Pact with CSA meant to lure the cloud's big boys
Feb 08, 2013 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Electronic Government Agency (EGA) has signed an agreement with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to promote Thailand as an Asean cloud computing hub.
The EGA, the state organisation responsible for supporting the development of e-government services, expects the collaboration will help to achieve Thailand's objective to attract global players such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft and cloud service providers to set up their cloud computing centres in the country within 3-5 years.
These global providers have expanded their cloud computing data centres in Asia in recent years to capture growing demand in the region.
Under the agreement with the CSA, a non-profit organisation that promotes best practices for secure cloud computing, the EGA will set up a CSA Thailand chapter to share knowledge and experience about cloud computing, said EGA president Sak Segkhoonthod.
He said the knowledge will include CSA research, particularly about computer security issues concerning data privacy, data protection and data loss.
Mr Sak, who will be the president of the CSA Thailand chapter, said the first goal of the new body is to set a minimum service level agreement and a minimum security requirement for cloud service providers.
The chapter also plans to allow a third-party auditor to evaluate cloud service providers as well as formulate a "Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge" in Thailand. This could help increase professionals in the field and verify their core competency.
Two leading universities _ Mahidol University and King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang _ have been contracted to help manage cloud computing courses, with a target of 100 cloud certifications per year.
These developments will increase the confidence of small and medium-sized enterprises in adopting cloud computing, and they will upgrade Thai standards before the Asean Economic Community kicks off in 2016, said Mr Sak.
The EGA will propose the government provide tax incentives for companies adopting cloud computing technology.
"The Singaporean government offers a 30% tax cut on expenses to corporations that use cloud technology, which also helps to cut down on pollution and power consumption compared with traditional data centres," said Mr Sak.
EGA, established by the Information and Communication Technology Ministry, now offers the Government Cloud Service and has 120 government agencies as customers. It expects 200 by year-end.
Aloysius Cheang, managing director in Asia-Pacific for the CSA, which has 64 cities and countries as members, said Thailand can be a cloud computing hub because it is quick to adopt technology and can aid professional certification.
Last year the CSA moved it headquarters from the US to Singapore on skyrocketing regional demand.
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