Software giant Microsoft has signed a new cloud services agreement with the New South Wales Government expected to be worth in excess of $40 million a year. The deal gives government users access to a suite of Microsoft collaboration tools and services.
The deal, announced by Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet and Innovation Minister Victor Dominello, is expected to reduce government’s software and application spending by about 10 per cent.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Microsoft cloud services are available to an initial five agencies, including the Departments of Health, Finance and Services, Justice, FACS and Planning and Environment.
Mr Perrottet said the technology would help break down departmental ‘silos’ and provide better opportunities for collaboration and information sharing between departments.
“Taking advantage of new technology is integral to the NSW Government’s commitment to delivering the best possible service to the people of NSW,” he said.
“Working with leading edge suppliers to implement cloud-based technology means our agencies can be more responsive, agile and innovative, delivering citizen focused services anywhere, anytime while benefiting from increased scalability and flexibility.”
The agreement is another notch in the ledger of the NSW Government’s IT reform agenda, with the State investing $2 billion annually in information and communications technology.
Minister Dominello said the agreement ensures the NSW Government has the “digital capabilities needed to deliver better services to citizens in an era of rapid technological change.”
More than 130,000 personnel will have access to the technology based on current departmental uptake. In practical terms, public servants will be able to remotely access cloud-based systems from a variety of locations at any time and from a range of devices.
“For example, where necessary, hospitals in different locations will be able to access patient files on the cloud, rather than manually transferring files,” a Finance department spokesman told InnovationAus.com.
“Staff in different locations can securely and simultaneously collaborate on documents from multiple locations in real time.”
Video conferencing capabilities would also be significantly improved, driving efficiencies by enabling virtual meetings,” the spokesman said.