Australia’s demand for cloud services is being thrust by the increasing use of data intensive applications, which necessitates the use of back-end cloud applications needed to store and analyse this data. Cost saving continues to be a key push factor for cloud with organisations reporting an average IT cost savings of 12% through the use of cloud computing services. In 2013, software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which together make up the Australian cloud computing market, generated revenues of $1.23 billion.
These findings were from Frost & Sullivan’s latest report, State of Cloud Computing in Australia Report 2014 which states that the Australian cloud computing market has now emerged from the early adopter stage to the early growth stage of adoption by the wider market. However, while strong growth in cloud adoption continued into 2014, it will begin to taper off as the market reaches a higher state of maturity.
Phil Harpur, Senior Research Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan says that the Australian cloud computing market is expected to grow strongly over the next five years, averaging a CAGR of 30% from 2013 to 2018, when it is forecast to reach $4.55 billion. IaaS and PaaS will grow at faster rates than SaaS, albeit from much lower bases.
Deterred by the high cost of hiring IT staff, a growing proportion of IT requirements are being outsourced, and IT departments are shrinking in size and number. “This trend will continue to be a strong proponent of cloud computing and is a key reason Australia is one of the leading adopters of cloud solutions globally, says Harpur.”
Frost & Sullivan’s survey of IT decision makers in Australia revealed that cloud services enable easier access to IT resources from any location, provides faster access to data for applications such as data analytics, frees up resources that can be used for other tasks and improves business redundancy.
“Two thirds of companies that have adopted cloud services believe it has significantly improved their overall business performance. A significant proportion of organisations feel it has enhanced their ability to innovate and explore new business models. The Education, Mining and in particular, Government and Financial Services, have been strong adopters of cloud over the last six to 12 months. The Retail and Manufacturing sectors are seeing strong adoption of cloud based business management applications,” shares Harpur.
Many companies are hesitant to move to the cloud due to security concerns and is primarily centered on giving away control over key business processes and data. Harpur continues,“The dynamic nature of the cloud environment makes it more vulnerable to security threats and IT security requirements increase in complexity. 38% of organisations are more concerned about IT security since adopting cloud computing, and data security threats remain the key challenge, especially for public cloud deployments. Few cloud providers currently provide comprehensive security features built into their services, so companies must implement appropriate security policies to address these issues.”
Risks in disaster recovery and back up of cloud services have not been fully addressed for all cloud applications and enterprise-wide policies and standards are needed to achieve this. Lack of skills and resources to manage cloud services internally and the lack of customised options remain concerns for some cloud applications.
Managed IT service providers offering cloud are evolving to provide an end-to-end service offering of cloud services including SaaS, IaaS, UCaaS and data centre services, security and back-up and redundancy measures and non-based cloud services/legacy systems. This complex ecosystem requires integration of cloud systems with back-end legacy systems, along with cloud brokerage and cloud orchestration services.
Issues with migrating and integrating business process and applications to the cloud are growing as a broader range of different cloud applications are migrated to the cloud. Customer engagement, cloud solutions and management of cloud services and applications is increasingly complex. Organisations are adopting Cloud Management Platforms as an avenue to address this.
Half of all organisations feel that the decision making process is shifting from that of the CIO and IT department to the individual business unit for implementation or updates of cloud applications such as HR, payroll, collaboration and conferencing. This adds an additional layer of complexity to the management of cloud applications. However, it illustrates the evolving role of IT within organisations where in the future the IT department will offer services outside their traditional technical responsibilities such the provision of advisory services and management of IT contracts.
Strong growth in local data centres is alleviating customer concerns surrounding latency and data sovereignty for the IaaS market. Led by Amazon Web Services (AWS), there is intensive price competition in a maturing market resulting in declining margins on IaaS solutions. A fragmented and competitive market, especially at the commodity end of the market with public cloud services is likely to see consolidation over 2015 and 2016.
Frost & Sullivan's report, State of Cloud Computing in Australia Report 2014, forms a part of the Frost & Sullivan Enterprise Communications Research program. All research services included in this subscription provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Frost & Sullivan’s Australian Cloud Services Survey was conducted in July 2014 and involved 603 senior management level executives, who are responsible for decisions regarding IT regarding IT services, infrastructure spending or data centre spending within their organisations. All respondents’ businesses were required to have currently deployed some form of cloud-based solutions within their organisation.
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