This news was not welcome for Canadians or to businesses from other countries who store data in U.S. data centres. George Watt, VP, corporate strategy, CA Technologies, sees Snowden’s revelations as a call to action for Canadian businesses. In an exclusive interview with IT in Canada, he urged Canadians to invest in more data centres and adopt more cloud services.
“There’s a huge opportunity for Canadians to be cloud providers,” Watt said. He pointed out that Canada offers a number of benefits for cloud service providers considering establishing data centres in the True North. Watt noted that Canada’s lower temperatures make it easier to cool a data centre. In addition, its geographic proximity to the U.S. and its vibrant cloud market should be an attractive incentive. Canada also boasts a world-renowned education system that produces intelligent graduates eager to fill positions in the technology sector. Many of Canada’s colleges and universities are located near data centres, Watt remarked, making it easier to recruit staff. Moreover, provincial and federal governments offer incentives to employers to bring their business to Canada.
Watt acknowledged that Canadians are risk averse and have displayed reticence about shifting to cloud computing. “Canadian companies are concerned with putting data in the cloud,” he said. Snowden’s disclosures about the U.S. government’s data collection have prompted Canadian businesspeople to discuss data sensitivity as well as the types of information that should and should not be stored in the cloud.
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