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Kiwi-owned cloud infrastructure critical to national prosperity, says new Catalyst Cloud CEO

By Shannon Williams
Fri 19 Nov 2021

Doug Dixon has been appointed the new chief executive officer for Catalyst Cloud.

Dixon experienced Catalyst Cloud as a client some years ago and says he has been a supporter ever since.  

“I have learned first-hand how vital it is for New Zealand to have a locally owned cloud provider, and Catalyst Cloud has a massive role to play in New Zealand’s future stability and prosperity," he says. 

While both Microsoft and Amazon are in the throes of building local data centers, Dixon is keen to point out that data residency is not data sovereignty.

"As American companies, they are still subject to the CLOUD Act. This can be used to force US headquartered companies to hand over data to the American government, against their wishes, no matter where it is held."

Recognising the importance of keeping data onshore, protected by New Zealand law and data privacy regulations, Catalyst Cloud invested in three local data center regions in early 2016.

With public cloud spend in NZ expected to grow year on year by more than 22%, Dixon sees this as both a huge opportunity but also a cause for concern.  

“We should all care that, as a country, we have outsourced our critical infrastructure to other countries, pouring billions of dollars into overseas cloud providers”, he says. 

“While we welcome international investment in Aotearoa's digital economy, it is vital that we have our own sovereign cloud computing infrastructure. New Zealand's future will be defined not just by the digital economy, but by the digital government. It matters who we trust with our systems and data. Investing in Aotearoa’s own cloud is imperative for our national security, data privacy, data sovereignty, inclusion, resilience and economic prosperity."

Dixon has held senior tech roles in government agencies, ACC and Kordia, and was most recently with ANZ as their Practice Lead, Services & Integration before accepting the role with Catalyst Cloud.  Hailing from the UK, Dixon had 10 years at top London brands before making Aotearoa New Zealand home, moving with his young family 10 years ago.

“We are delighted Doug has accepted the position of CEO at an exciting time of growth for Catalyst Cloud," says Gavin Thompson, Catalyst Cloud board chair. 

“We share the same vision for Aotearoa – to offer world class, locally owned and massively scalable cloud computing infrastructure and platform services, keeping data and revenues safely in New Zealand.”

Catalyst Cloud is a local New Zealand cloud provider. As a New Zealand owned and operated business, its clients’ data stays safely in Aotearoa, protected by New Zealand law and data privacy regulations. Catalyst Cloud provides open technologies, like OpenStack and Kubernetes, so clients are never locked in.

With offices in Wellington and Auckland, Catalyst Cloud has been providing true cloud infrastructure and platform services at international standards since 2014 and became an independent company within the Catalyst IT group in August 2017.

"Catalyst Cloud is dedicated to growing the digital economy in Aotearoa, with every dollar spent on our cloud solutions driving local innovation, talent and growth."

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