Blog post

New Zealand Shows A Wise Approach to the Cloud

By Andrea Di Maio | December 09, 2011 | 1 Comment


I recently praised the New Zealand government for one of the best social media guidance documents I have seen so far. Previously I had singled-out their approach to procuring infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Now, I am happy to highlight their overall approach to government cloud, which is by making sure they get a sensible business case.

On December 6 the New Zealand government published a Registration of Interest notice for suppliers who want to assist with defining a business case for cloud computing in government. Indeed a sensible approach. Also, there is no obsession with cloud. In fact they say

While the programme is considering the feasibility of moving to a ‘cloud,’ it is imperative that we maintain future upgrade options for our current technology platforms, and provide certainty to agencies ahead of key dates for license renewals.

The purpose is clear

This is a fact-finding mission; we want to engage with both vendors and agencies to discover what’s possible. There are some very real challenges in this kind of ambitious programme, and we want to make sure we’ve got robust answers to them.

and there is no intention to impact investment cycles and the normal course of business for any of the 32 agencies.

Interesting to compare this approach to what we have seen elsewhere in the past. The UK government has engaged large vendors through the Intellect group, rather than going through an RoI and issued two versions of its G-Cloud strategy (before and after the last elections). The US government has aggressively pursued cloud through the early establishment of an application store, a couple of tenders for IaaS and for email, and the establishment of a common resource for certfication and accreditation of service providers (FedRAMP). Australia has developed a strategy mostly with internal resources, but with an open consultation process.

New Zealand starts from the business case, asking very simple questions: does it makes sense? Where? For whom? Migrating how?

Let’s the vendors walk the talk. Isn’t it brilliant?

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1 Comment

  • TDG says:

    As someone concerned with IT security, cloud computing provides a smoother attack surface and is more resistant to attacks because it is uniform and simpler to lock down and observe.

    Or is it? The equivalent in nature would be a monoculture, which is not sustainable in nature because pathogens are diverse. Last week, an Australian security firm ‘broke in’ to an entire cloud system by elevating user privileges in one account. It would seem one hole gives access to everything all at once.

    I like the New Zealand approach. However, it is easy to simply imagine what is possible. Will NZ should pose the above concerns up front and require the vendor business cases adequately address them?