A year or so ago some folks down here in New Zealand started talking about the need for a Cloud Code of Practice to protect consumers and give some marketplace consistency in the rapidly growing Cloud space. I fully support initiatives such as this that find a nice balance between flexibility and prescription and hence jumped right in to get involved.

It’s a big issue and it’s satisfying for me to see this degree of thought leadership coming from New Zealand – there’s not many countries in the world who have gone down this Code of Practice line and over time I believe it will be an area of growing importance.

Acting as the expert adviser to the Code of Practice Steering Group, I had an inside perspective on the lengthy process that went into creating the document. The New Zealand Computer Society took charge of getting the document created and the project ccoordinator Joy Cottle did an amazing job of balancing commercial interests, egos, legal concerns and a desire to be realistic given the size of the New Zealand market.

The great thing about the code is that it is being developed collaboratively and in consultation with all stakeholders.

A core principle of the development of the code is that while NZCS is facilitating development, this is on behalf of the IT sector as a whole. With that in mind we’re holding a series of consultative meetings around New Zealand to give as many people as possible the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Code.

After holding public workshops, and publishing draft documents on the structure and approach of the code from which we received formal submissions and feedback, we have engaged volunteers from the industry to work on specialist areas of their knowledge to create the content of the code of practice.  After consultation with over 200 people, the Draft of the NZ Cloud Computing Code of Practice is now available for formal submissions.

Anyway – this week after a long series of focus group meetings and work over submissions, the draft code has been released for consultation. Submissions close on April 10 and thereafter the code will be released in its final form.

It’s been really interesting watching the process and seeing the difficult job that has had to occur – clearly some organizations desire a highly prescriptive code that would essentially become the document that set up the compliance body. Other prefer a much more flexible approach that is voluntary and hence less onerous for all concerned.

I believe that the code that has been produced strikes a happy medium between these different sets of conflicting requirement. Congratulations to all involved on the work to date!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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