The GovCloud Roadmap

The GovCloud Roadmap will define a technical architecture for Government Cloud Computing and populate an Apps Store catalogue, from an in-depth analysis of procurement RFPs published by the Canadian Federal Government, the Canada Cloud Roadmap.

This describes a complete enterprise architecture for the holistic embrace of Cloud Computing defining all the required component parts, and this is planned out across short and long-term adoption horizons.

From there the individual RFPs highlight the detail required in each area, organized into the following main sections:

  • Transformation best practices – Setting executive level goals and managing the required change.
  • Cloud 2.0 Case Management – Implementing next generation BPM (Business Process Management).
  • Cloud Sourcing – Leveraging the Cloud to drive significant cost savings.
  • Cloud Office – Migrating in-house IT to Cloud providers.

Transformation best practices

Government agencies undertake transformation programs to improve how services are delivered to citizens, and to improve how effectively they utilize budgets and technology to do so.

The Government of Manitoba has set up a ‘Business Transformation and Technology’ office, based on the Federal ‘BTEP’ – Business Transformation Enablement Program, to help their departments ensure the best possible use of the province’s technologies and applications, and plan and implement ongoing improvement programs. Their Process Engineering Services RFP is seeking an initial analysis engagement to audit their current transformation abilities, identify any gaps and make recommendations to fill them.

Similarly Strathcona County is looking for a capability audit, to assist in their ‘In Pursuit of Customer Service Excellence’. They are a Municipality and want to audit their departmental strutures to ensure they can achieveh high standards of citizen service.

Cloud 2.0 Case Management – In Pursuit of Service Excellence

With this focus on improving customer service a key capability is ‘Cloud 2.0 Case Management‘.

This provides a core BPM (Business Process Management) case management function, with the Cloud 2.0 part referring to Web 2.0 interfaces and features delivered via Cloud-hosted services. Open Government mandates, such as the resolution from the Privacy Commissioner in Canada, requires agencies to proactively share information online.

Integrated E-Service Channels

In the case of the Canadian Transportation Agency they are quantifying this in terms of ‘Integrated E-Service Channels‘, and want to simultaneously improve their internal BPM as well as providing this improved online service.

They receive case input from mail, courier, fax, email and phone and have no web-based forms yet. All internal case management is via paper files, and therefore they see the opportunity to adopt facilities to better automate the workflows, as part of providing better online customer service, as well as this being linked to other projects to revamp the web site itself.

As a small agency Cloud Computing is ideal for them to gain the required IT that previously would have been out of reach, and the main deliverables for this would include:

  • Conversion of paper forms
  • Cloud 2.0 applications for decision workflows, review/comments and publishing results online
  • Web site enhancement and integration
  • Optimizing decision workflows

Cloud 2.0 Case Management is a methodology for integrating legacy systems into these modern social media interfaces via a business process engine.

These projects will ultimately require delivery via a platform that combines a CMS (Content Management System) for the web front-end customer interactions, which then integrates various business process functions.

The City of Edmonton is implementing a web hosting and CMS project, for their citizen service delivery, and other organizations are implementing specific apps like online e-recruitment applications for Joseph Bryant and for TTC, and e-commerce for the Workplace Safety.

The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation was seeking a solution for electronic records management.

Citizen Service Management

In a similar manner but on a much larger scale the City of Ottawa published requirements to deploy a common, shared Citizen Service Platform that can unite all of their service departments into a consistent customer experience.

Like most large organizations the city operates an estate of legacy applications to provide services like permits, licencing, police enforcement dispatch and incident tracking, maintenance scheduling and so forth, and they want to provide a singuar user interface to these via 311 call centres, web sites, kiosks, counters, emails, mobile other access channels for their residents, achieving an integrated Citizen Service Management (CSM) solution.

Cloud Sourcing – Procurement best practices

Case Management is one example of an application that can be sourced via the Cloud, and there are many others where the same approach can be used.

Therefore for many large organizations the Cloud presents an opportunity to review their entire IT estate with a fresh set of eyes. Indeed all government agencies should be continually assessing the market for new opportunitie to find cost savings, and can integrate ‘Cloud Sourcing’ into their overall procurement best practices to maximize public value for money.

