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18-12-2015

Opening Speech by Mr. Gary Lai, Assistant Government Chief Information Officer (Industry Facilitation) at “The CCSIG Executive Cloud Forum 2015”


Mr. (Michael) Leung, Hon. (Charles) Mok, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you all at this “Cloud Computing SIG Executive Cloud Forum 2015”. The theme of today’s Forum is “Cloud+”, which is very relevant at the current moment as the use of cloud computing has become prevalent in businesses as well as our daily lives. For example, nowadays, we can store files and share pictures and videos with others over the cloud.

Cloud computing will continue to be a critical part of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. IDC predicts that cloud infrastructure spending will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% and will reach US$54.6 billion by 2019 accounting for 46.5% of total spending on IT infrastructure. Cloud computing provides quicker and more dynamic access to critical computing resources, which facilitates more timely deployment of business applications thus enhancing business operations and customer service. The advent of cloud computing also brings benefit to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), allowing them to adopt ICT solutions commensurate with their scales of operation at low start-up costs. With minimal requirements for technical know-how and manpower resources for maintenance and upgrade of ICT systems, cloud computing is especially suitable for SMEs.

In Hong Kong, we offer a favourable environment for cloud computing to develop, underpinned by our robust ICT infrastructure, free flow of information and our status as a data centre hub in the region. According to the World Competitiveness Year Book published by International Institute for Management Development, Hong Kong has been ranked first globally for 5 consecutive years since 2011 on technological infrastructure. Our average peak Internet connection speed of 94.8 Mbps is the second fastest worldwide. Internet penetration in Hong Kong is high, with household broadband and mobile penetration at 83% and 229% respectively.

Cloud computing requires data centre support. Hong Kong has been ranked by the International Data Corporation as the most suitable location in Asia Pacific for setting up data centres. The 11 high-tier data centres in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate is the largest data centre cluster in the Asia Pacific region. All the above enabling factors are conducive for cloud computing to develop and flourish in Hong Kong.

On the part of the Government, we have formulated a cloud computing strategy to facilitate the development of cloud computing in Hong Kong. We have been taking the lead in the adoption of cloud computing to provide shared ICT resources to Government bureaux and departments so as to better meet rising demands on public services. Through the launch of Government Cloud Platform (GovCloud), we have implemented more agile and cost-effective delivery of common e-Government services. Currently, around 160 e-Government services for the public are using cloud computing technology.

The Government has also been encouraging and facilitating the industry to develop and use cloud computing. With participation by practitioners in the industry, we have established the Expert Group on Cloud Computing Services and Standards since 2012 to promote wider adoption of cloud computing in the local community. The Expert Group has also participated in the development of international cloud security standards. In addition, we launched the "SME Cloud Promotion Campaign" from December 2014 to June 2015, providing free training on cloud applications for SMEs in various industry sectors. During the campaign, we organised competitions and promotional activities with the objective to encourage more adoption of cloud computing by SMEs.

The Government works closely with Guangdong on ICT collaboration including cloud computing. In December 2014, the “Hong Kong/Guangdong Expert Committee on Cloud Computing Services and Standards” published the Hong Kong/Guangdong Practice Guide for Procuring Cloud Services. The Practice Guide aims at assisting organisations, especially SMEs, in both Hong Kong and Guangdong to appreciate the benefits brought by adopting cloud computing in business operations. We have submitted the Practice Guide to relevant Mainland authorities for inclusion into the national cloud computing standards. We will continue to work with Guangdong on formulation of standards in cloud computing and other ICT areas.

Our ICT industry and the business community including SMEs can now ride on the fast lane to capitalise on the opportunities and benefits brought by cloud computing. I am sure this Forum will bring insights into more innovative development and adoption of cloud computing technologies and services.

I wish the Forum a great success and all of you a fruitful sharing. Thank you.

- ENDS -