Interview: Phil Dawson, AUCloud
In our annual Leaders in Technology series, we ask the experts what the year ahead holds. Today we talk cloud and security with AUCloud’s Phil Dawson.
Which technologies do you think will be game changers in 2020?
It might seem a little strange, biased even, but for me 2020 will be the year of cloud services. While perhaps a little odd suggesting that a group of technologies that have been growing for over 10 years are game-changing this far down the track, we have reached a tipping point with cloud (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) adoption. For a range of reasons, not least of which is cost and agility, 2020 will see cloud services become the default implementation option for a range of activities, including across government. This will be much to the consternation of vendors and distributors of compute and storage, but the reality is that the substantial benefits of moving to cloud are now being understood… and realised.
How are AI, IoT and cyber threats changing your industry sector?
Despite the collective alignment of analysts, media and vendors around technology-driven ‘silver bullets’ such as AI and IoT, these are still both relatively nascent. However, anyone with any kind of internet-connected device (i.e. everyone) understands the extent to which cyber threats are increasing, as well as how potentially damaging these threats can be to individuals and organisations.
Adoption of world-leading cyber threat monitoring technologies integrated into core processes and operated by some of Australia’s best security cleared personnel is core to the IaaS services that we provide to our government and critical national infrastructure customers. Sanctity of data, including the protection of metadata and the monitoring data that sits with customer data, is now the priority as people share and trade their information online. People are starting to ‘get’ just how valuable their data is and they want certainty that it is it protected. Anticipating this and building the infrastructure services that meet the security expectations of our customers is our top priority.
What will be the biggest growth opportunities for your company in 2020?
Migration of legacy systems and deployment of new digital native applications to IaaS based on PaaS/SaaS models is where we will see our most material growth next year. Why? Because there is a bank of successful reference cases, business growth and expertise in this area (amplified through North American ICT marketing dollars). Within government, the successes apparent from the likes of Service NSW and early indication of cohesion between DTA and key agencies within federal government suggests that the growing talent pool of application developers may have the opportunity to unleash their micro-service, containerised, automation and orchestration capabilities to effect rapid change on a massive and nation-scale basis.
What’s on your tech wish list for 2020?
At the parochial level of delivering IaaS to government, I would like to see government address two of the easier barriers to cloud adoption; namely, procurement and security. The former is about creating a genuine marketplace for commodity-based cloud services (similar to what has been achieved through Service NSW) and the latter, security, about providing clarity on what best practice could/should look like and how to manage risks around data in a joint responsibility landscape. Perhaps the bigger and more challenging issue, however, is the need to establish tangible parameters around the use of AI in a world of potential bias and liability where the stakes involve dealing in citizen data privacy and consent. My advice — don’t wait for certain North American technology companies to solve this one for you in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
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