Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ pursues discipline in sector cloud spending

Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ pursues discipline in sector cloud spending

Chair Rob Campbell: too many Te Whatu Ora partners and suppliers are trying to replicate their old relationships.

Rob Campbell (Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ)

Rob Campbell (Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ)

Credit: Supplied

Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority are seeking greater visibility of sector cloud spending. 

The agencies are establishing cloud services across the sector and to do so are going to market for cloud financial operations, "finops", systems and processes to deliver cloud cost reporting, billing, and, in the future, expenditure optimisation.

In its establishment phase, Te Whatu Ora is poised to take overall control of the national public health system previously governed by regional and local entities. 

The finops service would be rolled out in waves as that amalgamation advances, starting with Te Whatu Ora Health NZ Northern and some national services.

The agencies want to provide visibility and control of cloud costs across private and public cloud domains and to establish cost accountability and budget tracking of spending across infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities.

A cloud account dashboard view would be part of the solution as would reports on cloud financial key performance indicators to support expenditure forecasting and budget planning.

Tracking and reporting on public cloud software as a service (SaaS) usage and associated costs and integration with cloud auto provisioning tools to apply optimisation controls would also feature,

The aim is to identify cost avoidance and resource optimisation measures and to ingest and analyse compute, storage, and network data to support usage reporting and optimisation.

Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ Northern was itself currently migrating to a cloud and IaaS infrastructure model. 

Platforms likely to be adopted included private cloud (leveraging all of government IaaS), as well as hyperscale public cloud platforms from Azure, AWS, and Google.

Earlier this month, Te Whatu Ora – Health NZ chair Rob Campbell said the new national agency would focus its technology spend on solutions which brought "immediate, measurable benefits", and which promoted equity and efficiency objectives.

Speaking at Digital Health Week NZ 2022 in Rotorua, he said Te Whatu Ora’s goal was to "unify to simplify" to get understanding and control of the health services it inherited.

“We do not and will not have much money to spend on new technologies," Campbell said. "That means we have to prioritise those which bring immediate, measurable benefits, and which promote our equity and efficiency objectives.

“To get to that point we have to sort through a veritable haystack of projects and impose some order and discipline on the process of technology spend."

Te Whatu Ora’s partners and suppliers needed to relearn ways of doing things because too many were trying to replicate their old relationships, Campbell added.

The finops procurement is being led by HealthSource, the northern region's public health IT shared services unit.

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