David Siddall

NBN and Cloud Computing: Helping Australia with its BHAG

Faster internet connections and cloud applications might just be the key to Australian businesses being able to grow their online presence, expand their customer bases, and ultimately be able to compete globally with ICT powerhouses.

national broadband network The Australian government’s rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) at a cost of $35 billion is one of the largest investments in infrastructure this country has ever seen. So it’s hardly surprising that it was one of the pivotal issues in the Federal Election of 2010. The NBN was a deciding factor for some independents. And today the majority of Australians are in favour of the project as the rollout takes place.

Such a sizeable investment will always have detractors. Many critics see the NBN as a solution to a non-existent need. They argue that there are  more cost-effective ways to connect Australia to high speed broadband. For an overview of the criticisms and debate about the virtues of the NBN, you cannot go wrong with this piece from Stilgherrian on The Drum.

One of the real winners from the rollout of the NBN will be Australian business.

The BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to have Australia ranking in the top five OECD countries for online business.  This will drive opportunities to improve productivity, expand customer base and enable job growth.  And the goal can be achieved by 2020 if everything goes to plan.

The NBN  itself cannot meet this goal. High speed internet connections alone cannot transform business. But it is a vital cog in the larger trend of the democratisation of IT and technology. The synergy between the NBN and cloud computing can help drive Australia to reach its BHAG.

Rather than thinking of cloud computing as an intangible object or marketing buzzword, think of it in very simple terms - IT capabilities delivered via a web browser.

Cloud computing – as defined by the Australian and US governments – can be seen as an ICT sourcing and delivery model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

The benefits to businesses are lower IT costs, more flexible and scalable systems, new and advanced IT capabilities, and the convenience of running a business from anywhere in the world without the need to rely on an in-house IT team. The cloud delivery model of IT – faster and more reliable with high speed internet connections – can help Australian businesses not just to compete, but to secure significant competitive advantages in the global marketplace.

As Rob Livingstone argues, the NBN and cloud delivery model form a powerful combination.


Posted by Walter Adamson, 18 May 2012

I'm pleased that the Government broke the broadband stalemate with the then Telstra management, and have been a critic of the lack of investment in this area, but I'm still not 100% a fan of the NBN. To achieve your BHAG of being in the top five OECD for online business does not require $39b. To service 80% of the population, and 90% of business, we need only spend about $9b. The remainder is all just a political stunt about universal access to BB which has nothing to do with the BHAG. I'm not saying that the social policy of spending an extra $30b is right or wrong, just that it's never been debated in the context of all the other social programs including those slashed or frozen in the latest budget. Is it better that every last person in the farthest reach of the continent have high-speed BB, or that a whole population of children have better dental care?

Walter @adamson


David Siddall MailGuard David Siddall
Company: MailGuard
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Passionate about blogging, copy-writing, email marketing, social media and much more ever since humble beginnings at online publisher MindValley in 2007. Now work at leading cloud provider MailGuard. MailGuard has been a dedicated cloud security provider for 11 years and operates across 27 countries Read David's full bio

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