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Stars behind the clouds: Oz government wants ratings

Security, privacy and trust should be standardized

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The Federal government has decided that the pursuit of cloud computing is so urgent that it’s just released a cloud issues paper dated October.

The report, prepared by industry advisory both the Information Technology Industry Innovation Council (ITIIC), recommends a ramp-up of cloud computing research in this country to be led by CSIRO and NICTA.

It also suggests a government-led program of business education about cloud computing, which it could be argued is superfluous since the report also cites research stating that 71 percent of businesses already use some variety of cloud service.

More usefully, Cloud computing - opportunities and challenges states that AGIMO and the Australian Information Commissioner help contributed to formulating security, privacy and trust guidelines for cloud computing, and that service providers agree on ways their services can be validated against the guidelines.

These guidelines could then be expressed as a set of marks – a kind of star-rating for cloud providers.

The report notes that Australia’s isolation – which, for example, imposes long latency on those communicating with offshore clouds – can be turned to the industry’s advantage, providing the chance to continue developing the country’s domestic cloud computing sector.

Members of the 24-member ITIIC include Ian Birks of SKRIB, Dr Alex Zelinsky of CSIRO, Amanda Heyworth of Playford Capital, Embedded Systems Technology CEO Dr Graham Hellestrand, Macquarie Telecom hosting managing director Aiden Tudehope, and IBM’s Glenn Wightwick.

Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr, who released the report yesterday, also announced $AU100 million worth of funding will be poured into the government’s Innovation Investment Fund, to support the final tranche of round three funding under the program. ®

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