Docstoc

SOEPositionPaperGeneralReleaseOctober07

Document Sample
SOEPositionPaperGeneralReleaseOctober07 Powered By Docstoc
					 Standard Operating Environment
for Information and Communications
             Technology


       Policy Position Paper

              October 2007
                          Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                                     Policy Position Paper



Contents


Table of Contents
Contents ..................................................................................................................... 2
1.        Purpose of this Policy Position Paper .............................................................. 3
1.1       Standard Operating Environment Policy .......................................................... 3
1.2       Desktop Standard Operating Environment Policy............................................ 3
1.3       Email and Calendar Environments .................................................................. 3
1.4       Other commonly used tools and facilities ........................................................ 4
2.        Background ..................................................................................................... 4
3.        The Current State ............................................................................................ 5
3.1       The Desktop .................................................................................................... 5
3.2       Email and Calendar ......................................................................................... 5
3.3       Other Commonly Used Tools and Facilities .................................................... 6
4.        Objectives of Change ...................................................................................... 7
5.        Rationale for Approved Options....................................................................... 7
5.1       The Policy ........................................................................................................ 7
5.2       The Desktop .................................................................................................... 7
5.3       Email and Calendar ......................................................................................... 8
5.4       Other Commonly Used Tools and Facilities .................................................... 9




Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                                           Page 2 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper



1. Purpose of this Policy Position
 Paper
This Policy Position Paper provides the background and rationale for moving
towards a Standard Operating Environment (SOE) for Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) in the Western Australian Government.

1.1 Standard Operating Environment Policy
A more standardised information and communications technology (ICT) environment
is an effective means of achieving better value for money in management of
Government‟s ICT resource. To achieve this, the following policy positions were
endorsed by the e-Government Sub-Committee of the Strategic Management
Council on 22 June 2007:
Policy context:
         “To improve internal efficiencies and transform service delivery, a key
         objective for agency ICT environments is to minimise diversity and
         maximise interoperability across Government”

1.2 Desktop Standard Operating Environment Policy
         “Agencies should develop and maintain a desktop Standard Operating
         Environment (SOE)”
The desktop is a commonly used term to describe the components that make up the
computing environments, eg personal computers, laptops, notebooks etc that sit on
an office desk. The desktop SOE describes the required hardware, software and
peripherals and how they should be configured. The desktop SOE should be
regularly reviewed and updated to reflect trends in the market and the needs of the
agency. A more complete list of components is included in section 5.2 The Desktop.

1.3 Email and Calendar Environments
To overcome difficulties in sending and receiving attachments, making appointments
and sharing resources between agencies, the e-Government Sub-Committee of the
Strategic Management Council approved that:
    -    standards be developed to support interoperability and increase the
         commonality of the user experience. Standards may cover security settings,
         type and size of allowable attachments and the sharing of calendars,
         resources and meeting rooms, and

    -    a plan be developed to implement the standards across government
         agencies.




Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 3 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper

1.4 Other commonly used tools and facilities
The e-Government Sub-Committee of the Strategic Management Council identified
other opportunities where standardisation on one or two commonly used tools and
facilities could also deliver benefits, and requested that agreement be reached on
whole-of-government standards for:
      - geographical information systems

      - database management systems

      - system management tools

      - security management tools

      - software development environments

      - middleware

      - business intelligence tools, and

      - project management methodologies.




2. Background
At the request of the e-Government Sub-Committee the Office of e-Government
undertook research on the benefits and issues associated with the adoption of a
whole-of-government standard operating environment for information and
communications technology.
The scope of the analysis covered:
      - software that provides personal productivity, for example word processors and
        spreadsheets

      - software that provides office optimisation, for example email and calendaring,
        document and records management, workflow/process management (e.g.
        ministerials), business intelligence and project management

      - software that supports common government processes such as grants
        management and other potential cross-government applications

      - desktop hardware

      - server hardware and software required to support the first and second items
        above

      - server hardware and software required to support core business systems
        including operating systems, databases, geographical information systems,
        and development environments

Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 4 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper

      - system management software required to support the „in scope‟ hardware and
        software, and

      - configuration and processes required to support the „in scope‟ hardware and
        software.

This Policy Position Paper is the result of research and consultation with several
Western Australian Government agencies, the Office of Government Procurement,
ICT service suppliers, the Australian Information Industry Association, other
Australian State Governments and general ICT industry sources (largely the
Internet).



3. The Current State
The following summarises the current ICT operating environment in Western
Australian Government agencies:

3.1 The Desktop
    A very high percentage (estimated at 90+%) of government desktop computers
     are the PC running Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
    Most agencies have established some form of desktop Standard Operating
     Environment and are receiving the benefits that this allows.
    A Common User Agreement (CUA) is in place for desktop hardware.
    A Common User Agreement is in place for Microsoft software:
      - an enterprise license is only available to agencies with greater than 250
        qualified desktops

      - the Office of Government Procurement is currently negotiating with Microsoft
        regarding the feasibility of an Enterprise Agreement for smaller agencies, and

      - the Microsoft Open License Program for Government for other agencies.

    Agencies decide whether and when to upgrade their infrastructure based on their
     own needs.
    There are no standards in place across government for desktop operating
     systems and Office suites.

