New Zealand has already embraced cloud computing enthusiastically, but it is about to experience a whole new dimension in cloud computing with the arrival of New Zealand\u2019s first hyperscale data center region. And now is the time to prepare.\nMicrosoft\u2019s new hyperscale data center region will create massive opportunities for organisations to leverage the capabilities of cloud infrastructure. It could open the floodgates to cloud migration for New Zealand organisations\u2014 in particular those in the banking, financial services, insurance, and public sectors which are required to store data locally.\nThe banking, finance and insurance sector is already the largest user of public cloud services, followed by the public sector. Once the new data center region opens they will be able to keep all their files, including backups , onshore in New Zealand.\nMicrosoft\u2019s two NZ flagship customers, BNZ and Fonterra, are already gearing up to use the new hyperscale data centers as soon as they open, with innovations that will be secure and scaleable.\nCloud is essential for innovation\nNew research from IDC and Microsoft has also identified the increasing importance of public cloud as a platform for digital innovation, concluding \u201cit is virtually impossible for organisations to innovate without leveraging all cloud technologies.\u201d\n Microsoft\nThe IDC and Microsoft research has also found evidence of huge growth in the use of cloud technologies in New Zealand, where 38 percent of organisations already take a cloud-first approach to investment in new IT systems.\nThe research shows that the establishment of New Zealand\u2019s first hyperscale data center region will produce a \u2018cloud dividend\u2019 that will spur innovation, create skilled jobs and open up new opportunities for New Zealand to export its innovations.\nIt also estimates spending on public cloud services will almost double over the next four years, with cloud deployment creating 102,000 new jobs, including 18,500 skilled IT roles, in the same period.\nFree training to address the skills shortage\nThe shortage of cloud skills in New Zealand is already well known. Demand for skills to manage cloud environments has outstripped supply,\u00ad and launch of our new data center region will create additional demand.\nTo address this, Microsoft is offering free certifications and training to enable IT professionals to gain Azure cloud skills. Businesses wanting to take full advantage of cloud, should encourage and support workers to take up these opportunities.\nWith the expansion of cloud services, developers will increasingly turn to public cloud services to create new technology products and services to benefit businesses and consumers. The more people with cloud skills, the more the country will benefit.\nSo now is the time to \u201cbe prepared\u201d, to seize the many opportunities that cloud services present. Microsoft and Microsoft Approved Azure Partners can help you. Both Microsoft\u2019s own teams and those of our partners have been trained to the highest standards to enable them to support customers on their cloud journey.\nThis journey starts with the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework, a step-by-step guide that Microsoft and our partners have produced to help organisations develop their \u00a0cloud migration strategy and cloud adoption plan. Once you have your plan, our dedicated Azure FastTrack Engineers can help you identify and implement best practice to undertake your transformation.\n Microsoft\nKey cloud migration considerations\nThere are some key things you will need to consider as you plan this journey, in particular, lock-in to proprietary cloud services and security. If you adopt a multicloud or hybrid cloud model, you need to make sure those two different environments work together and enhance, rather than inhibit, productivity. Fortunately, there are platforms available that can help you connect and manage multiple clouds.\nRegarding security, there are considerable benefits to using public cloud services. Microsoft Azure offers a range of security features as standard that would be expensive to obtain by other means.\nDespite this, some organisations are reticent to use cloud because of perceived security issues, in particular those considering using cloud to support Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing deployments. These issues can all be addressed by cloud services with the right configuration, based on a holistic view of security across the cloud environment.\nAccelerating innovation\nHowever, these are all things you need to do to transition to \u2018business-as-usual\u2019 to the cloud. What I really want to talk about is something much more exciting: leveraging the new data center region to accelerate innovation in New Zealand.\nTo support this acceleration, Microsoft has launched a series of Innovation Workshops to get people exploring, and realising, the innovation possibilities offered by Azure.\nThey are not simply basic training \u2013 they\u2019re designed to help people really leverage Azure for innovation. Please check them out here.\nNow is the time to get ready for the opportunities that Microsoft\u2019s new data center region will offer, so you can hit the ground running when it opens. Data migration is not difficult, but it doesn\u2019t happen overnight, and it doesn\u2019t go smoothly unless you plan.\nThen you need another strategy to move beyond your initial migration to the cloud and really leverage its potential. Now is the time to start, and at Microsoft we\u2019re ready to help you take that journey, to optimise your apps for the cloud and turn New Zealand into a country powered by the cloud.\nTo read our new research about cloud usage, click here.