Cloud standards initiative presses on

Cloud standards initiative presses on

Government representatives, ICT organisations, cloud providers and users met in late January to push ahead with efforts to establish local cloud computing standards.

The workshop followed an approach seven months ago by the New Zealand Computer Society to Standards New Zealand, suggesting the development of standards.

Standards New Zealand spokesperson Robyn Fitzgerald says most organisations invited to attend agreed to be involved.

Other than the Computer Society and NZICT, those invited included the Privacy Commissioner’s office, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development. Several cloud providers and users were also due to attend, including Intergen, Fujitsu, Fronde, Xero, Provoke Solutions, Oxygen IT, Revera, New Zealand Post and Victoria University.

“We’re trying to look at whether we need to develop standards for the New Zealand IT industry on cloud and clearly identify what the issues facing New Zealand are,” says Fitzgerald.

She says the workshop could ultimately result in forming local principles, guidelines or standards, or in forming an advisory group to work with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). The workshop was set to be chaired by Alison Holt, chair of the ISO’s IT governance working group, and founder/director of IT governance specialists Longitude 174.

In the December issue of its Touchstone publication, Standards New Zealand said computing, storage and application services provided over the internet would play an increasingly significant role in the local market. The publication said cloud services would change the way people work and the way companies operate, allowing digital technology to penetrate every part of the economy and society. It said the workshop would discuss whether stakeholders see a need to develop cloud standards or guidelines.

It would also discuss a possible approach to developing a document with principles and requirements, focusing on key elements not covered in existing published ISO standards, the publication said. These included privacy, portability, data custodianship and stewardship; intention around implementation and compliance structures; along with scope limitations and specific inclusions.

After the meeting, Standards New Zealand general manager Shona Weller said it was too early to comment, before a planned press release in the second week of February.

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