New Discussion List opened for Public Administration Cloud Requirements

A new mailing list has been opened at the request of the OASIS members listed below to discuss a possible new OASIS Technical Committee on Public Administration Cloud Requirements (PACR). Anyone, whether OASIS member and non-member, may subscribe to this list and participate in the discussion. Please see the preliminary statement of scope below for details on this proposal.

The purpose of the list is to determine whether there is sufficient interest to form an OASIS Technical Committee and to collaborate on a draft charter for submission.

The discussion list leader is John Borras. The email address for the list is:

public-sector-cloud-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org.

To join the list and participate in the discussion, send an email message to:

public-sector-cloud-discuss-subscribe@lists.oasis-open.org.

The discussion list will remain open until 04 September 2012. The archives of the list are public and can be found at:

http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/public-sector-cloud-discuss/

Please feel free to forward this announcement to other appropriate lists. OASIS is an open standards organization, and welcomes your feedback.

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DISCUSSION LIST PROPOSAL

Governments at all levels around the world are evaluating the use of, and increasingly converting many of their information and communication technology ("ICT") systems to cloud and other remote distributed computing services and installations. The nature of these relatively novel systems requires some re-examination of the public policy and government responsibility requirements generally applied to ICT functions on which public administrations rely, including their:

• Safety, reliability and stability;
• Legislative conformance;
• Degree of control and auditability by or on behalf of the responsible public administration;
• Reliance on and vulnerability to single sources, vendors, formats, applications or computing protocols;
• Usability and extensibility of data and data functions by anticipatable stakeholders;
• Portability of data;
• Portability and composability of data functions across multiple systems and clouds operating in concert;
• Cost effectiveness; and
• Skills needs.

The increased speed, functionality, reach and efficiencies sought and availability from cloud computing methods in some cases put unique stresses on the foregoing conventional ICT requirements, and may also give rise to special needs not encountered or well defined in segregated, stand-alone computing installations.

Some work has been done in creating typologies of cloud computing service function levels, and towards models of services; and several recently-formed coalitions have proposed requirements lists at one or another level of cloud activity. However, there is little help available to governments to integrate those lists into common, readily-understood rules that inform tests or acquisition criteria; and little or no openly available, vendor-neutral information mapping such requirements to the rather large but loosely-organized body of existing ICT standards.

The foregoing state of affairs can lead to haphazard, constantly-changing criteria; serious difficulties in comparing or evaluating possible cloud services; accidental data architectures (or none at all); and a failure to take advantage of easily-used but hard-to-fine bodies of existing openly-available work. The proposed Public Administration Cloud Requirements (PACR) TC will draw together a common set of attributes and operational requirements that are relevant to public administrations, at each of the major service levels of cloud systems, and map them to existing open standards and published governmental works that supply methods of measurement and definition.

The committee will develop a set of common required functional elements, and measurable criteria or qualities that should be present in cloud computing services or installations employed by public administration entities, whether purchased, hired or self-created and self-installed. In this context, "should be present" refers to aspects of a cloud service or installation that are likely to be necessary in order to satisfy the public policy aspects, governmental reliability and stability requirements, responsibility to citizens and constituent stakeholders, and broad, platform-neutral accessibility that generally are expected and desirable from useful, long-term government ICT resources.

Proposers:
Belgian SPF Finances (adil.soussinachit@minfin.fed.be), Contributor
New Zealand Government (Colin.Wallis@dia.govt.nz), Contributor
John Borras (johnaborras@yahoo.co.uk), Individual member

Discussion List Leader: John Borras