As the South Korean government plans to transfer its public information system to cloud by 2025, level of interest amongst public agencies and local governments is being heightened towards designation of a public cloud center.
This is because agencies and governments will be able to gain additional effects such as job creation as they will become the main operator of a local IT system once the location for a center is determined.
“17 industrial complexes, construction companies, and local governments are part of the first round of applications.” said one official from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MOIS). “We plan to designate the location for a public cloud center starting from next month after conducting on-site evaluations and other necessary steps this month.”
In 2020, the South Korean government announced that it would transfer entirety of the public sector’s IT system to cloud by 2025. According to the MOIS, the National Information Resources Service (NIRS) operates about 40,000 systems (17%) out of 220,000 IT systems of administrative and public agencies. The government plans to transfer the rest of 180,000 systems to public and private cloud centers.
Private cloud center is a center operated by private companies such as Naver Cloud and NHN. Government departments and public agencies are able to select and use private clouds that have obtained the government’s cloud security certification (Cloud Security Assurance Program).
Public cloud center is designated by the minister of the MOIS. A center is designated by satisfying certain conditions (82 provisions) from the “comprehensive standard on information resource of administrative agencies and public agencies” and going through evaluations. The NIRS is the only one currently that operates a public cloud center.
“We plan to increase the number of public cloud center operators from here and out.” said one official from the MOIS. “We will not limit the number of public cloud centers, but allow public cloud centers to operate as long as their centers satisfy the necessary conditions.”

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It is reported that public agencies under major departments and major local governments are highly interested in designation of public cloud center. They will able to attract IT systems of cities, provinces, and counties or nearby public agencies and operate their IT systems through public cloud center. This will lead to many economic benefits such as additional profit and job creation.
The cloud industry is also expecting creation of a new market.
In order to be designated as public cloud center, it needs to satisfy necessary conditions such as operation of data processing, policies on information protection, personnel security, asset management, and management of service continuity. In case of public agencies or local governments that have their own data centers, they need to work on supplemental work such as consulting according to the standard.
Public agencies or local governments that do not have their own data centers yet need to carry out IT projects related to public cloud center.
“There has been a recent increase in number of inquiries from local governments and public agencies regarding designation of public cloud center.” said CEO of a South Korean cloud service provider. “Because those who had their applications rejected need supplemental work for reapply, we are expecting additional projects related to supplemental work.”
The South Korean government also plans to induce increased participation from private companies to the public cloud market.
“Some local governments have had difficulties in building their own public cloud centers due to lack of ability.” said a representative for the MOIS. “We also plan to support public-private partnership (PPP) where local governments provide land and building while internal systems are built by private companies.”
This representative also added that the ministry plans to provide consulting on PPP for local governments sometime in the first half and create an exemplary model and revise the law which will designate cloud centers developed through PPP into public cloud centers if there is any success to the consulting.
Staff Reporter Kim, Jiseon |