Thank goodness we've got the cloud sorted out here in the UK
They do seem to be in a bit of a pickle cloudwise in Australia.
They should take a lesson from the UK, where "Cloud First" is the rule for central and local government.
And where we have the CloudStore, an on-line supermarket for cloudy products and services.
Admittedly no-one knows what "Cloud First" means and very few people have heard of it. Also, the CloudStore was meant to close down on 30 September but it's still limping along because someone can't get the replacement Digital Marketplace to work.
"Someone" is the Government Digital Service (GDS) and their advice to central and local government is "Don't procure. Commission". No-one knows what that means either.
The Government cloud programme (G-Cloud) has its own Twitter account, @G_Cloud_UK, and that's where we Brits go to find out what's happening. The Australians could usefully pay a visit.
Cloud computing depends on trust frameworks. Everyone knows that. Then a few months ago Chris Chant started Tweeting on @G_Cloud_UK about how trust can never be achieved, what you really need is truth. "24hrs to go" he said on 30 July 2014, "until @RainmakerCXO totally disrupts UK Cloud security capability. Truth better than trust. truth.rainmaker.solutions @G_Cloud_UK".
It wouldn't matter what he says if it wasn't for the fact that he's the principal architect and advocate of G-Cloud. And what he's saying is that you're wasting your time holding out for trust. What you need is GuardTime, an Estonian product marketed by Rainmaker Solutions. Let the Australians take note.
Some of us Luddites are a bit anti-cloud.
It's something to do with the OECD saying "cloud computing creates security problems in the form of loss of confidentiality if authentication is not robust and loss of service if internet connectivity is unavailable or the supplier is in financial difficulties ...". And ENISA saying about cloud that "its adoption should be limited to non-sensitive or non-critical applications and in the context of a defined strategy for cloud adoption which should include a clear exit strategy ...". (ENISA is the EU's Network and Information Security Agency).
What with that and Kim Dotcom and Edward Snowden and Bruce Schneier, it's a relief to see that local goverment in the UK is generally forswearing the cloud.
The other day, a journalist tried to snap these fuddy-duddies out of the 18th century and wrote "Council IT teams overstating cloud security concerns". But he didn't really mean it and was last seen on @G_Cloud_UK asking "why is cloud any less secure than a server sitting under a desk?".
Then yesterday, when Bruce Schneier's #IPExpoEurope comments on the cloud were reported – "We’re losing control of our data because of the cloud" – the CEO of Omnis Systems leapt to the cloud's defence on @G_Cloud_UK: "Actually it's because of public #cloud hosted in other countries. Host them in UK/EU & you'll have no issues" before adding 17 minutes later "#Cloud is not safer or cheaper for many use cases but it sounds good so who cares, they say".
That shared understanding of the cloud that we have in the UK, the confidence in its security, that's what Australia needs. Just ask that lady whose pictures were leaked the other day. She'll tell you.