Foreign Invasion Through Cloud Computing
“India Conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”
— Hu Shih (1891–1962), Chinese philosopher and scholar
As is evident from this quote, a foreign invasion does not have to be on the strength of armies alone. Today, American culture has invaded every country with Coca Cola and McDonald’s, which have become integral parts of popular culture everywhere. This is not necessarily a negative thing, as many who enjoy Hollywood movies, eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken and listen to iPods will attest to. Even China, with its inexpensive manufacturing, has borne the fruits of this process. Almost every major manufacturer in this country outsources goods from the Land of the Dragon. Can also be considered an invasion?
Personally speaking, I consider “invasion” to be too strong a word. However, not everyone seems to be so circumspect, as this article reveals (see: Amazon, Microsoft Cloud Invading OZ: Warn Analysts). This report references the Telsyte Australian Infrastructure and Cloud Computing Market Study (2012) conducted by Telsyte, an independent Australian technology analyst firm, and details the dominance of American cloud service providers down under.
Use of such jingoistic language in the Australian cloud computing landscape is not new (see: Ninefold and Rackspace Battle for Australian Startup Mind Space). While privacy concerns are not without merit (see: Your Data in Australia is subject to the US Patriot Act), terming the popularity of American cloud providers as an “invasion” is stretching the boundaries of credibility.
The study, conducted by surveying 260 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) throughout the country, found that the popularity of foreign players can be traced back to the fact that 36% of Australian enterprises have no restrictions on data being sent offshore. At the same time, a significant 29% of CIOs surveyed did state that their data cannot leave Australia.
“About 35% of Australian enterprises are subscribing to some type of IaaS or PaaS cloud service, with the majority of subscriptions, and data, heading to overseas providers,” said Rodney Gedda, senior analyst at Telsyte. At the same time, he also expressed the belief that this presented huge opportunities for local cloud computing service providers.
The study identified Amazon Web Services, Apple, Attachmate, Citrix, Dell/EqualLogic, D-Link,EMC, Google, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Microsoft and NetApp as the leading cloud players in Australia. Predictably, with the exception of Hitachi, all of them are based outside the United States.
Whether or not this is as a result of misplaced patriotism or restrictive data protection laws, it is clear that American cloud computing companies have their work cut out.
By Sourya Biswas