Govt urged to form 'cloud' taskforce

An Australian cloud-computing report released last week has recommended that the Australian Government establish a whole-of-government taskforce to deal with security and privacy arising from cloud computing.

An Australian cloud-computing report released last week has recommended that the Australian Government establish a whole-of-government taskforce to deal with security and privacy arising from cloud computing.

Cloud

(Strange clouds image by
Michael Roper, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The report (PDF), prepared by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, comprised of contributions by academy members and external experts including IBM, Microsoft, Google, CSIRO and various academics from Australian universities.

The report said that concerns about security were one of the greatest barriers against adopting cloud computing.

"The Commonwealth Government should take a whole-of-government approach to new security and privacy issues arising from the use of cloud computing, by establishing a new taskforce to review the adequacy of current legislation," wrote the report.

It also recommended that current funding programs, such as Commercialisation Australia, should encourage cloud-focused new businesses, since it considered that cloud was a playing field on which small Australian businesses could punch above their weight in the global market.

"SMEs can overcome some of the advantages that their bigger competitors have had in the past such as the capital-intensive hardware investments needed to provide services," it said.

However, it considered that in order for these cloud benefits to be achieved, the Department of Broadband Communication and the Digital Economy should review the pricing and policy around broadband, since Australia's networks were far more expensive than those of the UK.

It also picked up on a dearth of cloud-computing courses in Australian universities, suggesting that tertiary institutions work in conjunction with industry partners to maximise training and research on cloud computing. Models for scientific funding and enterprise partnerships from the US and the UK were put forward as suggested models that the Australian Government could adopt.

Universities should also consider using cloud for their research needs, the report said.

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