In Focus
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Hong Kong

Hong Kong fails to back local IT sector

Too many security, business continuity and legal issues still to iron out, says an industry player.

Network Box managing director Michael Gazeley shared to Hong Kong Business some loopholes in the IT sector that require government attention. His thoughts are as follows:


Like everywhere else, the talk in Hong Kong is all about the 'cloud' right now. But compared to the USA, we are about 2 years behind, in terms of actual implementation.

For example, how is the last mile to the cloud being secured? What happens if the cloud operator goes down? (Even some of the very biggest have been down for up to 19 hours this year!) And what if the authorities seize serves holding your company's confidential data for evidence, just because some other company under investigation uses those same in-the-cloud provider's servers? There are a lot of important yet unanswered questions.

As far as the Government is concerned, the unfortunate answer is 'no,' the IT sector is not getting enough support from the Government of Hong Kong. It is pointless to provide world-class facilities to incubate start-up ICT companies (for example), and then not take it to the next level, and help those very same companies establish themselves into the local marketplace.

The quality is there. We have a lot of great technology. The biggest problem is now branding and public relations.
Too many local IT managers, who are in charge of purchasing technology for their organizations, automatically go for the same handful of 'big brand names,' without giving local products and services more than a cursory glance.
Ironically, in the field of cyber security, we see organizations repeatedly buying such international brands, despite the fact that time, after time, after time, they are not doing the required job. If your car broke down, you would not rush out and buy another car from the same manufacturer. But in IT that is often what happens. We need to change this for the better as soon as possible.

Just look at the fact during November 2011, seven people infected 4 million computers with a computer virus, across more than 100 countries, in order to make money by criminal means. If traditional anti-virus systems works, how could this even be possible?

Local Hong Kong companies such as Network Box have the answers. But we need help, to get that vital message across to local IT managers. The best technology does not have to come from Silicon Valley, it can come from downtown Kowloon too. In just about every endeavour, from football to chess, people talk about 'home field advantage.' That is surely true of IT development too.

Give Hong Kong's local IT products and services a chance, and prepare to be very impressed.

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