Australian Information Industry Association calls on State and Federal Governments to consider exemptions for vital IT support services to be considered ‘essential services’


The Australian Information Industry Association represents Australian small, medium and large businesses as well as multinational technology companies. Some of our members include: Telstra, Google, AWS, Microsoft, NBN Co, CDC Data Centres, Vault Cloud, SlicedTech, AUCloud, Technology One, IBM, ServiceNow, Salesforce, Leidos and SAP and they provide critical technology support, services and infrastructure allowing business continuity to both government and business.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, governments are considering the imposition of broad quarantines, restricting the movement of people from their homes.

Should this be required in Australia and accepting that they are important public health measures to assist in limiting the spread of the virus, it is important, however, that quarantines and business closures do not inadvertently include businesses that support both critical infrastructure and essential technology services.

Governments imposing quarantines should consider exceptions for vital IT support operations that directly support “critical infrastructure and essential services” supporting customers such as banks, telecommunications services providers, energy and public utilities, transport systems, hospitals, government agencies, and critical retail such as groceries and pharmacies.

At this time when businesses and governments are rapidly moving to remote working arrangements, cloud and data centre-based services are particularly crucial to the ongoing operation of the economy and the delivery of public services such as education and health.

Exceptions should at least cover:

  • client service centres that manage the IT systems of critical infrastructure and essential services customers and which cannot be done remotely;
  • data centres and staff directly employed by data centre operators and technical, operational and support staff of IT service providers who support clients from those sites;
  • service technicians who go on-site to support critical infrastructure customers or data centres; and
  • manufacturing and maintenance sites that provide essential services and spare parts to critical infrastructure customers.

Our members stand ready to work with the Australian Governments to limit the spread of this virus – and to bring the latest technology to support the critical infrastructure and systems that the world depends on – particularly in this important moment.

SIMON BUSH GM, Policy and Advocacy, AIIA