AWS strengthens hold on Australian public sector with renewed government deal

A shot of the Australian flag flying above a building with a blue sky in the background

The Australian government has decided to renew its cloud services deal with AWS, at a time when the cloud giant is seeking to maintain its dominant position in the region.

AWS and the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) signed an agreement in 2019 to allow Australian Federal, State, and Territory agencies and departments, as well as public universities and government-controlled corporations access AWS Cloud services.

The new agreement, which will begin on 1 May, 2022 and is said to be worth $174 million, will involve AWS helping to streamline purchasing processes for agencies and provide more opportunities to AWS partners to work with government customers.

Public sector customers will be able to continue to receive over 200 AWS cloud services via the DTA, directly from AWS, or through authorised partners on the AWS Partner Network such as PwC, Accenture or Versent. The company hopes this will help customers maintain easy access to its cloud services and provide a greater choice in how they procure them.

“This enhanced Whole-of-Government Agreement represents AWS’s deep long-term commitment to Australia and our ability to innovate and improve based on feedback from our partners and customers,” said Iain Rouse, public sector country director of Australia and New Zealand at AWS. “We are looking forward to continuing to support the government in its digital initiatives, drive local economic growth, and solve some of the biggest challenges in society.”

As part of the agreement, AWS will also work with DTA and the Australian Public Service Commission to uplift digital capability across government through a comprehensive cloud training programme.

AWS held a 32.3% market share of the Australian infrastructure as a service (IaaS) public cloud market in 2020, according to research published by Gartner last June. Microsoft was in second place with 27.3% followed by Google with 12.7%.

There’s fierce competition between the three providers who are all battling to secure a share of Australia’s cloud computing spend, which is predicted to reach US$14.1 billion by 2025, according to GlobalData.

Securing a repeat deal with the government is seen as a major win for AWS, especially as the other cloud giants are working hard to expand their presence. Google, for example, launched its second cloud region in Melbourne last July, while Microsoft reportedly plans to establish a new $1.3 billion data centre campus in Sydney, according to AFR.

How is Australia’s public sector using AWS’ technology?

AWS said that its infrastructure is used by hundreds of thousands of active customers in Australia each month. This includes large public sector organisations like the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Through the previous agreement, AWS provided the foundation for the successful collection of data for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the 2021 Census of Population. It worked with PwC to deliver the Census Digital Service, which provided professional services, training, and marketplace services. As a result, ABS was able to handle the workload generated by the 2.5 million people who submitted their forms in a 24 hour period on Census Day.

Geoscience Australia (GA) also worked with AWS to advance key science programme initiatives like the establishment and deliver Digital Earth Australia, a project to use satellite imagery and data when making decisions that support a sustainable Australian environment.

AWS is also working on a new digital platform with Western Australia’s Curtin University. This will help automate IT management, provide new digital services for projects, and allow for data driven decisions across the university’s services. Through this, Curtin has launched an AWS Skills Guild called ElevateU, which will equip over 200 employees with the skills needed to help the move to the cloud.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.