability of cloud services, etc. Whilst many of the issues would not have ready solutions, we see a need for Government to lead by example, embrace the changes and facilitate industry development in this critical development. Whilst committing to adopting a cloud-regime on an incremental basis for the provision of central IT services, we will work closely with the industry to share experience and align options for enhancing the quality and sustainability of the Government Cloud environment

5 Indicative Financial Implications 11. The anticipated capital expenditure for implementing the identified major initiatives as stated in the Annex is in the order of $200 million to $300 million. We will adopt an incremental approach and conduct periodic review to confirm the benefits inherent in the new service model, identify any new issues that require further adjustments to suit Government s requirements, and also gear up the local IT market to provide the necessary products and services. Way Forward 12. We will re-provision the government central IT services and facilities to run under a Government Cloud environment and support the identified major IT initiatives in an incremental manner. The Government Cloud environment and services will be made available to different government B/Ds, so that they can execute their own IT-enabled change initiatives in a more agile, cost-effective and joined-up manner. 13. We will work closely with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, and other stakeholders to make sure the industry and the Government are moving in tandem to develop a cloud-regime most fitting for Hong Kong as a regional ICT hub. Office of the Government Chief Information Officer Commerce and Economic Development Bureau March

6 Annex High Level Programme Timetable Year Major Milestones 2011 Complete the review of the e-procurement Pilot Programme and plan for implementing similar programmes on a more government-wide scale. Make ready a procurement arrangement for selected public Cloud services for use by government bureaux and departments. Establish a virtualised infrastructure in the Government Central Computer Centre Establish common facilities for paper-less meetings in government bureaux and departments. Implement the first batch of shared services for Electronic Information Management. Establish a new hosting platform for e-government applications (by phases up to 2015). By end of 2012, we expect the mainstream approach for applicable IT service provision will be based on the Cloud Computing model, by which time the relevant computerisation procedures will be adapted to be in line with that model Implement the first batch of shared services for Human Resource Management. Conduct a review on the further deployment of Cloud Computing in the Government

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