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Cloud Computing Industry Code of Practice Signaled

Cloud Computing Industry Code of Practice Signaled

1 September 2011

A consortium of significant players in the New Zealand Cloud Computing industry today announced plans for the development of a voluntary Cloud Computing Code of Practice to inform and safeguard the public around Cloud Computing issues.

The initiative was the outcome of a workshop called recently by Xero’s Rod Drury following a number of industry discussions, including at the recent NetHui Conference, identifying the need to proactively address standards and accountability around Cloud Computing.

The first phase of the project is to be facilitated independently by the NZ Computer Society (NZCS).

In announcing the Code of Practice initiative NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews welcomed the proactive stance taken by industry and Government participants at the workshop.

“Cloud computing offers exciting new opportunities and avenues for New Zealand but with that comes responsibilities for service providers”, Matthews said. “We’re excited that the industry is being proactive in addressing this through the proposed Cloud Code of Practice, ensuring those using Cloud services can continue to have confidence in solutions available in New Zealand”.

Participants included representatives from Xero, Gen-I, Microsoft, Fronde, Centranum, Cloud Sherpas, Simmonds Stewart, Equinox, Localist, Webb Henderson, NZCS, InternetNZ and others plus observers from the offices of the Privacy Commissioner and Government CIO.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar said “The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the issues facing New Zealand as a result of Cloud adoption and to look at what steps could be taken to address these. We’re very excited to see this initiative develop into a Code of Practice”.

New Zealand Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff, attending the workshop as an Observer, welcomed the industry-led development. “We’ve had concerns around cloud computing for some time and a significant survey undertaken by our office earlier this year concluded a clear lack of awareness around Cloud issues. We will watch this development with interest”, she said today.

Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) Chief Executive Paul Brislen noted that TUANZ was a strong supporter of industry-led codes in the first instance and strongly encouraged wide participation in the initiative. “It’s great to see this proactive approach by industry and we’re very much looking forward to contributing”, he said.

A major scoping exercise will now be undertaken to identify the Terms of Reference and a far wider group of interested stakeholders. A broad Reference Group would be assembled and invited to participate including other cloud players, industry bodies such as NZICT Group and NZRise, standards bodies and others. The scoping work is also intended to leverage the previous Cloud standards work by Standards NZ (funded by industry through the NZCS Standards Fund) and other initiatives overseas.

“While the next steps will be facilitated by NZCS as the ICT professional body, this is an industry-wide initiative”, Matthews said. “For it to be successful we need wide participation and engagement as the Code is developed and now look to our industry and others to support this project”.

Those interested in engaging or being kept up to date on progress should email cloudcode@nzcs.org.nz in the first instance.

ENDS

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