On photo (from left): IT-Enabled Services Management Association Secretary General Dr. Eva Yueh; TÜV Asia Pacific Ltd. Taiwan Branch General Manager Ms. Elizabeth Hsu; Food and Drug Administration; Director General Ms. Yu-Mei Chiang; EuroCloud Europe, Director StarAudit Dr. Tobias Höllwarth; IT-Enabled Services Management Association Chairman Dr. Gary Gong; Food and Drug Administration Director Mr. Wen-Zhou Lin.
Food Information and Tracing Cloud by FDA
The 1st 4 StarAudit SA Certificate Conveyed to a Government Department in Taiwan
Taiwan’s Government has been aggressively urged development of the cloud computing industry for the past five years. One of approaches is to promote deployment and provisioning of government cloud services to the public in order to stimulate the need for cloud service and advance the capacity of service provisioning from the supply side. The thought is to provide innovative government services with respect to daily life under cloud infrastructure so that more public users could be reached and service delivered.
Other than the domains in respect of healthcare and homecare, environmental protection and disaster mitigation, police and transportation, education and culture, the “Food Information and Tracing Cloud” administrated by the Food and Drug Agency of the Ministry of Health and Welfare is one of government clouds, trying to ensure safety of food product in the supply chain by integrating systems across Ministries such as Economic Affairs for food product manufacturing, Finance for ingredient import customs declaration, Agriculture for original agriculture product sourcing, Education for school lunch information searching, and Health and Welfare for food safety traceability. This very first government cloud service was certified against Star Audit with 4 star level, and certificate conveyed by Dr. Tobias Höllwarth in person on 19 October 2016 in Taipei.
“Food Information and Tracing Cloud” is composed of 4 major services, each delivered by a dedicated system, namely, Fadenbook, a core system for registration of company profile to be traced, if needed; IFIS (Import Food Information System), a gateway between the Customs and FDA for import control; Ftracebook, tracing for information of how, where, when and through what channels a food product has been sold in market; and PMDS (Product Management Distribution System), for checking and auditing purpose conducted by local governments and reporting to FDA. As mentioned by Director General Chiang of FDA: “This specific cloud service is delivered by integrating relevant systems operated by various governmental departments, which has been proven successful in terms of popularity and widely used by all stakeholders including parents and teachers. By using techniques of big data analytics a cross checking function could be realized in the near future in order to better synchronize across departments.”
According to a survey carried out by itSMA (IT enabled Service Management Association), Taiwan, the perception of public servants on a trusted cloud service other than security is prioritized as: 1) cloud service certified and audited by an internationally recognized scheme; 2) timely and full customer support by a cloud service provider; and 3) advance notice by cloud service provider for any significant changes to the cloud service. Therefore, it’s obvious that a 3rd party certification against an international scheme, service quality and customer support, as well as transparency are perceived as important aspects for total trust of cloud service.
The Institute for Information Industry, III, recognized the value proposition of StarAudit scheme, total trust insurance of a cloud service, 4 years ago in 2013. Dr. Eva Yueh, Deputy Director General of IDEAS Institute, introduced the book of “Migrating to the Cloud” by Dr. Tobias Höllwarth, and paved a way for III being accredited by EuroCloud Europe as Taiwan Chapter in 2014. Since then apart from IT security and data privacy protection, III started promoting the concept of total trust, service management, legal compliance, and fair contracting. All should be addressed in order to provide quality and continuous cloud service for the benefit of both supply and demand sides.
As Mr. Lin, the Chief of IT Department of FDA said: “The major concern for FDA choosing a cloud service certification scheme is whether it could help strengthen the awareness of employees for service management and customer support to users of all spectrums.” FDA has long been certified with ISO27001. Control Area 2, contract compliance, was also highly appreciated by FDA. Therefore, the StarAudit was the only choice for them. During the course from training, consultancy, pre-auditing to auditing, all concerning employees in FDA have been exposed to the control catalogue so that the concept and value proposition are better appreciated. Ms. Elizabeth Hsu, the General Manager of IT Business Unit, TUV Asia Pacific Ltd. Taiwan Branch, confirmed the preparedness of the subject offices. FDA was assessed by TUV Asia Pacific and granted the StarAudit 4-star certificate in the category of Software as a Service (SaaS). “The certificate is a clear example of how different teams at FDA work together to achieve this remarkable result, and a perfect fit to Taiwan government’s initiative in maximizing the value of cloud computing in government”, said Ms. Hsu.
Dr. Gary Gong, the Chairman of itSMA and former Vice President of III who represented III to sign the Contract of Accredited Chapter with Dr. Tobias Höllwarth, mentioned that “IT service management, not like IT security, due to its characteristics has always been put least priority comparing to security and data privacy in Taiwan in both public and private sectors”. But the awareness of service level and total trust of an IT service, especially on a cloud infrastructure should be promoted when more and more government services are delivered via mobile platform, and big data analyzed to identify more accurately issues and needs from the citizen user side. “Therefore, the 1st StarAudit certification case created by FDA has set a good example for other governmental departments and agencies, not to only pay attention to security and privacy, customer support and service continuity and management should be also important for the cloud service as a utility.” Through a 3rd party certification, FDA has also promoted the concept and practice of service management to its contracted providers.
1. Dr. Eva Yi-Yuan Yueh, Officer of Taiwan Chapter, Tel: +886-916276608, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Ms. Carrie Hung, Secretary of itSMA, Tel: +886-2-66072610, e-mail: email@example.com
3. Dr. Tobias Höllwarth, StarAudit, Tel.: +43 664 4060900, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org