The Potential for Cloud Computing Services in Australia – Lateral Economics and Macquarie Telecom

12th Oct 2011. This report, by Nicholas Gruen from Lateral Economics and commissioned by Macquarie Telecom looks into the Australian cloud computing services environment. According to the report, ‘Australia’s opportunity is to develop a world-leading regime – a better, not equal, cloud ecosystem.’

Click here to view/download the report

The report ties in with the launch of a new Macquarie Telecom led industry coalition to build Australian consumer and business confidence in cloud computing, OzHub. Other members include Fujitsu, VMware and Infoplex. OzHub is working to develop a self-regulating framework and a set of protocols for cloud computing in Australia.

This paper discusses the benefits and economic drivers for users of cloud computing services as well as the competitiveness factors that influence where the providers of cloud services choose to locate their facilities. We emphasise the legal jurisdictional risks and potential costs associated with the extra-jurisdictional nature of cloud computing. We also explore issues related to the regulatory and legal settings that are likely to encourage cloud computing services to locate in Australia.

The report identifies Australia’s stable political and regulatory regime as a key factor in the potential for success, alongside a vibrant ICT sector that has already made substantial investments in the industry.   It also calls out the positive impact of the NBN on business and consumer confidence in cloud solutions.

“The opportunity to define the nation as a preferred global destination of cloud computing services is precisely the kind of initiative we need to grasp in order to position Australia strongly in the emerging global economy,” said AIIA CEO Suzanne Campbell.

“Like all technology-driven initiatives, strong engagement between the key stakeholders is essential. In particular, coordination of government regulatory environments with initiatives across the private sector will be central to developing the right outcomes.”

Government priorities identified in the report include pioneering the separation of local supply and export in cloud so as to exempt foreign purchasers of Australian services from regulatory requirements that exist in Australia only to protect Australians. This means taking the same approach to cloud services as is currently being undertaken in education and financial services.

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