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Wednesday, 07 December 2011 17:54

Carr told 'carpe diem' on cloud computing


A high level advisory committee to the Federal Government has called for immediate action to exploit what it says is a window of opportunity for Australia to be a global leader in the creation and adoption of Cloud computing innovation.

The Government's IT Industry Innovation Council, says: "There is a need to engender a sense of urgency and clear political leadership in this debate. Governments in other jurisdictions around the world are beginning to consider and take specific actions to encourage and promote their country as a leader in Cloud computing."

It is one of a series of recommendation in a report from the council's Working Group on Cloud Computing, released today by innovation minister, senator Kim Carr.

It calls for the Government to "strongly support the development of an enhanced local cloud computing industry, building on the inherent strengths that the stable Australian financial, policy and regulatory environment provides."

Specific initiatives to this end include that:

- the Government should: "Work closely with government, commercial and research organisations to establish a set of well-informed and consistently applied accreditation guidelines for cloud service providers to demonstrate security/privacy/trust."

- through engagement with the relevant industry associations the Government should focus on developing a plan to provide expertise and advice that will enable the local ICT industry to transition to the cloud;

- government, industry, CSIRO and NICTA collaborate and develop and execute a joint cloud computing research agenda to research value and opportunities provided specifically for enhancing Australia's reputation and capability in a cloud computing global market including potential areas such as linkages of cloud technologies with the NBN, leadership in applied usage of cloud applications and innovative new cloud software solutions for complex economic and community challenges.

The IT Industry Innovation Council was announced by Carr in May 2009 and he wrote to the council in April 2011 seeking advice on the potential benefits that cloud computing could bring to the further development of the ICT industry in Australia, any barriers to achieving those benefits and the role cloud computing could play as an enabler of innovation in the wider economy." A working group chaired by then AIIA CEO, Ian Birks, was set up to respond to this request. It provided its report to the minister in October.

Releasing the report Carr made no specific commitment to any responses but said "I have'¦shared the report with my ministerial colleagues with responsibility for the digital economy, whole of government ICT procurement and cyber-security issues."

He said also that the newly formed Global Access Partners (GAP) National Standing Committee on Cloud Computing - comprising Federal and State government agencies, industry leaders, the research community and advocacy groups - would discuss issues raised by the report.


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