Catalyst Cloud, a New Zealand cloud provider, has been awarded an All-of-Government Cloud Framework Agreement with Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.
The Agreement makes it easier for New Zealand government agencies to use cloud services from Catalyst Cloud. The company has been providing cloud infrastructure and platform services since 2014 and is Aotearoa's only locally owned and operated cloud provider.
"The new Cloud Framework Agreement removes barriers around the procurement process that have been hindering government agencies from engaging Catalyst Cloud," says Catalyst Cloud CEO, Doug Dixon.
"Until now, only overseas cloud providers had been awarded All-of-Government Cloud Framework Agreements for public cloud, so government agencies wanting to adopt the Government's Cloud First policy under these agreements had to store their data offshore in foreign-owned data centers."
He says the Cloud Framework Agreement is a major milestone, allowing all New Zealand Government Agencies to procure cloud services from Catalyst Cloud quickly and easily. He says it removes what has been a significant barrier to adopting local cloud for the New Zealand public sector.
"We are delighted to now have a level playing field with our overseas-owned counterparts, allowing government agencies to keep their applications and data at home, protected by our nation's laws and data privacy regulations," he adds.
Data sovereignty is becoming an increasingly important issue for New Zealand organisations, with growing concerns over New Zealanders' data being held with foreign cloud providers under the jurisdictional control of their home country's data laws. US-owned cloud providers, for example, are subject to US laws, including the US CLOUD Act, meaning they may be forced to hand over data to US authorities, regardless of where the data is stored.
Catalyst Cloud says more government agencies want to repatriate sensitive data back to New Zealand to protect and do the best for their customers. As the company is owned, operated and controlled by New Zealanders, government agencies can enjoy the benefits of true cloud computing knowing their data is protected by NZ law and data privacy regulations.
Catalyst Cloud already has several public sector customers who chose to invest the extra effort and resources required in the procurement process, such as the Electoral Commission and Māori Television.
"Now more agencies will be able to enjoy the data sovereignty benefits, faster user experience and lower network latency that comes from local data centers," says Dixon.
"With public cloud spend in New Zealand expected to grow year-on-year by more than 22%, the new Cloud Framework Agreement provides an opportunity for more of those technology investments to stay in the country," he says.
"This is something we are particularly proud of. Every dollar spent with Catalyst Cloud drives local innovation, talent, and growth as a Kiwi business. We believe it's vital for New Zealand to invest in our cloud infrastructure, and Catalyst Cloud has a massive role in New Zealand's future stability and prosperity. We welcome the Government's decision to give government agencies the option to 'back their own horse', keeping their data and technology spend safely in Aotearoa on Kiwi owned cloud infrastructure."
Catalyst Cloud is built on OpenStack, widely deployed open source cloud software, and has three local data center regions in New Zealand.