Selling cloud computing to government: beyond the privacy and security debate

By Caroline Atkins and Katherine Armytage

Cloud computing is a major trend in today’s ICT environment. However, unlike participants in some other sectors, governments in the Asia-Pacific region have been slower to take up the significant financial benefits that this technology stands to offer. One major reason for this is the concern about privacy and security, which has received much attention from commentators to date.

However, as the technical issues needed to ensure adequate privacy and security of cloud solutions are gradually addressed and resolved, and governments become more convinced that cloud computing is a viable option for at least some of their ICT needs, it is becoming apparent that there are other contractual issues acting as barriers to the successful uptake of cloud computing by governments.

Cloud service providers wanting to make further inroads into government cloud computing markets need to understand what these other issues are when designing the contractual arrangements for their cloud computing offerings. Although cloud computing is sometimes described as ‘old wine in new bottles’ (that is, the legal issues are similar to or the same as in traditional ICT contracting — just the packaging is different), there are a number of sector-specific issues that cloud service providers would be wise to consider from a strategic viewpoint when endeavouring to sell cloud computing to governments…

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