What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing offers new ways of delivering information technology (IT) solutions to public sector organizations and their clients.
In much the same way as electricity is a utility service, cloud services are available as and when needed, can scale to match demand, and are built on a shared infrastructure available to multiple users.
Formal definitions of cloud are available from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) NIST Cloud Computing Program.
Why is Cloud important?
|Cloud is foundational – Cloud has emerged as a fundamental building block of any best-in-class digital strategy. Along with agile application development models, mobile services, always-available high speed network access, and advanced analytic capabilities, cloud enables the best of what IT can offer its business customers and end users.|
|Cloud is different – Cloud impacts all aspects of how IT is delivered. It demands new skills and competencies from the IT workforce, changes the risk landscape that organizations need to manage, and impacts existing governance and processes within IT. It also places new demands on the organization’s ability to integrate IT services across different technologies.|
|Cloud is evolving…fast – the cloud marketplace is evolving at a breathtaking pace, including the feature sets available from the cloud, their prices, the security capabilities of cloud providers, and supporting services and toolsets to enable the successful use of cloud. Meanwhile, best practices and standards to give customers the confidence they need to embrace cloud to its full potential are struggling to keep up.|
Technological advances, with cloud computing at the forefront, will unlock new sources of value and enable highly innovative new services to end users.
Organizations that know how to deploy these technologies successfully will differentiate themselves as leaders in their respective sectors.
The BC public sector recognized this by establishing CloudBC. Through CloudBC, the BC public sector collaborates on common approaches to common challenges when adopting cloud and delivering leading edge digital services to British Columbians.
Who is CloudBC?
CloudBC is a collaborative initiative of the Province of BC through the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and some of the largest public sector organizations in BC.
Direction for CloudBC is provided by the senior executives responsible for IT at the following organizations (the CloudBC Entities):
- Province of British Columbia
- Fraser Health
- Interior Health
- Northern Health
- Provincial Health Services Authority
- Vancouver Coastal Health
- Island Health
- British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries)
- British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro)
- British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)
- British Columbia Pension Corporation
- Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)
- South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink)
- Workers’ Compensation Board (WorkSafeBC)
These organizations represent over 220,000 employees, accounting for over 50% of total public sector employees in BC.
The services that CloudBC provides are intended to be generally available to the BC broader public sector.
What is CloudBC’s value proposition?
The participating organizations in CloudBC are at various stages in their digital transformation journey. This means CloudBC needs to provide a range of services that align to a diverse set of needs. To do so, CloudBC works closely with each of these organizations to understand their demand for cloud services and the help they need to get ready to adopt cloud.
Participating organizations derive value from CloudBC services by:
Leveraging privacy & security frameworks – CloudBC provides leadership by establishing standardized pre-negotiated privacy and security frameworks that comply with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and align to guidance from the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner on the use of cloud computing services.
Avoiding duplication – Customers avoid costs by leveraging common artifacts such as recommended guidelines and best practices, Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) and Security, and Threat Risk Assessments (STRAs) templates, rather than prepare their own from scratch.
|Streamlining procurement – Using CloudBC Contract Frameworks reduces procurement & contracting effort, because due diligence is done upfront by CloudBC, and best practice terms & conditions are pre-negotiated for customers to use in their own Contracts.|
|Accessing best prices – Because of the buying scale that CloudBC represents, customers can be confident that prices for cloud and related services available through the CloudBC Marketplace are highly competitive.|
|Accessing leading knowledge – Customers have easy and low cost access to leading edge cloud-related expertise from both within the BC public sector and from external advisory organizations.|