Developing a Whole-of-Government Hosting Strategy


Digital Transformation Agency

About this project

Digital Transformation Agency
Design thinking, digital strategy, implementation planning
Design blueprint, strategy, operating model

Our Role

MXA was engaged as an independent strategic partner to assist with the development of a Whole of Government Hosting Strategy.

The Challenges

The Commonwealth government spends over $1 billion on hosting services each year. The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) engaged MXA to develop a Whole of Government Hosting Strategy to optimise this government-wide investment. The strategy also addressed issues relating to sovereign risk and supply chain assurance.

Our Approach

MXA’s extensive experience in undertaking similar projects was beneficial in designing an approach. We broke the project up into five phases: Initiation, Discovery, Stocktake, Analysis, and Strategy Development. We worked closely with the DTA to fine-tune our approach and how we would apply Design Thinking. Key activities over these phases included:

  • Leading effective DesignThinking workshops;
  • Undertaking appropriate user research;
  • Collecting relevant data about hosting services used across the commonwealth government;
  • Building relationships with stakeholders through empathy and understanding;
  • Developing a clear statement of the problem and hypotheses;
  • Bringing together confirmed hypotheses and ideas to plan a coherent Strategy;
  • Applying effective co-design with key stakeholder groups to develop a Strategy;
  • Testing and fine-tuning theStrategy with stakeholders; and
  • Ensuring that key stakeholders understood the Strategy.

Extensive stakeholder engagement across government and industry was vital for this project. MXA facilitated over fifty highly regarded workshops with government agencies and industry stakeholders. MXA also held an Industry Innovation Day with over seventy industry representatives to explain the purpose of the Strategy.


MXA developed a set of appropriate deliverables which included:

  • A strategy Design Thinking blueprint – describing the consultation and the process undertaken;
  • The Australian Government Hosting Strategy 2018 – 2025;
  • A Hosting Strategy Operating Model; and
  • Other supporting documents.

 The strategy was crucial in:

  • Providing a clearly understood and widely supported policy statement;
  • Playing a key role in avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in costs;
  • Greatly reducing the sovereign risk;
  • Clarifying key benefits and risks, particularly with cloud business models;
  • Significantly reducing risks to the Commonwealth associated with supply chain.

“MXA’s expertise in Design Thinking was very valuable gaining buy-in from an extensive set of stakeholders and helping them to understand each other’s perspectives. This included many Government CIOs and representatives from the ICT Industry. The response from stakeholders was extremely positive. The MXA team were fantastic to work with. What they have delivered will positively shape the future of Government ICT hosting and investment.”

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