The government has empanelled Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud services provider (CSP) and is in the process of empanelling two other technology majors — Microsoft and IBM — to the list by as early as next week. While Amazon Internet Services (AISPL), an Indian subsidiary of Amazon Group, has been empanelled after the required standardisation, testing and quality certification (STQC) audit by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), the same for IBM and Microsoft in under process and will be completed by this week or the next, sources said. At present, there are six STQC-compliant provisional empanelled CSPs that can be used by end-user government departments for cloud services. This is in addition to the national cloud services being offered by NIC to various ministries and departments. MeitY is the nodal ministry to suggest to government departments in terms of cloud and other IT-related services. Only those companies are allowed to provide services that have been empanelled and have cleared the requisite audit process.
This is part of the government’s ambitious cloud computing services initiative – GI Cloud or MeghRaj – through which it wants to create a comprehensive cloud services environment spreading over multiple locations and available to central, state and local governments. Both the CSPs and government departments will share responsibility for managing services provisioned using cloud computing. This is to accelerate delivery of e-services and at the same time optimise the government’s ICT spending, a government official said. According to research firm Gartner, the government’s IT spend in 2017 is likely to touch $7.8 billion, which is a growth of 9.5% over 2016.