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Farming data in the cloud

Hamish Barwick | Dec. 20, 2013
The Department of Agriculture and Food in WA has replaced its storage systems and is now preparing to implement a private cloud.

While the private cloud strategy hasn't been rolled out yet, DAFWA is in talks with the WA government about its impact.

"Data governance in a specific location can be mitigated by explaining that it is a private cloud located within one of our data centres rather than spread across the globe," Hudson pointed out.

The work doesn't stop there. DAFWA is also embarking on a business systems improvement program which it claims will transform IT within the department. "Because we've got high quality storage and availability, we are building data warehousing and trying to make the data diffused through the organisation coherent," said Hudson.

Simon's main caveat with cloud computing is the security risk. He advised CIOs to make sure data is secure, wherever it is stored. "You need to look at it [cloud] on a case-by-case basis. Does it fit with your requirements or your cost model?" he asked.

"People are running to the cloud like it's a cheap excuse for not having to make the hard decisions themselves."

Hudson said undertaking due diligence is "doubly important" for government CIOs as their agencies get audited. "We need to do the hard yards in understanding what services we are procuring and using."


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