An Australian IT industry think-tank spearheaded by the country's leading experts has recommended in a recent report that the government create a simple rating system for cloud services similar to the energy stars shown on washing machines and televisions.
The report by the Australian Government's Information Technology Industry Innovation Council (ITIIC), released by Federal Innovation Minister Kim Carr yesterday, recommends, among other things, that the Federal Government invest in promoting Australia as a leading cloud computing market while simplifying the way that industry providers advertise their kit.
The ITIIC recommends that the government work with the industry to develop standards around cloud security, information privacy and trust. The government ought to work with the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), cloud providers, the CSIRO, the Australian Computer Society and the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner to develop cloud standards and effective measures for the security, privacy and trust metrics.
By doing so, the report said that local cloud providers would be able to advertise their products with a "star rating", similar to white goods in Australia.
"The IT Industry Innovation Council would be pleased to be involved in this work and believe it would require ... work closely with government, commercial and research organisations to establish a publicly recognised set of marks which demonstrate levels of Security/Privacy/Trust, similar to the energy and water "Star Ratings" for household goods," the council said in its report.
The report also urges the government to focus the combined research power of National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the CSIRO on the cloud.
The report was prepared at the request of Carr in his capacity as the innovation minister, and saw contributions from ex-Australian Information Industry Association head Ian Birks, IBM Australia director of research and development Glenn Wightwick, Macquarie Telecom MD hosting Aidan Tudehope and AGIMO veteran Glenn Archer.