The Hong Kong government has announced a commitment to cloud computing to re-provision its central IT infrastructure and services over the next five years.
Hong Kong's Office of the Government CIO has formulated a pan-government strategy setting out the major programmes to facilitate the Fragrant Harbour administration's transition to cloud computing.
The commitment has come from Hong Kong's acting secretary for commerce and economic development (SCED), Gregory So, to a special meeting yesterday (Monday, 21 March 2011) of the Legislative Council Finance Committee on the policy areas of communications and technology.
So told the committee the adoption of the cloud computing model would enhance the overall agility of the HGregory Soong Kong government's IT capabilities and services.
"It will also enhance operational efficiencies, reduce costs and reduce the government's carbon footprint and environmental impact," the acting SCED said.
45 per cent IT spending increase
In an update of Hong Kong's Digital 21 strategy, the acting SCED said, the estimated non-recurrent government expenditure of computerisation in 2011-12, would amount to HK$1.74 billion (US$223 million) - 45 per cent above the revised estimate of HK$1.2 billion (US$154 million) in this financial year.
"I believe the increased provision will create a lot of new business opportunities to the IT industry," So said. "And the estimated expenditure of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) will also increase 14 per cent."
The acting SCED told the committee that the government "is exploring appropriate measures to facilitate the development of more high-end data centres in Hong Kong, with a view to entrenching Hong Kong's position as a trade and financial hub, maintaining Hong Kong's competitiveness in the Asia Pacific and promoting sustainable economic development".
"In a knowledge-based economy, data centres constitute an essential part of the infrastructure," the acting SCED said. "Recently, many international IT companies have also set up largescale high-end data centres one after another in the Asia Pacific region, generating increasing demand for such services."
Land for new data centres
The committee was told that, in the past year, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation had granted about eight hectares of land in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate for the setting up of high-end data centres.
Acting SCED So said: "We will set up a one-stop portal for releasing information on data centres, strengthen the promotion of optimal use of existing industrial buildings and industrial sites, and explore the feasibility of other facilitative measures including the allocation of sites suitable for development into high-end data centres."
The committee was also advised of the development of a new central hosting platform for e-government services to support their further development.
"With its greener and more efficient equipment, the proposed new central hosting platform will be able to host 100 additional e-government services on top of the existing 118 ones," So told the committee.