Feb 08 2011

Irish Green Party Enters the Clouds

Category: Cloud Computing,Education,eGovernmentTeknovis @ 18:51

It is election time in Ireland at the moment, but I am not going to discuss politics. However, I can still write about the political manifestos as long as they relate to technology. The policies that caught my attention today come from the Irish Green Party, and they are contained in We will recover if we play to our strengths.

The first interesting policy is:

Transfer all public services to cloud computing

This really makes me wonder if the author understands what cloud computing means! “Public Services” in the election context generally means tangible services that are available to the public, such as policing, health, and education. I am unclear how health care will be provided by cloud computing :D

Seriously, is it meant that all government computing will be performed in the cloud? This raises many interesting questions:

  • Will it be hosted in a single cloud (with potential vendor lock-in)? Or will it be distributed across several clouds (and potentially loose economies of scale)?
  • Will it be a public cloud (and hence how will security concerns be addressed)? Or will it be a private cloud (and will this still deliver environmental benefits as new infrastructure is used)?
  • Where will the cloud be hosed (in order to protect citizen’s privacy rights)?
  • Would it be more beneficial to focus on delivering better eServices, instead of changing the backend infrastructure?

If I was a cloud provider, I would probably be very excited about the opportunities here (as long as I ignore the political opinion polls).

Another policy that caught my attention is:

Invest €70m in web training for 20,000 unemployed people who can then work to web-enable Irish business

Hmmm… I think that I would instead focus on improving the take-up of science and computing for those already in education at all levels.

Provide access for the private sector to Government data

Interesting… Was the Green Party not involved in curtailing Freedom of Information rights during the last few years?

Finally, the last policy that caught my attention is:

Roll out ultra fast broadband Exemplar network nationwide

The Exemplar network is very exciting (see Exemplar Network), but I do not think that it is ready for a nation-wide commercial deployment yet. Also, I do not think that this would be the best usage of this technology.

I think that the cynics will wonder why the Green Party did not do these wonderful things during its time in power :|

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