The ongoing corporate struggle taking place between Microsoft and Amazon Web Services to gain control of the cloud computing sector in Australia has seen Microsoft move ahead, with the news that several of its products have won Australian Signals Directorate security certification.
What this will mean for the software giant is that those services in question will be able to be deployed by the Australian government on a more widespread basis. Microsoft has confirmed that it now has 40 Azure solutions on the Certified Cloud Services List compiled by the ASD, which represents a sizeable increase from the previous six. In addition to this, 10 of the Office 365 suite’s services now feature on this list. Amazon Web Services is still the provider that has the highest adoption rates within this country, but Microsoft now has an important lead when it comes to cloud computing.
The national technology officer for Microsoft Australia, James Kavanagh, stated during an interview with the Australian Financial Review that going through the difficult and time-consuming job of securing this certification from the ASD made sense for the company, due to the level of trust that the providers of cloud computing services ask organisations to grant them in terms of their data.
He went on to add that getting it meant that the company was now the sole supplier of hyper-scale cloud services that could provide government organisations with cloud advanced threat protection, analytics, internet of things, and machine learning solutions boasting this security certification.
An analyst for IBRS, Joseph Sweeney, agreed with these conclusions – stating that the greater ASD certification now held by Microsoft could give it a real edge over Amazon when it comes to enterprise and government clients. Sweeney pointed out that Office 365 and Azure were both already strong in Australia, but that Microsoft’s move to make itself the major provider of cloud services that offers the most stringent security showed that it understood the priorities of the organisations that seek those services, adding:
“This certification is incredibly important as it aligns with Microsoft’s strategy in the Australian market, which is to differentiate itself against AWS and Google on the issue of trusted enterprise computing. AWS positions itself as super-agile and flexible and Google positions itself as data rich and cost effective. Instead, Microsoft is working to prove itself as a partner that actually ‘gets’ the enterprise.”
Sweeney continued by arguing that there was strong evidence to suggest that security accreditation provided by locally-based bodies, such as the sort that Microsoft is winning, plays a big part in determining which provider secures the cloud services contracts in those markets. He concluded that both Azure and Office 365 had been adopted by at least one such organisation because Microsoft was the firm in possession of certification from the ASD.
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