Who’s on Cloud 9? The Rise of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing in Australia has seen a steep rise, as organisations look to streamline and become more efficient.


What a couple of years ago was touted as “the next big thing” is now “the big thing” already; it’s not only the realm of the large corporates either, as organisations of all sizes look to reap the benefits.


Most are finding lowered costs in software, infrastructure and staffing as well as increased flexibility.


So just how many are hopping on the cloud?



The Raw Data


Based on stats from Gartner, the global market for public cloud services will more than double in the next 4 years. Another study by Acronis predicts the growth rate as much higher; but even taking the Gartner figure it means that every year the industry is growing by about 20%; this has got many pairs of ears and eyes wide open and taking notice.


In Australia the growth is even more pronounced with a compound annual growth rate of around 34%.


IDC recently conducted a survey of companies in Australia where over 20% of respondents said they were using cloud services and almost a third said they were planning to use them within the next 6 months to one year.



Bottom Line Benefits


The growth we have seen has been largely due to better education of the benefits of cloud computing – and a corresponding better understanding of the main risks.


Of course it’s the bottom line that always counts in business – and one of the great benefits of cloud services is that they can help save IT costs – in software, infrastructure, manpower, or in all three areas.



Reduced Software, Infrastructure and Manpower Costs for Start Ups and Upgrades


Start-up companies in particular are looking to save costs on creating their IT infrastructure from scratch. They don’t have to use their dwindling capital resources and instead it becomes an operational expense.


The technology from cloud providers is more flexible and scalable, allowing clients room to grow as a business.


The same benefits apply to organisations considering a large equipment or software upgrade.



Cloud offers an Adaptive Operational Structure


Operational efficiencies are another benefit; businesses need to adapt to changes quickly these days and cloud computing ensures a nimble and agile operational structure. Change is less hindered by legacy systems, internal software or hardware conflicts or lack of manpower.


Often the quality of hardware and capacity of data storage facilities offered by cloud services far outstrip what a small business could afford in-house, so this becomes another big benefit for them.



Dip your Toes in the Water before Rolling out a Large Project


Previously it was mainly larger businesses and corporates that jumped on board with cloud computing, but this is changing as education becomes more widespread and costs become more manageable.


Smaller organisations in the public and private sectors are now finding it a viable alternative to traditional IT infrastructure and are often more flexible than larger corporations. Some decide to “dip their toes in the water”, before rolling out larger projects.



The Main Objections


One of the other main objections has been security concerns. In some research studies, customers express wariness of external services looking after their data. They fear that it doesn’t have the same level of security and integrity as in-house.


The fact is that even in-house networks can be hacked and face similar security issues, and there are always security risks with outsourcing anything.



“When and How” – Not “If”


The trick is to make sure that your provider has robust security processes that protect your data on all levels. We’ll be discussing ways to ensure your data stays secure on the cloud in next edition of our newsletter.


In a world where competitive advantage and seizing opportunities from change is imperative, it is becoming a question not of whether you go to the cloud, but when and how you do it.

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