Company-X clients stand to benefit from a series of data centres being built in Auckland by big tech players Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

Amazon and Microsoft are bringing the very latest in cloud computing services to the doorsteps of Kiwi companies by building data centres here in New Zealand. Once built and operational, clients will be able to shift from data centres overseas to New Zealand data centres closer to home.

Company-X builds interactive augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) solutions using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. When Amazon and Microsoft’s data centres are operational, we can deploy in New Zealand using the same infrastructure that we deploy into the US and Europe. It’s a much better outcome for our clients.

Amazon and Microsoft stored data in New Zealand instead of Australia or other parts of the world will have a far shorter distance to travel over the internet, improving latency. Communication between devices and New Zealand data centres will be faster than communication with data centres overseas. That’s great news for anyone using cloud services, and extra special news for those using them for resource-heavy AR and VR applications. Suddenly the time it takes to update a screen or provide information will become far more instantaneous.

There’s nothing worse than tapping buttons and having to wait for half a second for something to happen. If it's using cloud services based here in New Zealand you will tap and it should react in milliseconds.

Many organisations require their data to be stored onshore. So the building of New Zealand data centres means they can take advantage of the latest and greatest technology under New Zealand law and jurisdiction. When data is stored offshore many governments have the right to intercept and look at it. I’d rather it was here in New Zealand.

There’s also benefits around geographical availability. If a high-speed fibre cable gets broken between New Zealand and an overseas data centre the provider can switch to New Zealand infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) intellectual property (IP) in New Zealand manufacturing will also be able to be stored in New Zealand servers, with reduced latency for data queries.

New Zealand’s data centres will be environmentally sustainable, completely powered by renewable geothermal and hydroelectricity sources, rather than fossil fuels.

Switching from hosting on-premise servers to AWS or Azure, and using serverless architecture, will substantially reduce our carbon footprint while providing businesses more flexibility. Both AWS and Azure can scale up and down based on the data needs of clients. In the long run, this flexibility leads to a lower cost for technology start-ups.

If you were providing software as a service 20 years ago you generally needed large capital investments in standing up and growing your servers. Now, thanks to Amazon and Microsoft’s elastic model, the entry barrier is much lower. You can build software and scale up based on your client’s needs.

This batch of data centres is being built in Auckland, closest to the biggest population centre, but If I was Amazon or Microsoft, I would still be looking at building my next lot of data centres down near Lake Manapouri in Fiordland. The location provides ample renewable electricity production, and the climate is cooler meaning lower costs for cooling the facilities during the summer.

Google has announced its first New Zealand-based privacy and artificial intelligence (AI) engineering team presence in July. This, with Amazon and Microsoft’s plans, are exciting for us because agriculture has been number one in the economy for so long.

Apart from the obvious benefits to consumers for having cloud computing services closer to them, there are also other benefits. With their tech, Amazon, Google and Microsoft also bring world-leading brains to New Zealand, which can only be good news for New Zealand Inc.

Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft are contributing to the rising technology tide, lifting the technology industry and its clients. With a rising tide, all waka will float.

David Hallett is a co-founder and director of New Zealand software specialist Company-X.