Software specialist Company-X has welcomed Microsoft’s plans for its first New Zealand data centre.

Company-X co-founders and directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes described plans for Microsoft’s first New Zealand data centre as great news for New Zealand Inc.

Microsoft’s New Zealand data centre will deliver local access to Microsoft cloud services, Azure and Office 365. Microsoft New Zealand customers and partners are already benefiting from Microsoft’s global-scale cloud services delivered by data centres overseas.

“This is great news for Waikato businesses who are customers of Microsoft,” said Hallett.

“I think the new data centre is amazing news for New Zealand,” added Company-X software architect Luke McGregor.

“Australia's data sovereignty laws are quite intrusive and apply to companies who host in that region, not just Australian businesses.”

Under Australian legislation businesses who have data hosted in Australia must provide intelligence agencies with encryption keys and access to their data if requested.

“These laws have been a point of discomfort for New Zealand businesses since they were introduced. Having a local New Zealand option will mean that we no longer need to be exposed to Australian law with regard to hosting.”

New Zealand businesses using the new data centre would also get quick access to their data.

“We also stand to gain small latency improvements over Australian hosting,” McGregor said.

“While these are not enormous they will make a difference to the performance of solutions especially where those solutions also require data synchronisation with on-premise systems.”

Company-X software architect Rachel Primrose said Microsoft’s New Zealand data centre would give New Zealand companies the choice to keep their data entirely within New Zealand most of the time.

Microsoft described the plan, in a statement, as a major milestone toward delivering enterprise-grade cloud services in the country.

“This significant investment in New Zealand’s digital infrastructure is a testament to the remarkable spirit of New Zealand’s innovation and reflects how we’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible as a nation,” Microsoft New Zealand general manager Vanessa Sorenson said in a statement this week.

The Fletcher School’s Digital Evolution Index characterises New Zealand as a ‘standout nation’ demonstrating to the world what the future might look like. I’m confident this investment will help accelerate our digital evolution.”

Microsoft’s plan is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.