Aussie cloud not a utility yet: Defence CIO


blog Fascinating comments about the state of Australia’s cloud computing landscape have just arrived from Department of Defence chief information officer Greg Farr (pictured), one of the most respected technology executives of any stripe in Australia.

In this feature article published in the Financial Review’s MIS Magazine (where your humble reporter spent some time a while back), Farr makes it clear he believes the Australian cloud is “a long way away” from looking anything like its US counterpart:

“[Providers] still see a commercial opportunity in value-added services, where a solution is designed around what the customer wants,” Farr says. “That’s a valid thing to do, but it’s different from the US model, which really is about buying [technology as] a commodity, the same as you buy electricity or water.”

With providers like CSC morphing the cloud model into unrecognisable shapes (sorry Bob!) and the cloud computing hype wave beginning to recede substantially in Australia, it’s hard to disagree with Farr’s comments. In my view, much of what is being labelled “cloud computing” in Australia should be more correctly labelled “managed services”, at least until we get more large-scale public cloud providers such as and Rackspace providing on-shore offerings. As always, Farr is one step ahead of the curve when it comes thinking about enterprise IT in Australia.

Image credit: Department of Defence


  1. Hmmmm … unfortunately this is also a direct consequence of the Government’s lack of leadership on cloud computing policy from both industry development and agency IT perspectives. If the federal government doesn’t show some vision in terms putting its own demand on the table then why should it be surprised that the local IT industry is slow to invest? And don’t even get me started about the obvious disconnect between the Government’s “yes-but-yes-but-yes-but-yes-but-no” cloud policy and two of its biggest IT-centric policy initiatives – the NBN and the national health record – both of which would benefit from the establishment of more robust and mature on-shore cloud computing capabilities …

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