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Government cloud contract a 'big win for data sovereignty' - Catalyst

Peter Griffin, Editor. 03 March 2022, 9:00 am

Catalyst Cloud has won an all-of-government contract with the Department of Internal Affairs that the company says removes longstanding barriers around the IT procurement process.

Catalyst Cloud, which has been offering its locally owned and operated cloud platform since 2014, has three data centre regions in New Zealand. Its cloud offering is based on the open-source cloud platform OpenStack. The All-of-Government Cloud Framework Agreement isn't an exclusive deal - Amazon Web Services, SAP and TechnologyOne have inked similar agreements with the Government over the last two years. 

But it standardises contract terms across government departments so will make it easier for Catalyst to gain government contracts. 

"We are delighted to now have a level playing field with our overseas-owned counterparts, giving government agencies the opportunity to keep their applications and data at home, protected by our nation's laws and data privacy regulations," says Catalyst Cloud chief executive Doug Dixon.

Catalyst has long espoused its local focus and infrastructure as offer government departments an alternative to storing their data and applications in "foreign-owned" data centres. Several departments and agencies currently send their data to Microsoft's Azure cloud regions in Australia.

But that could soon change with Microsoft and AWS in the process of building data centres in the Auckland region to launch their own local cloud regions. The major cloud hosts have touted the ability to keep data locally based as an advantage New Zealand customers will soon enjoy.

But Catalyst points out that US companies can still be legally obliged to 

"US-owned cloud providers, for example, are subject to US laws including the US CLOUD Act meaning they may be forced to hand over data to US authorities, regardless of where the data is stored," Catalyst noted in a press release this morning. 

"More government agencies are wanting to repatriate sensitive data back to New Zealand to protect, and do the best by, their customers," it added.

Dixon says that with cloud spending expected to grow year-on-year by 22%, the agreement with the government allows more investment in cloud services to stay local.

"This is something we are particularly proud of. As a Kiwi business, every dollar spent with Catalyst Cloud drives local innovation, talent and growth." 


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