Financial Crisis and Cloud Computing – Country and Industry perspectives, closing remarks

Notes from the World Bank workshop on “Financial Crisis and Cloud Computing” in Washington.

Country Perspectives


  • Founding a new network for enhanced usage – financed be government in partnership with the World Bank
  • Youth involvement is very important, social networks have to be integrated
  • There is a lot of scientific potential for the cloud


  • Has a cloud infrastructure already
  • Provides infrastructure as a service – for education and SME startups
  • When getting funding from World Bank & partnership with technology companies, Belarus is ready to participate

Sri Lanka

  • In the process of moving government services to an already existing data centre and subsequently to the cloud
  • But now all applications, only certain ones
  • The potential for the government is enormous


  • issues with data security when outsourcing services
  • several areas for using the cloud – electronic government interchange systems, digital documents
  • if you have services prepared for the cloud then it will be easy to switch there
  • in the future the complexity of infrastructure will be too high to keep it inside -> switching to cloud computing


  • moving currently from the 19th to the 21st century
  • using the cloud is a big opportunity – just as mobile phones for healthcare
  • the opportunities for using IT are going to grow tremendously due to the new backbone which will arrive soon; also a new super computer will be installed in Tanzania soon
  • the economies of scale that cloud computing offers are really unique


Industry Perspectives: Panel Discussion

Dan Burton (

Start with the idea – every consumer was using the web, no use for buying hardware & training & upgradin, it just works

but the companies didn’t do that – but why?

Salesforce offers services for many companies, it just works, the have seen that it’s easy, cheap and flexible

perspectives are that in the future 25% of all software sold are cloud computing services

Also interesting for governments and NGOs

Example: site for one week with 10 mil hits, then turned off – no problem

Salesforce understands security and privacy concerns – but we meet international security standards

Advice: not “I put all of my data in the cloud” -> but incremental approach, trying out

Data centres are a huge expense – cloud computing means outsourcing this expense to the internet

Rizwan Khaliq (IBM)

There’s a lot of discussion about technology – but it should be a discussion “what is the value of cloud computing”

The government shouldn’t need to be concerned about buying 10 new servers

Data privacy and security shouldn’t be a reason not to do something – it should be an issue of course

It’s useful for governments to buy services, not hardware – so they can concentrate on their core competencies – that’s what cloud computing is offering

IBM is heavily financing in the microfinance world

Cloud computing offers developing countries the possibility to come to the 21st century very quickly

Andres Escobero (SUN)

Can public services be provided by cloud computing? Yes – they may even benefit from that

Which services can be put to the cloud without any security and privacy concerns?

What is the role of the World Bank?

  • Training
  • Can facilitate the clustering of interested entities in a country -> good for the economy

Vendor lock-in – with using open standards & open source this can be avoided

Cloud computing can be used in the scientific community – countries don’t need to invest huge amounts of money for the infrastructure

How can local communities benefit? The government has to create the conditions for infrastructure as a service – so local companies exploit that service

Noah Sandidge (Microsoft)

Microsoft philiosophy: software + services

customers should have choice what hey want to use

for governments – doesn’t have to be a public cloud, maybe also private

start with the best possible infrastructure

vital: fixed, granted SLAs

withough the expertise it’s not a good idea to create, maintain, … a data centre – it may turn into a big money pit

important points

  • implement
  • security
  • standards

Calvin Tu (Oracle), by phone

cloud computing has a lot of value – more and more on the commercial side, but also for governments

security, availabilty of service is important for customers – they ask: is it proven?

cloud computing and software as a service are convenient – but it doesn’t mean you should take all your operations to the cloud

it should be a complement to your overall IT strategy

Q & A


  • The companies which are providing free services on the cloud  – is there a problem with sustainability in developing countres – as there are only few people consuming there?


  • Are there plans to build cloud computing datacenters in developing country regions too?
  • Why country perspectives and not regional perspectives?


  • Open approach – how do we assure that openness will be continued with cloud computing?
  • Portability – is there anybody working on a framework for that?

Free services – the private industry is not in the business to provide free services, but has to have ROI; public private partnerships may be a way to move things forward; the government should provide these services to their citizens – also by partnerships with private sector

Location of data centres – the customer is always right – if they want it at some country the company will build it; from a technological perspective that makes no sense; because of service requirements it is necessary to spread data centres over several regions;

Openness – now, with every platform it’s possible to use every application, the cloud should also give the possibility for that; porting the services is hard but companies are working on that; an entrance and exit strategy is necessary before deciding to use a vertain vendor;

Vendor lock in is not different with cloud computing that with regular systems


Closing remarks

Philippe Dongier, Sector Manager, Global ICT Department, World Bank

Consensus – great potentials

Using the cloud – using a more compentent provider for services

Risks – start with a low-risk application and see how it goes

Standards – are in development

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Financial Crisis and Cloud Computing – Country and Industry perspectives, closing remarks
was published on 16.06.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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2 Responses to “Financial Crisis and Cloud Computing – Country and Industry perspectives, closing remarks”

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