The Australian Commission of Audit has introduced a mandatory “cloud first” policy, citing savings to the government of 20 to 30 percent. The policy will apply to all low-risk information and communications.
The commission was founded in October 2013 to identify wasteful spending in the Australian government. The United States Department of Defense is using a similar strategy.
The Australian government already has a policy in place for utilizing cloud services. The commission report released in February, cites the usual concerns of utilizing public cloud saying, “The Commonwealth Government has been slow to adopt cloud computing. A reliance on bespoke, legacy systems, concerns about the security and privacy of placing public data in the cloud, and general risk aversion all impede progress.”
However, the government has taken measures to ensure future cloud security. In 2012 they granted $2.76 million to develop two Centers of Excellence for Cloud and Cybersecurity at CSC’s technology park campus in Wollongong.
Despite security concerns, 43 percent of Australian businesses have already adopted cloud services.
The commission recommends “…the Department of Finance establish a whole of government cloud computing provider panel to confirm the viability, capability and costs of large-scale cloud computing providers. Agencies could then obtain quotes for such services as the need arises.”
Government spending was identified as an area for growth by the Australian Communications and Media Authority report in March. With this new policy in place and previous guidelines, Australian cloud businesses may experience an increase in revenue provided by government contracts. Competition is likely to be strong as the report recommends a competitive market be maintained.