The Victorian government’s shared IT services provider Cenitex will deploy secure cloud services from Zscaler across more than 36,000 users situated in 450 offices across the state.
The cloud security deployment is part of Cenitex’s Program Fortify, which has so far seen more than $30 million invested into the two-year transformation program that is made up of four parts including Digital Workplace, Software Defined Data Centre, Software Defined Network and Smart Internet Gateway. In April, Cenitex said the program was expected to be completed at the end of this year.
This also falls into line with Cenitex's secure cloud services launch in July that was based on Microsoft Azure, allowing agencies to host data classified at the Protected level in the cloud service.
The Zscaler cloud platform will support Cenitex’s use of cloud-based applications including Microsoft Office 365, and will also offer protection to Victorian Government guest Wi-Fi users.
Cenitex director of digital transformation, Nav Pillai, said security was no longer about securing just the data centre, but also the devices that its many users work with on a daily basis.
He explained the state government agencies it caters to can range from 1,000 users in the CBD in one department, to five users in a remote agency located in regional Victoria.
“We flipped the conversation around security, in that it is no longer just about the data centre perimeter, actually, security follows the user, and one of the biggest drivers from Victorian Government policy perspective, is they want to engage people working remotely or from home with flexible work arrangements,” Pillai said.
“Now for our customers, it doesn't matter if they’re actually in the office, working remotely or from home, they will be directly protected with Zscaler security cloud.”
Furthermore Pillai said its digital transformation journey has been really successfully despite the challenges that have arisen, as the project was completely focused on achieving the business outcomes. He also expressed surprise in the matter of weeks it took to deploy 39,000 devices.
“That’s game changing for us because you could never do that in that amount of time being on-prem with the capacity, scale and reach,” he said. “As a result, we have seen an improvement in our performance.”
Additionally, Ecosystm analyst, Alex Woerndle, cited its own research it conducted with government organisations that found 68 per cent of respondents citing digital transformation as the primary driver of continuing to focus on security.
“We’re seeing the topic of security as being a driver and also an inhibitor. I think more so than anything, it's trying to break the shackles of seeing security as embedded in the journey,” he said. “I still think from what we're seeing in our research is that security is absolutely seen as a roadblock to innovation, transformation and improving,” he said.
“I guess security is still stuck in this in this era of being seen as a blocker and it still hasn't quite gone out of it, and that's part of the reason I think why digital transformation can stall or take a lot longer to occur because the business generally doesn't want understand it, or we just see it as a problem that is insurmountable at the moment.”