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Could the public sector switch to the cloud?

15 Aug 2012
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A cloud-based application software hosted outside ANZ could generate huge public service savings according to Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain.

In a paper to be presented to the Cabinet within the month, Tremain will discuss the $2bn a year spent by the public sector on IT annually, and the potential savings in cloud data storage.

"It is a big number, but the level of savings are quite different depending on whether we store data onshore, within Australasia or further afield," says Tremain to Fairfax NZ News.

"The economies of scale and the opportunities for innovation improve significantly as you go further offshore."

Tremain told Fairfax NZ News the initiative would need to include clear cloud security and data sovereignty issues before being approved.

"What we have primarily focused on is the security of the data and sovereignty concerns,” Tremain says.

“Those will be pre-eminent and I think those concerns are more important than the potential cost savings."

"We need to get consistency across government as to the type of data New Zealanders are comfortable being located overseas and what they would want to see located onshore.

“The reality is now if you go to most major trading banks, much of their data is stored overseas now, [but] there is a debate to be had there."

What do you think? Would the cloud save the public sector money? Tell us your thoughts below.