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IBM first in line as New Zealand Ministry of Health moves to the cloud

IBM first in line as New Zealand Ministry of Health moves to the cloud

Tech giant contracted to deliver highly secure cloud solutions for government in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health has adopted IBM’s government cloud service to meet its all-of-government requirements to operate an onshore Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, the government’s principal policy advisor on health and disability, manages an infrastructure that supports internal IT systems as well as national health systems.

These include the National Health Payment System, which processes transactions for pharmacy and health care providers, and the National Health Index database, used to help with the planning, coordination and provisioning of services across the country.

“The agreement is a key element in improving the Ministry of Health’s ability to deliver shared services for the sector, which enables secure access to personal health records for patients and their health care providers,” says Graeme Osborne, Director of the National Health IT Board.

“Our aim is to improve productivity and patient safety, and enable new models of care through strategic technology investments.”

The Ministry has signed on to IBM’s Cloud Managed Infrastructure Services for New Zealand Government, a cloud solution developed specifically for the public sector using onshore data centres, for a minimum of five years.

Their adoption of IBM Cloud follows an agreement by Health Benefits Limited to consolidate all 20 District Health Boards on IBM Cloud as part of the National Infrastructure Platform.

IBM is a member of the Government ICT Common Capability IaaS panel managed by the Department of Internal Affairs, the government’s ICT Functional Lead.

With access to IBM’s computing resources ‘as-a-Service’, government agencies will be able to provision new applications faster and scale up IT infrastructure as required, creating cost savings and avoiding the need to purchase additional server and storage capacity separately as new applications are developed.

“We continue to invest in advanced technology infrastructure vital for New Zealand’s long-term economic growth,” adds Andrew Buchanan, Cloud Business Leader, IBM New Zealand.

“IBM’s cloud services offer customers like the Ministry of Health the most comprehensive enterprise-grade cloud environment in New Zealand and will support new, enhanced services for the public, suppliers and staff.

“This agreement further demonstrates our leadership and commitment to health care innovation.”

Buchanan says IBM offers a “comprehensive hybrid cloud model”, designed to meet the strategic business, security and data sovereignty needs of public and private sector clients operating locally and internationally.

These services include the IBM Cloud Managed Infrastructure Services for New Zealand, IBM Cloud Managed Infrastructure Services for New Zealand Government, and cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM company.

Furthermore, IBM New Zealand’s cloud portfolio leverages earlier investments in advanced data centre infrastructure and follows an announcement in March 2014 to invest NZ$10 million to expand its local cloud capability to meet the evolving needs of New Zealand public sector agencies and private organisations.

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