[LINK] Australian Government Data Centre as a Service

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Thu Mar 3 11:25:27 AEDT 2011

On points a) and b) below, Parliaments enable legislation on
the basis of the costs and benefits. Passing legislation
that isn't viable (ie not implementable) is ludicrous.

I have added my 2c worth to Agimo's Blog

Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> On 2/03/2011 12:34 PM, Roger Clarke wrote:
>> On 2/03/2011 9:11 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>>   ... If bespoke applications are replaced with standard web based
>>>   ones, the processing and data storage requirements will be much smaller.
>> A proportion of business functions can be supported by standardised apps.
> But only a small number. End User computing (i.e. what users do on the 
> PC and/or with MS office) uses only a very small proportion of the total 
> government IT infrastructure. And most of it is in the File and Print 
> environment which isn't even in data centres.
> If all the government's .doc, .xls, .pdf, .pst files were deleted, 
> hardly anyone in operations would notice, apart from the back-up and 
> restore people, but that's small bikkies.
> Saving even 50% of bugger all is not worth the effort.
>> Custom-building or customisation can be dispensed with, because
>> there's not a lot of harm done by having to fit those particular
>> business processes to the software rather than the software to the
>> business processes.
>> Think doc prep, spreadsheet modellers, calendar, time-sheets, etc.
>> But government agencies do a great many things that very few other
>> organisations do.
>> People often forget that:
>> (a)  government agencies don't have competitors.  We don't want lots
>>        of organisations performing those functions, just one per
>>        jurisdiction
>> (b)  government agencies are subject to enabling legislation, and for
>>        legal reasons their business processes have to correspond to
>>        those statutes, and hence a standardised app, even if one exists,
>>        may not be able to be used
>> (c)  parliaments muck around with legislation continually, and hence
>>        some business processes that could previously be supported by
>>        a standardised app can't any more
>> My impression is that a lot of small-scale apps being developed in
>> government are very specific.  Even something as apparently generic
>> as grants admin is a lot more variable than you'd think, e.g.
>> AusIndustry and the ARC have very different needs.
> I agree totally.

Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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