3.2 Email and Calendar
    A very high percentage of government agencies use Microsoft Exchange and
     Outlook.
    There is an existing CUA for Microsoft software that offers:


Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 5 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper

      - enterprise license that may be suited to agencies with greater than 250
        qualified desktops and

      - Microsoft Open License Program for Government for other agencies.

    Agencies decide if and when to upgrade based on their own needs, and
    No standards are in place for security settings, type and size of allowable
     attachments and the sharing of calendars, resources and meeting rooms across
     government.

3.3 Other Commonly Used Tools and Facilities
Commonly used tools and facilities include:
      - geographical information systems (GIS) - most agencies use products from
        the same software supplier

      - database management systems (DBMS) - there are two DBMS in common
        use across government with a small number of other DBMS also in use

      - system management tools - this heading covers a broad area, however there
        are two products in common use across government that cover a significant
        portion of this area

      - security management tools - this heading covers a broad area. A CUA has
        recently been established for products supporting:

              - identification, authorisation and access control

              - host and network threat management

              - border email threat management

              - malicious code threat management

              - web threat management

              - security information management, and

              - integrated security product suites.

      - software development environments - there are two software development
        environments in common use across government (and across the industry)
        and a number of other environments also in use

      - middleware - there is a range of products and approaches in use across
        government

      - business intelligence tools - there is a range of products and approaches in
        use across government



Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 6 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper

      - project management methodologies - there is a range of products and
        approaches in use across government.




4. Objectives of Change
The changes to the current state have the following objectives, to:
      - lower costs:

              - procurement costs

              - support costs

              - deployment costs

      - improve productivity for ICT and non-ICT staff who move between agencies

      - improve the interoperability of agencies:

              - agency collaboration

              - shared data and systems

      - improve the ability to support Machinery of Government changes.




5. Rationale for Approved Options
5.1 The Policy
A policy statement is necessary to preserve the positives in the current ICT
environment and provide agencies with a clear statement of whole-of-government
objectives, which the agencies must balance against internal business needs and
priorities. The policy statement to minimise diversity and maximise interoperability
will ensure that any moves away from the current default are undertaken within a
government wide perspective.

5.2 The Desktop
Most agencies are already realising the main benefits of a desktop SOE which
encompasses some or all of the following:
      - configuration and capacity of the hardware

      - operating system



Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 7 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper

      - network connectivity

      - security

      - productivity software such as office systems that may include facilities such as
        word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database

      - Internet browser

      - email client

      - calendar

      - multi-media tools

      - PDF viewer

      - file compression

      - desktop management, and

      - other software and facilities that are used within the agency.

It is highly desirable that all agencies realise these benefits.
In determining that the benefits of a standardised desktop SOE are more readily
realised at the agency rather than whole-of-government level, the following was
taken into account:
      - the costs to implement more prescriptive standards than the current default
        across the whole-of-government are high

      - the costs to maintain more prescriptive standards, once implemented, are
        likely to be somewhat higher than the current situation

      - the benefits of implementing and maintaining more prescriptive standards
        than the current default across the whole-of-government are not significant.

Within individual agencies a default standard of the PC, Windows and Microsoft
Office already exists. However many versions of Microsoft Office products and
operating systems exist, with some smaller agencies still running on Office 95 and
Office 97.
Whilst there are many examples of open source software in use for agency business
applications, there is little use of open source office systems such as Linux in
agencies.

5.3 Email and Calendar
The costs to develop standards in the email and calendar environment such as
security settings, type and size of allowable attachments and the sharing of
calendars, resources and meeting rooms suited to the whole-of-government are not
significant.


Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 8 of 9
                        Standard Operating Environment for Information and Communications Technology

                                                                                Policy Position Paper

The benefits of developing and implementing standards in the email and calendar
environment across the whole-of-government are potentially of some significance
and include a more common user experience across government and improving
interoperability with booking of people and facilities.

5.4 Other Commonly Used Tools and Facilities
The costs to develop standards for other commonly used tools and facilities suited to
the whole-of-government are minimal. There is no intention to retrofit the standards
to the current ICT environment, thus there is no implementation cost. The standards
will be spread through government as agencies replace existing systems and
facilities.
The costs to maintain standards, once implemented, are minimal.
The benefits of implementing and maintaining standards for other commonly used
tools and facilities across the whole-of-government are of some significance and
include potential easing of future Machinery of Government changes. 1 Other benefits
are the narrowing of skill sets required across government by specialist users, ICT
staff and ICT service providers and an increased ability to share knowledge and
developed software.
Common Use Arrangements, where applicable, can also assist in minimising
diversity across government. The Office of Government Procurement will also
investigate the feasibility of developing Common Use Arrangements for commonly
used tools and facilities where not currently covered as above.




1
  Implementing these standards will only provide some minor easing of ICT issues during Machinery
of Government changes. A more significant factor identified during this research to ease ICT issues
during Machinery of Government changes is to establish common identifiers with a single point of
truth for common entities across government, eg organisations, customers, vehicles. This is outside
the scope of this paper.




Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Office of e-Government                     Page 9 of 9

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:11/27/2010
language:English
pages:9