The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is to completely overhaul its procurement of cloud services with the launch of a new marketplace next year.
The agency is preparing to replace its existing Cloud Services Panel (CSP),which it first launched in 2015, ahead of its expiry in March 2020.
In its place will be a Cloud Marketplace panel (CMP), which aims to cater to the rise of ‘Anything-as-a-Service’ (XaaS) business models and buyers’ demand for more “evolved” offerings.
Announced in a discussion paper published on 17 October, the new CMP will aim to create a more “flexible” sourcing arrangement that will “accommodate industry developments and technology advances in cloud computing”.
In addition, it aims to “simplify” the buying process, offer a broader range of cloud services, increase participation of Australian small-to-medium enterprises while reducing the time and costs to procuring suppliers.
According to the discussion paper, the change will reflect the broader industry shift towards the cloud marketplace buying model, the likes of which are used by vendors such as Microsoft Azure and distributors like Ingram Micro.
Indeed, the DTA itself has already marked a shift towards marketplace buying over a more traditional panel arrangement through its Digital Marketplace, launched in 2016 and Hardware Marketplace, which was first flagged in 2017,
“A marketplace offers sellers and buyers more flexibility and choice through simpler and frequent seller onboarding, easier quoting and contracting process and better service catalogues supported by automated sourcing platform and processes,” the discussion paper said.
The DTA is now seeking feedback from suppliers as part of a request-for-information that will close on 13 November.
The CSP was first launched in 2015 and was originally based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) definition of cloud services.
However, according to the DTA, the shift towards as-a-Service buying across the IT industry, including applications, processes, functions and network connectivity, “challenges” the NIST model, hence the need for change.
“Leading vendors are updating their licensing models and reseller channels to promote cloud-based delivery and to maintain and expand their respective market-shares,” the paper said. “This provides more opportunities to get better value-for-money when buying cloud services.”
The paper also noted buyers’ needs for more “evolved” cloud services and their readiness to adopt “cloud-centric” managed services as outsourcing options. Greater transparency across security accreditation will also form part of the new Marketplace’s formation, it added.
As of September 2019, the CSP boasts 500 cloud services from more than 240 sellers, of which more than 70 per cent of are claimed to be SMEs. More than $130 million in government cloud contracts have been awarded since launching the panel in 2015, according to the DTA
The DTA’s post did not state what the Marketplace launch means for the existing CSP but noted there was still 12-month extensions available upon its expiry in 2020.