Cloud and Digital Infrastructures
Cloud & Data Center expert
Digital infrastructures play a vital role in many of our daily activities. From a strategic point of view, they are the equivalent of telecommunications networks, motorways, power stations or aqueducts; they are in fact critical infrastructures and should be treated as such. For the State, digital infrastructures represent an ever-increasing component of the backbone that supports the system of services that Public Administrations use and provide to citizens. It is therefore imperative that the public sector digital infrastructures be reliable, secure and economically sustainable.
Over the years, however, the Public Administration’s technological infrastructure was developed and organized randomly and left at the initiative of each individual administration with the result that the whole system lacked coherence, coordination and planning and thousands of small data processing centers (CED) proliferated.
The present situation calls for the rationalization of existing data centers and the elimination of centers that are either obsolete, insecure or unreliable. Thanks to strong economies of scale, such a scheme would allow:
- a substantial reduction in public spending;
- greater infrastructure security against IT risks;
- an increase in quality;
- better energy efficiency.
The Three-Year Plan for ICT in the public administration 2017-2019, which is a pillar of the country’s digital transformation, indicated the path to transform digital infrastructures, thereby laying the foundations for:
- the rationalization of all existing physical structures (data centers);
- the introduction of safer, more reliable digital infrastructures through cloud computing technologies.
The Team’s Role
In order to eliminate obsolete data centers, services must migrate to other infrastructures. With this objective in mind, the Digital Transformation Team, together with Agid, has defined a diversified strategy that anticipates the creation of a variety of infrastructures based on the characteristics of the particular service being offered.
On the basis of the services provided and the data processed, Public Administrations’ security requirements differ sensibly thus demanding specific technical solutions and different degrees of reliability. Accordingly, we recommend that:
- All Public Administration services, which by the NIS Directive can be considered strategic assets or essential services and, thus, critical for country’s security, will require dedicated infrastructures, the so-called National Strategic Poles. The Poles, which will provide infrastructural services such as cloud, housing and co-location, should be under direct control of the State.
- All other PAs will have to use public cloud services supplied by public or private Cloud service providers, which should be certified in accordance with AgID regulations (No. 2 of 9 April 2018 and No. 3 of 9 April 2018).
The new “PA cloud” scheme will allow migration to cloud infrastructures. Through this scheme, Public Administrations can provide online services to users (citizens, businesses and other public administrations) and manage internal use applications, in compliance with minimum efficiency and safety requirements.
All PAs should be incentivized to progressively adopt a cloud first strategy aimed at facilitating the adoption of those cloud solutions which are best suited to the specific needs.
The cloud first strategy also provides for a migration process that anticipates the tools and methodologies necessary to support PAs to dismantle physical structures and update applications.
As part of the Three-Year Plan, the Digital Team has outlined a growth trajectory to guide PA’s through the transformation process. It provides a national Cloud Enablement Program (CEP) that is dedicated to the reorganization of IT processes in cloud environments, and a work environment (Cloud Enablement Framework) that identifies and specifies resources, methodologies and tools for the implementation.
The main elements of this path are:
- cost reduction and consolidation of infrastructure;
- consolidation and strengthening of the PA’s IT skills through the creation of competence centers or “aggregators,” i.e. administrations and in-house companies capable of managing services on behalf of other administrations;
- the creation of an expanded community of IT technicians, experts and managers who are able to deal with issues, propose standards and regulations for digital services, and share information, solutions, and skills.
Benefits for citizens
- Increased reliability of public services;
- greater security and more respect for privacy;
- public services designed in a digitally native manner;
- lower public spending on digital services.
Benefits for Public Administrations
- Significant savings to be reinvested in the development of new services;
- Greater transparency of costs and use of services;
- Greater agility in the management of infrastructures through the exploitation of a scalable model based on consumer services (i.e. domestic users);
- Greater efficiency for stimulating growth.
Cloud and Digital Infrastructures is a project of national importance. To encourage discussion and an exchange of viewpoints, and to favour the participation of all the plays involved in the project, we created a forum.
For any contact request received from the media and journalists, the Digital Transformation Team’s press and communication office is the point of reference.