The Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) recently unveiled GI Cloud, a national cloud initiative to help the government leverage cloud computing for effective delivery of e-governance services.
The project will support the implementation of the National e-Governance Plan of India (NeGP) and thus, aims to create a private cloud environment for the use of government departments and agencies at the center and state levels.
If DeitY is to be believed, the adoption of cloud computing will accelerate the delivery of e-services to citizens, and support other objectives such as increasing standardization, interoperability and integration, pooling of scarce and underused resources, and the spread of best practices.
The decision has come at a time when the industry is already transitioning to the cloud. Certainly the move will speed up the development and rollout of e-governance applications while increasing government ICT efficiency.
The DeitY has also released a roadmap to GI Cloud, assessing the ICT infrastructure currently in place in India and defining an implementation plan for GI Cloud. The roadmap underlines that cloud computing environments will be established at the national and state levels, starting with one National Cloud, using new and existing data centers.
The National Cloud will be able to provide services such as computing, storage and network infrastructure, backup and recovery, and application development, supported by the State Clouds.
In addition, the department says that a GI Cloud Services Directory will be created to help public sector organizations find and subscribe to relevant services. The government's AppStore will host both cloud and non-cloud enabled applications which can easily be customized to meet the needs of different organizations.
The first step defined for the implementation of GI Cloud is the establishment of an ‘Empowered Committee' to provide strategic and regulatory guidance to DeitY and other stakeholders. DeitY will publish guidelines and standards for the security, application development, service delivery, contract management, and pricing and procurement for GI Cloud.