NZ Cloud Computing Code of Practice coming

NZCS and local cloud software and services providers working on code

New Zealand is to get its own Cloud Computing Code of Practice, following discussions between several providers of cloud-based software.

The initative is similar in nature to a Cloud Computing Code of Practice that has been developed in the UK.

The early development of the Code will be facilitated by the New Zealand Computer Society.

According to a statement from the NZ Computer Society and the founding members of the Code, "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."

NZCS chief executive Paul Matthews says in the statement: “Cloud computing offers exciting new opportunities and avenues for New Zealand but with that comes responsibilities for service providers.

“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 in the early discussions around creating the Code include representatives 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, according to the statement.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says: “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 has also endorsed the move, saying: “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.

TUANZ is also supporting the initiative, with chief executive Paul Brislen noting: “It’s great to see this proactive approach by industry and we’re very much looking forward to contributing”, he said.

According to the statement, "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.

Paul Matthews says: “While the next steps will be facilitated by NZCS as the ICT professional body, this is an industry-wide initiative.

“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”.

- Additional reporting by David Watson

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