August 9, 2012
Cloud computing is continuing to take hold around the globe, often hidden behind the dominance of the United States and Asia. According to a study from Frost and Sullivan, organizations in Australia are moving out of the pilot phase and into full-blown cloud adoption, with spending on the technology looking to dramatically increase as a result.
More than half of all companies in the country spend at least 10 percent of their budgets on cloud computing services and solutions, with more than 20 percent of IT budgets dedicated to the cloud in 31 percent of organizations. Although larger companies still tend to dramatically outspend their smaller counterparts, the study found that 70 percent of all companies will increase their budget for cloud technologies "significantly" in the next year.
Hosting capabilities, reliability of service and cloud security remain among the top criteria for selecting providers for many companies. However, as the study showed, the positive benefits are beginning to outweigh the negatives associated with these requirements.
Increased spending comes thanks to many Australian organizations reaping widespread benefits from the level of adoption that they have already undertaken. Tops among the drivers for the cloud are agility, standardized IT infrastructure and decreasing costs. This is most apparent for many companies thanks to the ability to upgrade systems while minimizing capital expenses.
All these benefits came without a mention of many negatives, such as those traditionally associated with reliability or security. Instead, some of the top services being accessed in the cloud involved applications for web security and email security solutions. Both still trail traditional cloud-based email and storage, but are gaining traction in many organizations.
Even as organizations across Australia are clearly embracing the cloud, some in the government feel that the technology has to be better understood. Government officials largely want the cloud to succeed in the country, but feel, despite the push from industry, that awareness in the country remains low.
"Many people do not yet fully understand what the cloud is, what it does and what it can do," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told the Australian. "That has got to change."
Conroy believes that since the assumed benefits of the technology are driving its adoption, they should be fully understood. He hopes that with better understanding, Australia could be a home for some of the jobs that the growth of cloud computing projects to create in the next few years.
-McAfee Cloud Security