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The expansion of ‘public cloud centers’ promoted by the government has been temporarily suspended. The government has decided to finalize its plans of adding public cloud centers after examining from various perspectives public cloud demand and factors vitalizing the private market.

On the 15th, an official of the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said, “Public institutions (systems) will induce the National Information Resources Service (NIRS) to move into the Daegu center as much as possible, and then when the Daegu center is fully saturated, we will discuss the designation of additional cloud centers again.” He further mentioned, “For local governments that want to establish a public cloud center, designation will be decided after re-applications.”

The government plans to shift 100% of its public sector information technology (IT) systems to the cloud by 2025. Of the 220,000 IT systems for administrative and public institutions, about 40,000 units (17%) are operated by the NIRS. The government will transfer the remaining 180,000 units (83%) to private and public cloud centers.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety  has been promoting the expansion of public cloud centers for this purpose. Earlier this year, the NIRS had designated centers in Daejeon and Gwangju, and is planning to include the Daegu center once it is built.

Apart from the NIRS, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety also worked to add places that met certain requirements as public cloud centers. Last March, eleven applications from public institutions and local governments were received. 

An official from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety explained, “During the process of reviewing the application, it was found that conditions for immediate operation of a public cloud center were not yet ready. As of now, we are planning to respond mainly to the Daegu center, which will be opened next year.”

The official added, "Because local governments are already able to establish regional information integration centers under the e-Government Act, we are already discussing designating local information integration centers as public centers if requirements are met, but short term decisions will not be made.” In fact, it is unlikely that additional designation of public cloud centers will be made within this year.

Apart from this decision, there are also voices opposing the public cloud center. The Ministry of Science and ICT, which is forming the Cloud Basic Plan (2022~2024), specified in the planning draft that “the public cloud center will be maintained as the NIRS (Daejeon, Gwangju, and Daegu centers)”.

An official from the Ministry of Science and ICT said, "Most of the industry is positive about the introduction of cloud to the public sector by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety." However, "There are voices of concern in the industry that the additional designation of a public cloud center in this method may intimidate the use of private cloud." the official said. 

The official added, "We have conveyed these concerns to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. Since the (cloud) basic plan is still in the draft stage, we plan to revise it while continuing to collect opinions from related ministries, including the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, and from the industry."

The industry is raising the need to review alternatives such as the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The PPP model is for small and medium-sized local governments with insufficient financial resources to collaborate with the private sector when establishing a public cloud center. The private sector builds the cloud system, and the public pays for it. It is a form of guaranteeing the private market while improving the quality of cloud services.

An official from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said, "Whether the PPP model is appropriate or not is a matter to be decided after steady monitoring because of factors such as security reviews."

Regarding concerns about the shrinking of the private market due to public centers, the official said, "I judged the cloud based solely on the infrastructure market," and said, "We will continue to think about the direction in which the cloud center and private market can grow together."
By staff reporter, Jisun Kim