Here's How We Cut ACECQA's Cloud Costs with Cloud Optimisations

Project Background

The Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority monitors and promotes the consistent application of the Education and Care Services National Law across all states and territories and supports the children’s education and care sector to improve quality outcomes for children.

The Challenge

Cost Optimisation

Managing costs is a common challenge across many organisations. Reducing IT spend allows cost savings to be directed towards new projects, enhancements, or services.


As an organisation aligned with the education sector, information stored and communicated may contain sensitive data. For this reason, ACECQA is challenged to ensure appropriate controls are in place across the entire IT landscape. In partnership with Arq the intention is to become completely IRAP compliant in the near future.


ACECQA found that while their current cloud platform was reliable, improvements and optimisations could offer new outcomes because:

  •  The IT landscape is always changing
  •  Ability to host new applications/services
  •  Modernising platform components to leverage new cloud services
  •  Potential new legislative requirements around security/IRAP compliance


Arq’s successful RFT submission provides a Managed AWS Infrastructure solution (IaaS). 

The solution is a hosting platform for ACECQA’s National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS) – an online tool for educators and providers:

The platform consists of three environments:

  1. Test (UAT)
  2. Development
  3. Production 

Development and production are segregated at VPC level (each environment has its own VPC). 

Core service components in the platform are:

  •  SharePoint
  •  Dynamics CRM
  •  SQL
  •  Active Directory / Domain Controller
  •  Dedicated SMTP outbound service (Prod only)
  •  Zap

Since initial onboarding, the platform has been maintained with a focus on cost optimisation, security – and more recently – continuous value delivery (CVD).

Cost Optimisations

Monthly operational review meetings allowed Arq to continually assess resource utilisation. Potential saving opportunities were identified and flagged for implementation. At the time of writing, this included:

  • Scheduled uptime for non-production environments
  • Reserved instances for fixed workloads
  • Regular rightsizing activities
  • Regular cutover to newer available services (e.g. m4 -> m5 classes, ebs gp2 -> gp3)


To meet the evolving security requirements of ACECQA and the education sector in general, Arq implemented enhanced security services to ensure platform integrity is continually improved. This was achieved through the installation of proactive endpoint monitoring agents, a platform-wide Web Application Firewall (WAF), and continually scanning and remediating vulnerability findings coupled with an annual comprehensive penetration test.

Continuous Value Delivery (CVD)

The latest iteration of our Managed Service Agreement had an inclusion for CVD, enabling Arq’s support team the ability to develop a backlog of platform improvement tasks in partnership with ACECQA and implement these changes by drawing down on support hours rather than distinct fixed price engagements.


Through the partnership with the ARQ Group, ACECQA has peace of mind their sensitive information is secure and compliant with the right controls in place and allowing them to identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they result in security breaches. 
Operationally, ACECQA are now able to move faster and optimise through continuous improvement and cost savings.


The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is an independent national authority assisting governments in administering the National Quality Framework (NQF) for children’s education and care.

About ARQ

ARQ is an AWS Premier Partner that makes great things happen for our customers. We are humble and don’t talk about what we do; we would rather talk about what our customers have achieved (or even better let them tell the world). ARQ is an AWS Managed Services Provider, holder of both the AWS Mobile Competency and the AWS data and Analytics competency. AWS raise the bar and we rise to meet it each year. Our capabilities and practice encompass everything in the cloud, advanced data, analytics, AI & ML and digital experiences across all channels. We are the true end-to-end partner for companies of all sizes that need the best, and value experience and expertise. We partner with half of the top 20 ASX and over 100 other Australian companies to help them get the best from their own cloud adoption journey.