The federal cabinet approved the Cloud First Policy to enable digital transformation in the public sector.
Tell me more: The policy urges organizations to consider cloud-based systems for storing their data.
The government currently has 34 ministries and more than 200 affiliated departments, and all of them have their data centers.
A cloud-based system can help develop a common platform for all public sector departments.
Why it matters: The collective cloud service will enable migration from data centers to the central cloud for government ministries and departments.
This can significantly reduce government expenses, enhance data protection and increase the efficiency of government services.
Cloud infrastructure enables:
- cross-government economies of scale
- resilience to cyber threats
- cost savings
- meeting environmental and sustainability targets
What the policy says: The Cloud First Policy has listed five classes of data which include:
- Open data – publicly available data to make the government open and accountable and increase citizen participation.
- Public data – related to the public sector that is non-confidential and is publicly available.
- Restricted data – related to public sector businesses, operations, and services, can undermine the reputation of Pakistan internationally if compromised.
- Sensitive/Confidential data – information not intended to be published, which shall be accessed only by certain people having proper authorization and justifies reasonable protective measures.
- Secret – information that requires the highest level of protection from serious threats. Its breach can pose a danger to life or public security, cause financial losses, severe damage to public interests, etc.
The ‘Cloud Office’ will oversee the accreditation, quality, security, and departmental IT affairs of cloud service providers.
The Cloud Board will accredit the cloud service providers with the required capabilities and equipment.
Also, the Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication has urged all the provinces, including Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, to implement the Cloud Policy.
He says that the objective of the Cloud Policy is to make things better. Its implementation will enhance investment in the country.
Big Picture: The “Cloud First Policy” initiative reflects the government’s efforts to make Digital Pakistan a reality. It wants to ensure that everything is online, accessible, and convenient.
The policy can allow the remote exchange of information when needed, which is a very useful tool in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.