The major reason why the Australian Federal Government was unlikely to move to a cloud-only environment wasn't privacy or data security, according to chief strategist for IT systems provider Lockheed Martin, Melvin Greer, but rather the amount of money it had sunk into its current infrastructure.
Melvin Greer, chief strategist for Lockheed Martin (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)
Speaking at IBM's Pulse conference in Las Vegas, Greer said that as cloud computing matures, many private businesses will opt for a cloud-only IT environment, but that governments weren't likely to follow them due to an attachment on existing equipment and infrastructure.
"I don't think governments will have a [cloud-only] environment due to the fact that you have embedded government infrastructure. In Australia, and any other country for that matter, departments have been spending lots and lots of money on their IT delivery systems. It's not reasonable for them to abandon those in a wholesale fashion," he said.
The Federal Goverment released a draft consultation strategy for migration to cloud last December.
Although Greer highlighted prior spending as the primary reason for governments to sidestep cloud for many services, he did say that legislation surrounding the privacy and confidentiality of data stored in the cloud environment also acts as a barrier.
"Security is a discussion around privacy and confidentiality. All governments have to deal with the issue of a secure cloud environment, but what's lagging is the legislation," he said.
Current legislation on privacy, security and confidentiality of information is out of step with how cloud is being used today, Greer said.
"Governments are updating and reviewing their laws so that they can provide the necessary framework to protect citizens that are being exposed to cloud computing because their governments have put their data in cloud computing," Greer said, adding that all governments should be changing their privacy laws now to consider cloud-like models.
Greer said that Lockheed Martin will "definitely" be making a comment on the Australian Federal Government's draft cloud policy in the near future.
Luke Hopewell attended the Pulse conference in Las Vegas as a guest of IBM.