A new program aims to boost cloud computing skills in the public sector and upskill workers on data security as the Commonwealth’s transition to cloud-based infrastructure gains traction.
Canberra-based training facility the Vault Academy will launch in May and is expected to upskill 3,000 government IT professionals each year.
Jane Halton, chair of the Vault board and former senior federal bureaucrat, says the program will keep public sector workers up to date with best practice secure cloud management.
“People in government departments need to be quite confident that the cloud infrastructure that they’re going to move to provides confidence, security and value. We want to ensure that people have the knowledge, skills and confidence to help manage this change,” she said.
The program will be run over two-days and teach government software developers, infrastructure engineers, cloud architects and other IT industry workers the key operating policies and procedures for secure cloud computing, with an emphasis on hands-on lab activities and case studies.
It follows Microsoft’s launch last month of a cloud computing initiative to upskill 5,000 public service workers by 2020.
In its 2018 Secure Cloudy Strategy released in February, the Federal Government identified a lack of knowledge and skills of cloud services as a key barrier to the proliferation of the cloud.
Ms Halton agrees the shortage of public sector professionals with the requisite knowledge of cloud computing is problematic:
“There’s a shortage of people who actively, genuinely understand this domain from a cyber security, from an infrastructure rollout perspective.”
To address concerns around the public sector’s knowledge shortage, the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is developing a Cloud Knowledge Exchange to enable all levels of government to support the sharing of knowledge around the cloud.
That follows the Commonwealth’s launch earlier this year of cloud.gov.au, a new resource in educating public sector workers on the cloud.
The push for new training comes as the public sector transitions towards cloud-based services under the Federal Government’s Cloud Computing Policy, which has been rolling out since late 2014.
Ms Halton argues that the public sector needs to take steps to assist with the transition towards cloud computing.
“The rollout of the cloud by the Federal Government means that individuals, departments and agencies firstly have to understand there is an opportunity and a requirement and, secondly, look at their existing infrastructure and existing contracting arrangements and figure out which components of what they currently do are going to be moved to the cloud.”
In February, the DTA launched the Secure Cloud Strategy aimed at improving innovation and collaboration. As part of this, the government also announced it will make procurement of cloud services easier.
The strategy identified industry as having a crucial role in building competency among public service workers by providing training programs to enhance knowledge of cloud services.