The Digital Transformation Strategy outlines our vision to be a world-leading digital government for the benefit of all Australians. We have developed the whole-of-government Hosting Strategy ('the strategy') to ensure government data and digital infrastructure enable the Digital Transformation Strategy goal of a government that’s fit for the digital age.

The strategy provides a defined approach to hosting arrangements that meets the needs of Australian Government agencies as they deliver the Digital Transformation Strategy.

The scope of hosting comprises data centre facilities, infrastructure, data storage and data transmission.

Digital Transformation Strategy

The Digital Transformation Strategy outlines the future direction of digital government to 2025 for the benefit of Australian people and businesses. It is supported by four strategies:

  • The Sourcing Strategy advises how agencies can engage with the market to acquire or uplift technical capability to realise the 2025 vision.
  • The Platforms Strategy provides a unified user experience for people and businesses and reduce duplication across government through the reuse of business services to enable the 2025 vision.
  • The Hosting Strategy sets direction for underlying digital infrastructure that supports the 2025 vision.
  • The Digital Capability Strategy builds digital skills across government to ensure government can deliver the 2025 vision.

These are underpinned by the digital continuity, information and data strategies, which set a whole-of-government approach to use and reuse of data.

Why do we need a hosting strategy?

Government organisations face a wide range of ICT and data challenges, in an environment of significant ongoing change. The immediate issues to be addressed by the strategy include the risks to data sovereignty, data centre ownership and the supply chain. This strategy provides clear policy guidance for agencies and industry and aims to create whole-of-government efficiencies. In the medium term, the strategy better positions government agencies and industry to adopt new technologies and services, fosters innovation and reduces the barriers and cost created by legacy systems.   

In 2008, the Australian Government commissioned a review into the use of ICT and recommended developing a Data Centre Strategy, primarily for cost avoidance.

The Australian Government Data Centre Strategy 2010-2025 was published in March 2010 with a savings target of $1 billion over a 15-year period.

By 2017 the 2010-2025 strategy was on track to achieve its saving target. However, changes in the technology landscape highlighted an emerging set of challenges, including:

  • emerging risks to the sovereignty of data held in Australian Government data centres
  • increasing risks to the sovereignty and security of the hosting supply chain
  • reducing transition costs associated with data centre ownership changes
  • encouraging innovative solutions from industry and agencies in a cost-constrained environment
  • delivering investment certainty to stakeholder agencies and industry partners
  • taking advantage of emerging Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions while simultaneously managing non-cloud ICT operations.

We're working on making the Australian Government Data Centre Strategy 2010-2025 accessible. If you're having trouble viewing this document please contact website@digital.gov.au

Hosting trends

As digital services continue to grow, organisations are increasingly moving towards cloud services. There is strong growth in cloud adoption, driven by increasing data consumption worldwide and the benefits cloud services offer. The use of on-premise IT infrastructure is declining. However, it remains a critical part of many organisations' IT strategies. A 2018 Gartner study shows a strong preference for hybrid cloud solutions worldwide. Gartner foresees double-digit growth in government use of public cloud services, with spending forecast to grow on average 17% per year through to 2021. Governments are expected to implement private cloud at twice the rate of public cloud through 2021.

Government strategic landscape

The Australian Government has a clear digital transformation strategy and mature service capabilities that rely on having a trusted, connected and secure data and digital infrastructure. In developing the strategy, we have considered a broad strategic landscape, including:

  • The Digital Transformation Strategy which sets the Australian Government’s vision to be one of the top three digital governments in the world by 2025. It will achieve that by making government easy to deal with, fit for the digital age and informed by users.
  • The Secure Cloud Strategy provides the framework for sustainable change so that all agencies can leverage the benefits of cloud services. This strategy provides guidelines and principles for government agencies preparing for or undergoing the transition to cloud.
  • The whole-of-government Digital Service Platforms Strategy provides a unified user experience for people and businesses, to reduce duplication across government through leveraging capabilities.
  • The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy describes the Australian Government’s approach to enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure to all hazards.
  • The Cyber Security Strategy establishes 5 themes of action for Australia’s cyber security to be achieved by 2020:
    • a national cyber partnership
    • strong cyber defences
    • global responsibility and influence
    • growth and innovation
    • a cyber smart nation.

Strategy outcomes

A new Digital Infrastructure Service will be established within the Digital Transformation Agency to:

Reduce data sovereignty, ownership and supply chain risks by:

  • Offering a certification of facilities, for placement of government data up to the PROTECTED classification.
  • Guiding agencies to assess their own risk appetite and implement appropriate data protection controls.

Ensure government hosting services are more efficient and cost-effective by:

  • Leveraging whole-of-government panels to achieve greater economies of scale.
  • Enhancing secure communication links for transfer of data across facilities.

Provide certainty on the Australian Government hosting operating environment for industry and agencies by:

  • Clearly articulating government policies and standards, including recognition that hosting services will be delivered in partnership with industry.
  • Providing whole-of-government coordination points and reducing duplication for common hosting functions.