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Introduction

Cloud computing is concerned with IT operations of an organization in the cloud. Cost effectiveness, efficiency, scalability, high availability, on-demand nature of resources and elasticity are pivotal reasons why organizations would like to migrate to cloud computing. Out of the many available options in the market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) stands as the most mature service provider in this business space. AWS is also named as a Leader in Gartner’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant for the seventh consecutive year. Cloud computing is the next big trend in the IT operations of any organization, no matter how big or small, public or private, involved in day-to-day business or mission critical applications – all can benefit from cloud computing.

The role of the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) is to spear head the cloud project for the Government of Bahrain and assist to conceptualize it, plan it, develop it and form the building blocks to operate it efficiently for all governmental entities. 

Vision and Future Projects

The vision is to be able to provide all necessary services to citizens and residents of Bahrain at a lightning fast pace using the fluid nature of the cloud computing business. All future government projects should have a clear direction to move to the cloud as stipulated by the approved cloud first policy for the Government of Bahrain.

Initiatives

The Government of Bahrain has contracted with AWS on a strategic level to introduce and benefit from deploying infrastructure as well as services in the AWS cloud. AWS (Amazon Web Services) has already set-up a local office in Bahrain and intend to set-up an AWS infrastructure region with three availability zones during the launch in order to attract more public/private customers from the GCC region.

Achievements

The Government of Bahrain has succeeded in migrating some critical business systems of some organizations such as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), BIPA, etc. during the first phase of the roll-out. More entities are expected to join. Primary business objectives are cost-savings, time to market, on-demand resources, ease of operations and teaching new skills for IT staff, amongst others. 

Services Provided to the Public

Sooner or later, all government IT operations are bound to be run on the cloud. Currently, a few websites of government entities have been migrated to the AWS, the learning management system of BIPA has also been set-up on AWS, the ministry of education learning management system was fully shifted to the cloud. Furthermore, 20+ workload/systems of the government are being considered to be migrated to AWS as part of the first wave. Authority’s DMZ (De-Militarized Zone), where 800 virtual servers reside and provide various services to customers, are also part of this wave.

Cloud-First Policy

The Bahraini Government is committed to modernizing government ICT and leading by example in using cloud computing services so as to reduce costs, increase security and productivity as well as develop excellent citizen services.

The Kingdom of Bahrain will adopt a Cloud-First approach with the aim of:

  • Reducing costs of government ICT by eliminating duplication of solutions and fragmentations in the technology environment, together with leveraging the efficiencies of on-demand provisioning of ICT services;
  • Increasing security by utilizing accredited platforms;
  • Increasing productivity and agility, thus improving citizen services

In order to achieve this, all government agencies in the Kingdom of Bahrain will evaluate the cloud-based services when undertaking all ICT procurements. The decision on the appropriate ICT delivery model will be based on an assessment of each application, incorporating fitment of purpose, cost benefit analysis and achieving value for money over the life of the investment. This assessment is best achieved by using any of the well-established tools available in the market, either from the identified cloud service provider and/or a non-attached third party.

The following policy document sets out general guiding principles for a ‘Cloud First’ approach of government ministries and agencies to consider in adopting cloud computing solutions as a primary part of their information technology planning and procurement. 


Page Last Updated: 06 Dec, 2017