A group of Cloud computing providers have joined forces to form a new alliance called OzHub, helping to build business confidence in cloud computing through establishing a regulatory framework.
The alliance involves Macquarie Telecom, Fujitsu, InfoPlex and VMware. Discussions are also under way for more partners to come onboard.
The initiative aims to build local consumer and business confidence in Cloud computing and aims to provide a regulation framework to promote good business practices about crucial issues such as where data is held.
Macquarie Telecom CEO, David Tudehope, said creating new levels of consumer and business confidence in the cloud will have the additional benefit of helping position Australia as a national and regional hosting centre, boosting jobs, productivity and attracting global investment.
Many organisations already choose to store their data in Australia for two reasons, VMware A/NZ managing director, Duncan Bennet, said.
“Many Australian companies could soon be compelled by legislation to store their data in Australia,” Bennet said.
“In addition, some overseas governments have legal powers to gain access to commercial data, the US Patriot Act being a prime example. For Australian companies, having access to a local Australian Cloud provider addresses their data residency concerns and reduces the risks and constraints.”
InfoPlex general manager, Matthew Madden, believes the OzHub initiative will also promote improvements in other infrastructure, such as Australia’s international Internet links.
“Investing in Australia’s Cloud services and management expertise will accelerate investment in links between Australia and the rest of the world - and to Asia in particular,” Madden said. “The initiative will help increase competition and attract additional new investment in new services that can be hosted in the Cloud.”
The announcement was made in Canberra on October 12 and a statement was released claiming the cloud alliance will be working with Australian Communications Consumers Action Network (ACCAN), but the body has denied that any firm commitment had been made.
ACCAN spokeswoman, Elise Davidson, said it had been told about the project, but it hadn't made a firm commitment nor did it authorise the original statement, which quoted ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin.
The launch of OzHub comes on the back of Innovation Minister, Kim Carr, releasing an economic paper called The Potential for Cloud Computing Services in Australia.
The paper, commissioned by Macquarie Telecom and written by Lateral Economics, argues that Australia can capitalise on the potential for an on-shore cloud sector, providing cloud services to Australian and global organisations.
It sets out what is required for success: a vigorous strategy for investment, a legislative framework that continues to promote investment and protect data, and standards for contracts and for disclosure should data security be breached.
“As the report identifies, Australia has many advantages particularly with our regulatory environment which is recognised as “world’s best”, and Australia continues to attract significant investment in datacentres from Australian companies such as Macquarie Telecom and global companies like Fujitsu,” Carr said.
“The report identifies a number of areas for Government focus, to which the Commonwealth will give close consideration.”