Matthew Bickers

The Situation

In 2015 the West Australian government created the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) to “provide leadership for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in WA Government”. One of the first initiatives of the OGCIO was the GovNext-ICT program; which aimed to:

  • Consolidate the 60 plus government data centres into a small number of interconnected, efficient, high grade data centres with a multi-tenanted community cloud for WA government;
  • Enable the migration of the majority of government compute and storage to public or private cloud;
  • Establish a whole-of-government unified network; with secure standardised connections to public cloud providers; and
  • Enable extensive user self-provisioning capability.

The West Australian Department of Corrective Services (DCS) was one of nine agencies that volunteered to assist the OGCIO with GovNext. This assistance included scoping, requirements tender, evaluation and technical consultation.

The Challenge

At a high level, the concept of adopting GovNext services should result in benefits for DCS. However, to realise these benefits, the Department would need to transition from their existing infrastructure, comprised of both owned and rented infrastructure, to the GovNext services. This raised the question “How does DCS approach this migration?”.
The Modis Consultant was tasked with determining a strategic approach to the GovNext transition that would facilitate DCS’s adoption of GovNext services when they became available.  The challenge was complicated by the fact that the GovNext service was still in the preliminary design phase, meaning details such as pricing, service levels, security etc. were simply not defined.

The Solution

DCS utilised Modis Consulting Services to meet the Challenge posed by GovNext. Following consultation with the business the GovNext challenge was broken down into five phases; each providing DCS with a greater level of understanding of their IT landscape and how best to transition to the GovNext services.
The phases were:

  • Drivers and Principles – The Modis Consultant and a Solution Architect worked closely with the Directors and Assistant Directors of KIT (Knowledge and Information Technology) to uncover the Principles and Drivers specific to DCS’s transition to GovNext. For example, drivers such as “Alignment with Government Strategy” and “Segregation from Shared Services”, as well as principles such as “Risk Based Transition Approach” and “Consolidation of Environment” came to light. The outcomes from this workshop were instrumental in defining the transition approach.
  • Application Portfolio – An application centric approach was agreed as the best approach due to the lack of clarity around the final GovNext services. The Application Portfolio at DCS was not well maintained. To address this gap, the Modis Consultant worked closely with the Knowledge and Information Technology team to agree and document the Application Portfolio. This artefact not only proved vital for the remaining GovNext analysis, but also provided DCS with a highly useful artefact that could prove invaluable for future analysis and design initiatives.
  • Value vs Visibility – Using the newly updated Application Portfolio, the Modis Consultant facilitated workshops to determine the business Value and Business Visibility for each application. The results from this workshop indicated the applications which should be transitioned without further work, those that would be great candidates for consolidation and those that should be considered for decommissioning.
  • Cloud Candidacy – The Value vs. Visibility analysis defined a target set of applications for transition to GovNext. However, to take advantage of the GovNext benefits, DCS needed to know a target solution (cloud candidacy) for each of these applications. To complete this task, a lightweight framework was developed in collaboration between the Modis Consultant and a Solution Architect. This framework was used to quickly determine the target solutions for GovNext services. The GovNext target solution options were:
    • Co-Location – Moving existing infrastructure to a new Data Centre.
    • Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) on a Public Cloud;
    • IaaS on the Government’s Private Cloud; or
    • Software as a Service (SaaS)

A series of interviews were held with SMEs, resulting in a target solution being recommended for each application.

  • Application Identification and Scoring – The cloud candidacy phase provided potential target solutions for each application. DCS then required a roadmap to define the application transition sequence. To determine this information workshops with Application SME’s sought to gain a deeper understanding of each application; capturing details such as the number of integration points, the amount of database storage required, the type of users (internal / external) and any issues that would prohibit a transition to GovNext.

A scoring framework was devised to determine the relative risk of each application. Details from this framework together with the Principles identified in the Principles and Drivers phase, enabled the Modis Consultant to recommend a GovNext transition sequence for the selected applications.

Technologies Used / Services Used

Modis provided consulting service, focussed on analysis.

The Outcomes and Benefits

The results of the analysis were captured in a comprehensive GovNext transition roadmap for the agency. The roadmap included:

  • A high level schedule of the tasks involved in the GovNext transition; including a list of prerequisites for consideration prior to the application transition;
  • Details of the Application Portfolio in use at DCS;
  • Potential applications that could be decommissioned or consolidated into other applications;
  • A defined set of applications that could be transformed into “software as a service” solutions prior to the migration to GovNext;
  • Detailed information concerning each application; and
  • A sequence for the transition of applications to the GovNext service once the service was available.

The roadmap provided many benefits, the foremost being it provides a clear picture of the overall application landscape. This roadmap will be a great assistance in strategic planning for the lead up to GovNext services becoming available and would be invaluable in the execution of the transition to the GovNext services.