.NetApp, Cisco, VMware, Microsoft and CAT Telecom have joined the government cloud-computing initiative, whereby a new information-technology platform will be designed to pool resources and reduce the government's IT spending. Information and Communications Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said at the launch today that the scheme should help reduce the government's IT spending by at least 30 per cent, while ensuring regularly updated technology as well as advancement in electronics-based public services.
He noted that each year, government units spent nearly Bt50 billion on hardware and software, but they ended up buying old but pricey technology. Asia-Pacific countries such as Australia have deployed cloud computing to provide services to their citizens.
Many Thai and foreign private firms in Thailand have also adopted the cloud-computing system, so it is inevitable that government agencies will begin to adopt this technology, he added. He said the use of cloud computing would enhance Thailand's image in terms of technology and boost its competitive edge in terms of public services.
Under the government cloud-computing platform, computer systems and networks could also be relocated from risky areas to protect electronic data. Much electronic data was damaged during the flood disaster. The Electronic Government Agency will be in charge of a pilot project that will pave the way for national implementation in April.
The three-month pilot project will encompass 10 government units. The initiative aims to reduce IT spending and energy use as well as promote the e-government concept and public services, Anudith said. The Electronic Government Agency is estimating the cost involved. According to the agency, the government's IT spending last year totalled Bt59.8 billion. Of the total, spending on data centres and the disaster recovery centre topped Bt2.6 billion, excluding the cost of hiring experts and equipment.