‘Cloud first’ IT policy is better for government than ‘cloud last’

By Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director IT, Asia-Pacific

The New Zealand government recently announced an all-of-government cloud computing approach, which features a positive “cloud-first” statement of intent for ICT procurement.

This policy is at odds with the more conservative policy position of the Australian federal government, which, while also aiming to promote cloud adoption, is actually more focused on the supposedly new risks and issues of cloud services.

Australia’s stance is formally “cloud neutral” but, in practice, is “cloud last,” because it lacks a clear vision of the benefits of the cloud model but is very clear about its risks. The contrast between the two country’s positions is subtle but important, because significant barriers to cloud adoption are deeply embedded in the twentieth-century ICT procurement policies and practices of agencies.

While caution is prudent, some degree of positive “cloud-first” leadership and a practical approach to confronting the benefit …