OzTech: Public cloud spending surpasses $18B; CSIRO tech graduate programs; Victoria small businesses get tech rebates; Five Eyes issues warning

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Australia to spend $18.7 billion on public cloud services in 2022

Spending on public cloud services in Australia is expected to be $18.7 billion in 2022, according to Gartner’s latest forecast. This would represent a 31.8% growth compared to 2021’s $14.2 billion

Software as a service (SaaS) accounts for close to half of the total cloud market in Australia, but the fastest-growing segments in 2022 are expected to be platform as a service (PaaS) followed by infrastructure as a service (IaaS), according to the research firm.

In January 2022, research firm GlobalData forecast that spending on cloud computing would surpass $20 billion only by 2025; this includes public cloud services which make up 50% of the cloud computing market as per GlobalData’s methodology. Despite their differences in spending pace, both firms agree that PaaS will be the fastest-growing public cloud service.

CSIRO launches tech graduate programs

Australia’s national science agency has launched the first round of two graduate programs: one focused on emerging technologies and the other on AI.

CSIRO’s Next Generation Emerging Technologies program received $6.2 million, and the Artificial Intelligence program received $4.2 million. The programs will cofund student scholarships with each program’s industry and university partners.

The program provides scholarships to Australian citizens and permanent residents. CSIRO expects intakes to open in May 2022.

The emerging tech program will focus on empowering people within the metaverse, trusted automation for IoT, building national cybersecurity capabilities in manufacturing, and digital engineering.

The AI program will focus on AI in mental health, manufacturing, data-efficient machine learning models for IoT, analytics, and automation.

Victoria small businesses get $1,200 tech rebates

A new round of the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program has opened with $5 million set for rebates. The program allows for eligible small businesses in Victoria to adopt digital services from 14 providers.

The suppliers cover areas including upgrading a website, improving cash flow with financial management software, online marketing, projects and jobs management, and keeping track of stock.

Eligible businesses can choose to purchase a product or upgrade an existing one and then apply to a $1,200 rebate from the state government. The program was launched in late 2020 and has benefited more than 10,000 local businesses, according to the Victoria government. The current round of rebates will close on 18 July.

Australia issues cybersecurity warning over Russia-Ukraine war

Australia and the other Five Eyes nations—New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom—have issued a cybersecurity advisory warning organisations that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could expose organisations both within and beyond the region to increased malicious cyber activity. The group believes Russia could retaliate against sanctions imposed by the Five Eyes nations.

Five Eyes have urged critical infrastructure network providers to prepare for and mitigate potential cyberthreats—including destructive malware, ransomware, DDoS attacks, and cyber espionage—by hardening their cyber defences and performing due diligence in identifying indicators of malicious activity.

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