Application Brokering involves the coordination and management of a subset of IT services required in support of systems hosted outside the state datacenter. While Cloud Computing Terminology includes a broad range of topics, ITD's Application Brokering role focuses around the concepts of Software as a Service (SaaS) and external hosting providers.
Historically, ND State Government mostly utilized on premise computing environments in support of its line-of-business applications. In recent years, the maturity of cloud computing and the shift towards Software as a Service (SaaS) has redefined the IT landscape. However, simply moving applications to the cloud or to an outside provider does not alleviate the need for a subset of ITD services.
Application Brokering helps to ensure that the costs for core professional and infrastructure services are distributed equitably across all of the state's line-of-business applications. It encapsulates the people, process, and technology associated with providing enterprise management and end-to-end solutions that are not reflected in most base contracts for cloud computing solutions, including:
These services will continue to be bundled within ITD's hosting and storage rates for on premise applications. Application Brokering will ensure a consistent approach to Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings and externally hosted systems.
ITD's cloud computing strategy is based on a hybrid environment, which leverages the existing on premise environment when possible and selectively utilizes the external cloud when beneficial. Using the on premise environment, sometimes referred to as a private cloud, allows the state to leverage existing investments in infrastructure and provide a stable and secure environment that agencies and citizens can rely on.
ITD's 2015-17 Strategic Plan includes the following cloud related initiatives that further reflect its strategy and direction:
North Dakota Century Code (Chapter 54.59.22) mandates that ITD must provide hosting services for electronic mail, file-and-print server administration, database administration, storage, and application servers. Therefore, a Request For Exemption from the Statutory Hosting Policy is needed prior to utilizing Software as a Service (SaaS) applications or running externally hosted systems.
ITD will partner with agencies to broker the initial contract and ongoing vendor relationship for Software as a Service (SaaS). ITD will provide periodic security reviews, architecture reviews or annual meetings to discuss product roadmaps. A surcharge of 3.5% of the annual amount paid to the vendor providing Software as a Service (SaaS) will be charged by ITD. The fees will be billed monthly with a minimum of $10 per month and a maximum of $1,000 per month per application.