Many of the proposals in this year's Federal Budget were driven by recommendations from the National Commission of Audit. One that isn't reflected in the budget, though, is a suggestion that cloud computing should become the default model for delivering government services.
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The Commission was very enthusiastic about cloud computing:
Cloud computing is a way of leasing computing services over a network. It can reduce costs by sharing them across users. The Commission recommends that the Government increase its adoption of cloud computing by introducing a mandatory 'cloud first' policy for all low risk, generic information and communication technology services; and establishing a whole-of-government cloud computing provider panel.
However, there's nothing specific about cloud computing at all in any of the Budget documents. There is this slightly ominous note about outsourcing (amidst plans to sack 16,500 public servants):
The Government is systematically assessing whether government functions should be open to competition and outsourced. Over time, this process will lead to new private sector opportunities and more efficient and effective service delivery. The Government should be active only where it is needed and where the private sector cannot adequately fulfil the function. Outsourcing non-essential functions and enhancing competition will lead to more efficient and effective service delivery and reduced expenditure.
Those goals could be met with cloud computing, but the resources needed to plan an efficient cloud migration might prove a stumbling block. Time will tell. Meanwhile, if you're curious about how Budget 2014 will hit your own hip pocket, check out our guide.