The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has said that the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is overplaying the risks of migrating to cloud computing in its draft cloud consultation paper released late last year.
The underlying objective of the government's draft cloud strategy, released last month, is to outline migration plans for moving government agencies' computational requirements into a public cloud environment over the next five years. The draft cloud strategy highlights that personal information is not expected to be migrated to a public cloud environment due to risks including security of information, data sovereignty and legal compliance.
The AIIA has formed a Cloud Computing Taskforce comprised of relevant industry leaders, headed up by Brenton Smith, CEO of Computer Associates. In a response to the draft strategy, the taskforce has accused the government of overreacting.
"The draft paper provides good background, and is informative and educative as far as it goes. In short, however, industry considers the paper overplays the risk of cloud computing," AIIA's Cloud Computing Taskforce said in its response.
"Over-emphasising data sovereignty and possible loss of control will play to agencies not wanting to change the status quo and this may compromise higher level aims to reduce costs and increase efficiencies across government service delivery and ICT use," the taskforce added.
It said that the government should use relevant case studies to clarify its position on the real risks of cloud computing and how those risks should be avoided.
The taskforce also believed the government needed to go beyond the draft paper to provide a detailed plan of how government agencies can migrate to cloud over a five- to 10-year period.
However, the taskforce was generally complimentary of the draft strategy, saying that a government migration to cloud would aid in delivering on objectives including financial efficiency, increased collaboration, energy efficiency and standardisation.