Australian government to "maximise" use of cloud

Government departments encouraged to "consider" cloud computing services and asked to move public-facing websites to the cloud if it offers value for money

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The Australian government has unveiled its cloud computing strategy

Unlike the US and UK governments, it has not insisted that departments use cloud computing services by default. Instead, the strategy calls on departments to "consider" the use of cloud where possible, and to move public-facing websites on to cloud hosting services "where those services represent the best value for money".

The government hopes that encouraging cloud adoption will help it to "achieve greater efficiency, generate greater value from ICT investment, deliver better services and support a more agile public sector". 
 
The strategy was met with mixed responses from analysts. Gartner's governement specialist Andrea DiMaio said it "maintains the down-to-Earth, no-nonsense approach that I have learned to like in Australia".

"Some commentators may wish to see the government take a more aggressive stance but, given ... the early stage of “cloud-first" strategies elsewhere, I believe the Australian government has taken a smart direction," he wrote today.
 
Meanwhile, Ovum's Steve Hodgkinson praised the strategy for recognising that "there are many issues and challenges that need to be addressed to progress cloud services adoption in the prudent manner required by the government".
 
But, he added, "a firmer cloud first policy could have been adopted and targets and incentives for cloud services adoption could have been defined."

"At the very least it sets a clear direction and is a good start," says Ovum. "As always, what matters now is implementation."