Case studies conducted by industry analyst Ovum into cloud computing implementations “illustrate that benefits were greater than expected, while risks and difficulties were lower than typically experienced by traditional ICT projects”, says Ovum’s Steve Hodgkinson.
Speaking to a Wellington breakfast seminar last week Hodgkinson related the positive experience of a number of Australian public-sector bodies with the cloud. It’s time, he says, that we turn from talking theory and look at the practical lessons learned by some of the early adopters of cloud solutions.
There were passing references to NZ Post’s use of Google applications. Hodgkinson describes NZ Post as “a leader in use of Google Apps at large scale”.
Auckland University is another early Google Apps adopter worth examining, he says.
However, agencies that have made a success of cloud computing are still reluctant to talk on-the-record about what they have done in detail. This means it is difficult to use them as the basis of meaningful case-studies.
This leads to an unbalanced view of the cloud as “evil, immoral and dangerous”; something that offshores local jobs and is a risk to security and sovereignty, Hodgkinson says.
A lot of cloud developments still “have a kind of serendipitous feel to them”, he says and this encourages a cautious view. A significant exception is the New South Wales Department of Trade and Investment.
“It has gone through a full-on public procurement tender process to select a software-as-a-service provider for an ERP application as the kernel of a new shared-services strategy,” says Hodgkinson.