Australian Government Architecture

Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is the deployment of computing services into a shared pool of computing, network and storage resources accessed by multiple customers to reduce costs, improve quality of service, harness innovation and increase scalability. Cloud computing service models include Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. Cloud Services can be deployed as either Public or Private Cloud.


To maximise the uptake of cloud computing in government while embedding risk-based decision making for cloud security.

Cloud Financial Optimisation (Cloud FinOps)

Note: The below content pertains specifically to Cloud FinOps. This will become a capability in the near future, in alignment with other updates to the AGA Domain and Capability Model (DCM).


Cloud Financial Optimisation or 'Cloud FinOps’ covers financial management processes and practices for cloud services. In the context of government operations, Cloud Financial Operations, or FinOps, is a strategic approach that aligns cloud spending with public sector objectives and accountability. 

Modern cloud operations provide the opportunity for great flexibility and cost-efficient delivery of services, but also the potential risk of uncontrolled spending. To address this risk, Cloud FinOps blends financial management, cloud expertise, and data analytics to optimise cloud spending whilst ensuring that Commonwealth entities have the resources they need to support business objectives.


Cloud FinOps, as a specialised form of portfolio management tailored to cloud resources, is crucial for Commonwealth entities to maintain fiscal responsibility and operate efficiently when it comes to management of cloud computing. By implementing Cloud FinOps, entities can achieve a balance between agility, cost, and mission outcomes, ensuring that cloud expenditures drive meaningful improvements in service delivery and public value. 

The iterative nature of Cloud FinOps process allows for continuous refinement and optimisation of cloud strategies, fostering a culture of financial prudence and strategic investment.


The objectives of this Australian Government Architecture (AGA) content are to:

  • Facilitate cross-government and internal collaboration: Fin Ops fosters collaboration between various Commonwealth entities, as well as within an organisation in a manner that aligns finance, technology, and project/program management stakeholders to ensure that cloud investments are managed effectively and efficiently.
  • Ensure Public Accountability: Cloud FinOps, in a government context, ensures that cloud spending is transparent and accountable, aligning with the public’s expectation of prudent use of funds.
  • Maintain Budgetary Compliance: Cloud FinOps emphasises compliance with strict budgetary frameworks and fiscal policies, ensuring that cloud expenditures stay within allocated resources.
  • Align Technology with Public Service Goals: Cloud FinOps ensures that cloud technology investments directly support the government's service delivery objectives and mission outcomes.

These objectives reflect the government’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, efficient service delivery, and the strategic use of technology to serve the public good.

Whole of Government Applicability

Cloud FinOps aligns with the evolving needs of Commonwealth entities, offering a more responsive and cost-effective approach for managing technology resources as the trend toward cloud adoption continues. Through its fusion of financial management, operations technical governance, and is tailoring for the dynamic nature of cloud environments, Cloud FinOps provides real time visibility of usage and costs, enabling proactive optimisation of cloud resources. The emphasis on collaboration among finance, operations and other teams ensures a holistic approach to cost management, fostering efficiency and accountability.

The emergence of Cloud FinOps presents a shift in managing resources for the whole-of-government. Cloud FinOps marks a shift from seeing ICT infrastructure as capital expenditure (CapEx) to operational expenditure (OpEx), emphasising the flexibility and scalability of cloud resources over traditional upfront investments, thereby aligning costs more closely with usage and business needs.


This capability is part of the following domain.

Technology Reference


The following policies have requirements that impact this capability.


The following standards support development of digital solutions in this capability.
As Commonwealth entities increasingly adopt Cloud FinOps, it is important that they adopt a strategic approach that outlines a clear vision, a plan for incremental development, and a target to pragmatically achieve their organisational objectives. All Cloud FinOps implementations should take a…


The following designs include examples of how digital solutions in this capability can be delivered.
The Cloud Marketplace is a digital sourcing arrangement for cloud computing offerings to government, as managed by the Digital Transformation Agency. The marketplace operates as a cooperative panel arrangement, with sellers being appointed through an initial open approach to market and…
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) provides digital sourcing contract templates that make it easier for government agencies to set up contracts with suppliers. To source cloud services, it is recommended that buyers use the Cloud Marketplace in the first instance. This marketplace is…
The Blueprint for Secure Cloud (previously known as the Protected Utility Blueprint) is an online tool to support the design, configuration and deployment of collaborative and secure cloud and hybrid workspaces, with a current focus on Microsoft 365. The Blueprint provides better practice guidance…
The Cloud Assessment and Authorisation publication is intended for cloud service providers, Infosec Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessors and Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities who are subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 to the extent…
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