Miner Barrick picks cloud financials



blog The shift to software as a service and other cloud computing technologies continues to grow in strength in Australia. An interesting little demonstration of the trend was detailed this morning in a media release (PDF) issued by listed IT services firm Empired, which has teamed up with fellow IT services firm Oakton to win a contract to provide resources company Barrick Gold with a range of cloud-based IT services. The release tells us:

“The two year contract with ongoing annual options, will see Oakton and Empired provide a fully managed Oracle service, delivered over Empired’s cloud solution (FlexScale) for Barrick’s core financial accounting system in the Asia Pacific region.

Under the terms of the contract Oakton, as service integrator will take ownership of the overall solution delivery and directly provide the application managed services relating to the Oracle ebusiness suite. Empired will deliver all infrastructure and cloud based managed services including security, core server and storage systems and capacity management. The solution also includes the provision of disaster recovery services utilising Empired’s dual hosting facilities on both the East and West coasts of Australia with real time replication to provide seamless failover services.”

What this contract shows is is that even large organisations such as mining companies, which have traditionally taken a conservative approach to technology, generally partnering with IT services giants such as CSC who have had a long history in their industry, are proving willing to deploy production IT systems in a ‘as-a-service’ model. It’s not just the small to medium business sector with NetSuite or large organisations punting their CRM systems onto Salesforce.com. All of a sudden, ‘cloud computing’, in all its many definitions, is everywhere, in every industry, in many core systems. And a very good thing that is, too, in terms of these organisations’ business agility and efficiency when it comes to IT.

Of course, some aspects of this deal do smack of traditional IT managed services … but there’s enough multi-tenanting implied in there that we’re comfortable saying that it’s broadly in the ‘cloud’ category. This contract also displays, as we wrote earlier in the week with respect to a separate deployment at development group Oxfam, the growing trend towards disaster recovery facilities being provided through centralised IaaS platforms.

Image credit: Karina Faiani, Royalty Free


  1. There’s no denying the significant simplification and cost savings that come with IaaS. Something I’d be interested to know is, what are the protections against, and ramifications for, data breaches in scenarios like this? It seems than in consumer-land companies seem to be able to shrug their shoulders and issue a lame apology with no further penalties or obligations. I’d expect that in the large enterprise world provisions would be explicitly contracted and significant lawsuits would ensue, but it’s not something I’ve seen many (if any) examples of. Is that because, when it can significantly affect their bottom line it’s possible to get security right the first time? Or because enterprise cloud and IaaS service providers aren’t targeted like consumer servicing companies are? Or because such breaches are successfully hushed up when they occur? Or D) All of the above?

  2. Good question Trevor X … I’m pretty sure that the large enterprise-grade cloud service providers are being hammered ruthlessly by hackers keen to claim their scalp as well as hunted relentlessly by journalists keen to break the story of a security failure by cloud services vendor X. Perhaps this continuous real and present danger actually keeps them on their toes?

    Has anyone any evidence to the contrary?

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