This requires that Cloud providers can offer governments the following main organizational capabilities:

  • Procurement best practices – First an overall expertise with government procurement best practices, such as public private partnerships, as requested by PPP.
  • E-procurement SaaS – Encoding these models into software that blends together new e-marketplace models (Reverse auction etc.), accounting, procurement and project management with Oracle ERP integration for Sourcing-to-payment approvals workflows, and making them more accessible via Cloud hosting. Relevant projects include the Federal Government looking for a eProcurement and contract Management solution, as are the provinces of Alberta and Ontario.
  • Application Portfolio Outsourcing – To meet the needs of project like the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s Portal and IT services request, providers need to be able to address a complete application estate, and offer services for data-centre operations, virtualization architecture, scalability and capacity management, monitoring services, security design, and have staff skills for key vendor technologies like VMware, EMC, IBM, Cisco, to design and manage transitions from legacy apps to Cloud environments, and incorporate into ITIL service desk opertions.
  • Cloud VPN – The ability to secure the links between office users and the Cloud data-centre.

An example of a project looking for this type of insight is Alberta Treasury Branches who are looking to transform their outsourced IT services in areas such as application development and maintenance, data-centre, DR, mainframe and managed security, achieving benefits such as:

  • Enhance existing service levels and improve cost effectiveness
  • Build flexibility and scalability into service models and contracts
  • Introduce and adopt an enterprise approach to IT services delivery
  • Build open and transparent service management processes
  • Establish and introduce best practices to ATB’s IT delivery services

Successfully execute defined service management functions using integrated, market-leading, service management processes, tools, technologies, and methodologies, continuing their maturity as a service management and service delivery organization.

Cloud Office

The Toronto startup incubator MaRs published this IT services RFP for requirements that we’re describing as ‘Cloud Office’.

This is an ideal template for designing services for the small business market. Not only does it list the main service elements required but it also captures the current state of the market with regards to perceptions and appetite for Cloud-based services.

MaRS don’t have an exact specification for the Cloud services they are after, instead even better they’re in a mode where they believe it offers them considerable potential and they’ve opened themselve to be pitched on how best to realize these benefits.

Critically for Cloud providers this also means they have factored all of their IT requirements into the scope of their requirements, not just hosting their web application which is typically all that a service provider is offered. In short this focus on Cloud Computing is acting as a catalyst for them to consider moving from a traditional in-house IT approach to one where they outsource to a service provider, across a 3 year term.

The types of benefits they expect the Cloud can deliver for them include:

  • Cloud Sourcing – Fully outsource all of their IT, including on-site LAN, printers and device management (iPhones and Blackberries), and migrate certain in-house functions, like their Apple Servers, Exchange email and Nortel-based telephony, to a Cloud-based service.
  • Desktop Anywhere – A primary benefit of this shift is staff mobility, who would now be able to access all of their office applications from anywhere.
  • Social Intranet – Access an improved ‘social intranet’ that better co-ordinates internal projects.
  • Cloud Aggregation – Manage all of their applications including SaaS-based services (EventPro, AngusAnywhere, MRI Leaseflow) as well as their core hosted WordPress on Apache/MySQL, and be able to cross-charge office tenants for their consumption of IT.

Cloud BCP

Another key requirement for MaRs is business continuity. They expect high availability to be one of the key benefits of this migration.

Other projects have also been looking to identify how Cloud infrastructure can augment business contintuity:

  • Ontario Data-Centres – Ontario issued a call looking for providers who could help them improve DR across their entire estate of data-centres.
  • Olds College published requirements for enterprise-wide backup solution which will work with their Windows and SQL servers and Microsoft Exchange 2007 environment.

Cloud Infrastructure

Other projects have called for core Cloud Computing infrastructure in a similar fashion, including:

Utility Cloud Computing – Elections Canada is a headline example of the Cloud wave, a Government agency making a move from a traditional web hosting approach to a utility Cloud Computing model. Read more in this short paper.

Cloud Identity – Another key area of Cloud infrastructure is Identity Management. The Government of Canada looking for an enterprise-wide IdAM system based on Kantara eGov 2.0.



  1. I think it would be fine if you could make a video about it.

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