Cloud Computing: Going offshore

Cloud Computing: Going offshore

Will customers embrace offshore cloud services?

One of the major customer concerns around third-party cloud offerings is security of information and access to data. Although vendors and integrators can address things like identity management, Data#3’s Pat Murphy questioned how to address the governance piece and laws associated with data sitting in India.

Diaxion’s Tony Wilkinson suggested IT providers take a hybrid cloud approach, transitioning the cloud and application layer off-premise but retaining the data layer within an organisation’s internal environment.

“I see a consulting opportunity in helping the client work out what’s best for their business,” he said.

VMware’s Dan McLean said the virtualisation vendor started working with datacentre entities in local markets to get around the issues of data ownership and security concerns.

“Because there is a relationship there already, and datacentres are in Australia, standards can start to be wrapped around those particular product offerings,” he said. “It does come down to the application because in any business, there are some applications where security is not a major concern and they’ll be happy for it to be hosted wherever.

“We had the same conversations when virtualisation first started, when customers didn’t want to put anything important on virtual machines, but there was always something suitable for it. Those concerns started to drift away as more problems got addressed and we’re at the point today where there’s nothing you don’t consider virtualising.”

But Cisco’s Dylan Morison claimed organisations would ultimately pay more or less for what they are getting.

“If there is a heightened feeling of risk if data is hosted offshore, there’s a marketing ploy for a cloud provider with datacentres in Australia. That will be their selling point,” he said. “Depending on the business and the application, customers will look to either cut cost by going offshore, or stay local. Some people don’t use offshore call centres today because for some reason, they want or need that to be in Australia.

“It’s the opportunity to sit down with the customer and work out what the perceived risks are for the business, and what they are prepared to pay for it. That will be what it comes down to, and where you have that personal touch with customers.”

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