By Dexter Duncan
The Australia Government believes adoption of cloud computing at small businesses is critical to growing Australias’ productivity. Is anyone listening? The Australian Government released their cloud computing strategy paper in May. As you can imagine, after committing billions ($AUD) to the National Broadband Network (NBN), the support of cloud computing should be a “no-brainer”.
One of the most interesting things mentioned is that government agencies “are required to consider cloud services for new ICT procurements”. This requirement comes with the usual caveat of ensuring that cloud services offer a competitive value to status quo. They also mention two key areas for government agencies to move into:
- Migrate public facing websites to cloud hosting
- Use cloud services for testing and development
We have seen councils who have a bundled NBN incentive to improve services through their websites, so it is obvious they can leverage changes at the local level.
Small Business Promotion
One of the goals is to reduce likelihood of vendor lock-in, thereby making it less risky for businesses to adopt cloud services. They indicate that small businesses that adopt cloud services tend to have better revenue growth and improved productivity, which is the main reason the government is focused on the small business sector.
The promotion is mainly about educating the community through on-line media and existing government programs, but it also looks to remove some of the perceived barriers to adoption through the adoption of cloud computing protocol. The three main areas that will remove uptake barriers are:
- Common protocol to allow interoperability (and ease of migration) between providers
- Clear guidelines on the ownership of data
- Accurate and easy to understand information on all pricing related to the service
Australia lags behind other OECD countries in the use of online technology which “places small businesses at a severe competitive disadvantage, which could be overcome through the use of cloud computing services.”
We think this is a big agenda, but investments like NBN is a big investment. Supporting cloud computing adoption with incentives, policies and actions is just what the country needs to improve productivity.
- Australian Government paper on Cloud Computing Strategy. http://www.dbcde.gov.au/digital_economy/cloud_computing