Not there yet, but Papua New Guinea’s ‘big shift’ to cloud technology is coming


There will be a ‘big shift’ for PNG businesses when they start using cloud technology. Steven Hillyard, General Manager of Pronto Software explains some of the benefits to Business Advantage PNG.

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Credit: Tumisu/Pixabay

The adoption of cloud technology will be the big gamechanger for Papua New Guinea-based businesses, enabling them to reliably store and access data and programs over the internet.

So says Steve Hillyard, whose company Pronto Software is a regional ICT provider that helps PNG businesses maintain their computer systems. He tells Business Advantage PNG there is great potential but at the moment in PNG the technology is ‘not quite there yet’.

He says PNG business is yet to see the benefits of the Coral Sea Cable from Sydney to Port Moresby. ‘Some of that has got to do with their roll out and increasing capacity.’

There are positive signs, though, with Paul Komboi, Chief Executive Officer of state-owned internet wholesaler PNG Dataco, observing that cloud technology is on the verge of being heavily adopted in PNG.

Steve Hillyard Credit: Pronto Software/Linkedin

Steep change

Hillyard says there will be a ‘steep change’ when the use of cloud technology becomes reliable.

‘Over 90 per cent of our new, or upgrade, business in Australia goes into the cloud; that is not the case in PNG.

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‘It won’t suddenly happen but it will aid communications. You still have to have local communications infrastructure to support that and it is not quite there yet, which is why [PNG] national businesses still struggle.’

‘I don’t think we will get to having as much face-to-face, or travel in Australia or PNG, as we did before.’

Hillyard says disaster recovery, however, could be implemented without having to have an on-the-premises service. ‘Virtual service in the cloud increases capacity fairly seamlessly and is a whole lot easier.’

Hillyard believes that PNG businesses are already well-informed about the advantages offered by the technology.

‘People in PNG are aware. In some ways, they are more aware of the possibilities they can have with communications technology than people in Australia. People in Australia tend to take those things for granted more than than people in PNG.

Using the cloud means business can use operating capital rather than have to make large capital expenditures on their own IT systems, he notes.


Hillyard says Pronto changed its work patterns because of the pandemic and that is likely to alter how it operates in the future.

‘We always did some of that work remotely. But we have realised that, if we have to do all remotely, we still can. I think there will be a mix [between remote and in-person] but I don’t think we will get to having as much face-to-face, or travel in Australia or PNG, as we did before.’

The COVID-19 pandemic had an uneven impact on PNG businesses, he explains. ‘People needed more help, as they expanded quicker than they thought because they were in demand. Managing scale was an issue for some.’

There were challenges establishing the necessary infrastructure to enable staff to work from home, but one of the lessons of the pandemic, says Hillyard, is the realisation that more work can be done remotely.

‘We have learned that we don’t have to be face to face as often as we thought we did before. We have done some quite successful work, implementation and upgrades, remotely.’

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