Tibaldo: The Philippine Government’s cloud first policy

Consumers atbp.

IN JANUARY 18, 2017, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) released a Department Circular about Republic Act No. 10844 (R.A. 10844) declaring that the state ensures the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric information and communications technology infrastructure systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness.

It also provides the DICT the power to formulate, recommend and implement national policies, plans, programs and guidelines that will promote the development and use of ICT with due consideration to the advantages of convergence and emerging technologies.

Said Act also provides the DICT the responsibility to harmonize and coordinate all national ICT plans and initiatives to ensure knowledge, information and resource-sharing, database-building and agency networking linkages among government agencies, consistent with e-government objectives in particular, and national objectives in general.

Further, said Act prescribes a government policy on reducing the cost of government ICT by eliminating the duplication of hardware and systems, fragmentation of databases and the use of cloud computing technology to reduce costs, increase employee productivity and develop excellent citizen online services. These information that I lifted from the website of the country’s service provider for digital communication infrastructure may contain a lot of geek-words but it simply means that the government is exerting efforts to make office-to-office coordination and business transaction easier, faster and more reliable.

This is so because said circular shall covers all departments, bureaus, offices and other agencies of the national government, including constitutional commissions, congress, the judiciary, the Office of the Ombudsman, State Universities and Colleges, government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units.

The implementation of this circular also covers private entities that will participate as accredited cloud service providers.

So, let us understand what cloud computing is all about. Cloud computing according to the given definition is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources like networks, servers, storage, applications, and services that can be rapidly provided and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Our government agencies will be provided with computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.

Said government offices will be capable of Broad Network Access that can be accessed through the standard mechanisms such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and work stations.

The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to agency demand. Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory and network bandwidth.

Cloud computing has brought a new and more efficient means of managing government information technology resources. It is hereby declared the policy of the government to adopt a “cloud first” approach and for government departments and agencies to consider cloud computing solutions as a primary part of their #infostructure planning and procurement.

The cloud infrastructure with enhanced global security and compliance to standards is provisioned for open use and it may be owned, managed and operated by a business, academic or government organization or some combination of them.

It may be owned, managed and operated by one or more of the agencies in the community, a third party or some combination of them and it may exist on or off premises. The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.

This Government Cloud or #GovCloud is a public service cloud infrastructure provisioned by the DICT for use by government agencies as a hybrid deployment on-premise resource that is controlled by DICT and accredited Cloud Service Providers.

All government agencies shall therefore adopt cloud computing as the preferred ICT deployment strategy for their own administrative use and delivery of government online services, except when an alternative ICT deployment strategy meets special requirements of a government agency.

According to DICT, Cloud computing enables more effective collaboration as agencies are able to easily share resources across institutions, allowing for greater efficiency, entrepreneurship and creativity in delivering public online services.

With centralized data storage, management and backups, data retrieval and business recovery during times of crisis become faster, easier and more cost effective. Well, this is development is definitely beneficial to all government offices especially in the Cordillera where geography and mountainous terrain often delays communication services.


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