The Federal Government will largely leave cloud computing to the current wave of early adopters, jumping in once the second wave of adoption hits, according to Australian Government Information Management Office's John Sheridan.
Speaking at the Trend Micro Evolve.Cloud conference, Sheridan - AGIMO's first assistant secretary - highlighted the need for Government to balance innovation and its associated risk of failure when taking a position on new technologies.
Sheridan said he saw that balance being achieved through the embrace of "applied innovation" within Government and the private sector, introducing new technologies once they had been put into production by others first.
He likened the approach to being a "Type B" organisation, as described in the book, Mastering the Hype Cycle.
According to the book, "Type B organisations are willing to support moderate risk taking in the adoption of innovation and have the corporate skills and culture to support such initiatives".
"For some things it's important for us to take up the leading edge of technology," Sheridan said.
"We don't want to be a Type C organisation that's following other organisations. We want to be at the front edge of a Type B organisation.
"We want to be the first to be second with these types of things."
The Federal Government has cautiously approached private cloud services as an alternative to some smaller government agency infrastructure deals in recent but slow movement to a cloud strategy first issued last year.
However, it is likely to all but rule out complete migrations to public cloud services, particularly for larger government agencies, in the medium term.
Sheridan spoke at length about the proposition of introducing cloud services to run parts of existing systems in a hybrid public-private cloud model, believing it was one way to sate privacy concerns while taking advantage of the benefits cloud could offer.
He also saw data encryption and third party certification as areas where more focus could be driven by cloud service providers.