CeBIT 2011: Vendor standards key to Government Cloud adoption

Department of Finance and Deregulation sees Cloud benefits but vendor hype not helping

Department of Finance and Regulation policy and planning division first assistant secretary, Glenn Archer

Department of Finance and Regulation policy and planning division first assistant secretary, Glenn Archer

Cloud vendors need to provide standards and improve security, according to an Australian Government senior policy secretary.

Speaking at the CeBit conference in Sydney, Department of Finance and Regulation policy and planning division first assistant secretary, Glenn Archer, told delegates that following the hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network, of which his son was a member, he was “wary” of marketing claims made by Cloud vendors.

“Research firm Longhaus published research this week which clearly suggested Cloud vendors have some way to go to live up to the claims in their marketing material,” said Archer. “We need to not only think safe but feel safe. I don’t feel safe and that level of security isn’t there yet.”

However, he said that as the Cloud matures and vendors start to agree on standards, the government's Cloud strategy will be able to progress.

Archer also said that the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) would aid the development of Cloud computing, which required high levels of data and low latency.

“We are very certain that Cloud offers potential for government. The strategy released in April 2011, outlines how we might transition to Cloud ranges from data centres to community Cloud."

He outlined a three stream approach, the first of which was to develop a Cloud framework that included best practice policies, the second involved the greater use of public Cloud and analysing the viability of a provider panel. The third was to integrate Cloud with the government’s data centre strategy.

The strategies have been supported by CLIC (Cloud Information Community), an organisation made up of federal and state and New Zealand government agencies.

While Archer conceded that there would be cost savings, this was not necessarily the biggest driver for the government. “ There are other real opportunities such as chief information officers having the ability to move from capex to opex, and not having to bid for large amounts of money,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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