Summary

The cloud can deliver amazing cost savings with negligible impact on user experience. The challenge for Queensland Treasury (QT) was that their mission critical operations provided the financial services that fuelled Queensland Government operations. To minimise the risk of failure in service delivery, change management is tightly controlled and plans are reviewed and vetted to mitigate the possibility of service outages. MOQdigital won a tender to independently analyse service utilisation and develop a detailed plan outlining how “The Cloud” could deliver measurable economies and reduce the workload required to manage QT’s complex IT environment. The projected improvements will cut operating budgets significantly and mark the beginning of a migration away from self-managed to almost complete operation in the cloud.

Qld Treasury

Overview

Company: Queensland Treasury
Website: treasury.qld.gov.au
Locations: Brisbane, Australia
Vertical: State Government
Employees: 14200
Established: 1860

Facts

  • MOQdigital’s independent review of infrastructure identified ways to massively reduce costs in specific operational processes
  • Rapid scalability will help QT deal with seasonal peaks and harness added processing capacity on demand
  • Auditing revealed that many functions can be delivered using lower cost public cloud without compromising security or operating flexibility
  • Implement the tools that can provide transparent reporting on cloud resource metrics.

Services and Products

  • High level system design
  • Strategic goals
  • Auditing and review
  • Testing and modelling

“The roadmap that MOQdigital has helped us develop has added agility to our business operations and rethink how we plan for the future”

David Tozza
Manager, ICT Planning and Procurement

 About Queensland Treasury

QT adheres to a strict charter delivering financial services to the state’s elected Government. Their remit is to manage the state’s finances responsibly, ensure the taxation environment is competitive and that the state’s long term liabilities are fully funded. The QT provides revenue management for the state’s A$12Bn finances and provides services to Government clients and statutory authorities. QT also provides granular analysis of financial data for stakeholders to ensure state taxpayers receive the best return on their investment.

Business Challenge

QT issued a tender to undertake detailed analysis of workloads and utilisation across their physical and virtual computing environments. A planned office relocation provided the ideal opportunity for an independent infrastructure review to investigate ways to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. The State Government had implemented a policy that reframed how Government agencies invest in and manage their ICT infrastructure based upon the principle of contestability, where the Government provides the best possible service levels at competitive market rates. The business case for operating their own Data Centres was proving difficult to support because of the plethora of alternative cloud based services available at a fraction of the cost of delivering the service internally.

Implementation

The tender was awarded to leading integrator MOQdigital who analysed workloads to reveal how services and resources were consumed by QT users. The QT infrastructure was housed in two data centres located in the city’s CBD – typical for an organisation of this size. Around 60 x86 physical Servers hosted more the 250 guest applications while two legacy HP Superdome’s were used for intensive number-crunching and modelling. Consideration had to be made for the additional resources required during the preparation of State budgets because intensive processing spikes were required for a finite period.

Results

MOQdigital undertook exhaustive analysis and solution modelling to provide a detailed report that met the brief as defined by QT. The tender specified that MOQdigital address a number of specific issues to provide insights into existing utilisation and formulate a cloud strategy with business cases that justified “as-a-Service” options.

The assessment documentation comprised the following information:

  • Review and document current and future business needs
  • Provide granular analysis of compatible “as-a-Service” solution models that address risks, licensing, remediation and nominate typical operating costs
  • Make recommendations to address transition, change management, co-existence and high-level implementation.

To further broaden the report’s audience, an options paper was requested to provide further information to key stakeholders:

  • Executive synopsis and Background
  • Drivers for change
  • Cloud deployment model assessment
  • Description of whole of Government IaaS panel and objectives
  • Legislative restrictions (with QT) to provide legal oversight
  • Solution model benefits
  • Solution issues (including remediation activities)
  • Business and technical requirements
  • Licensing models
  • Costs for implementation and ongoing support costs
  • Maintenance and support – provided by internal and external resources
  • Change management
  • Solution model guidance and recommendations.

Summary

CHALLENGE

  • An ageing system (Lotus Notes) that was not meeting their projected business needs.
  • A planned upgrade of the department’s electronic document management system was not possible due to the complexity and cost of integrating with their legacy messaging platform.
  • The business was falling behind.

SOLUTION

  • Engage the skills and experience to mitigate business risk
  • Reduce support costs due to the availability of skills needed to administer the Microsoft messaging platform.
  • Microsoft Office was widely deployed and employees were familiar with its operation – negating the need for detailed training.

APPLICATIONS

  • MS Office 365
  • Design, Migration and Integration Services
  • Migration tools

BENEFITS

  • Reduced Support and Training Costs 
  • Resilient Messaging Platform that’s Flexible and Offers Users Greater Functionality 
  • Greater Mobility of Staff

Conclusions

Office relocations present a unique opportunity for organisations to drastically re-engineer their IT infrastructure. QT have been afforded the luxury of a year to migrate their data and completely refresh the way they deliver IT Services to their clients and stakeholders. The Treasury is Queensland’s financial powerhouse that ensures capital works are funded, salaries are paid and ensures fiscal oversight guarantees compliant with regulations and common law. Any interruption to services or limited and unstable performance is unacceptable because of the risk posed to QT’s ability to conduct business on behalf of State taxpayers.

At the completion of the review three broad observations were drawn that set the parameters for project fulfilment:

  • QT could migrate over 60% of their existing workloads into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Numerous services can be transitioned over to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • Utilise Public Cloud IaaS for over 90% of the remaining environment with only 10% of legacy systems still requiring a more traditional deployment – in this case Private Cloud IaaS.

MOQdigital possess the skills and experience needed to help QT reduce the risk of migrating from a physical to a virtual location. Major transformation projects happen so rarely in most organisations that external guidance usually delivers better outcomes at a lower impact on business operations. Independent review and audit can help reveal limitations or identify better methodology or modes of execution that assists to deliver the best stakeholder outcomes.