At the TechLines: Cloud Control session on 17 February, panellists discussed what needs to happen for Australia to be able to grab cloud by the horns and become a hub for this new technological paradigm.
ZDNet Australia's Twisted Wire blogger Phil Dobbie kicked off the discussion by asking whether Australia's small scale and paucity of communication links would mean the nation would end up as a cloud consumer instead of provider.
Ovum analyst Kevin Noonan warned that the country's cloud market could head into a downward spiral if customers didn't get on board with cloud.
"Unless we have customers starting to think about the cloud and their users, there will not be a provision industry developing because of companies within Australia," he said.
Microsoft director of Developer and Platform Evangelism, Gianpaolo Carraro, said that even if the infrastructure wasn't there, the opportunity existed to drive software exports via the cloud. He said this could happen in places such as the Gold Coast, which he touted as a great place for young entrepreneurs.
Noonan said that because Australian companies were already into IT outsourcing, they've moved quickly on private cloud. Whether or not everyone believed it was really cloud, he believed it was positive.
"It's a great start. If you snuff out the embers of growth at this point, you'll regret it later."