Cloud Computing: The Aussie Scenario

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Asia Pacific countries have varied perspectives on the use of cloud computing, which include public vs. private cloud, hybrid cloud deployments and applications. In Australia, human resource management and customer relationship management are among the top cloud computing applications.

According to a recent study by Frost & Sullivan, over one third of the 330 IT decision makers surveyed employ cloud computing deployments in their businesses. All had an optimistic output for cloud computing in 2011, which is consistent with the APAC forecast for enterprise applications. In fact, 36% of surveyed firms will increase their budgets for cloud applications in 2011.

The Australian case cites the use of cloud deployments for server computing, desktop applications, security, analytics and reporting applications. Among the IT managers surveyed, 100% say they use a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, 75% use Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), while about 53% use platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model of cloud computing.

Who Is Responsible for the Shift to the Cloud?

Arun Chandrasekaran, Frost & Sullivan research manager for ICT, is worried about one finding though. In most cases, IT departments are solely behind the move to cloud deployments, which might suggest that business managers might not be aware of both the benefits and risks that come with cloud computing.

What are the regulatory compliance issues when operating in the cloud and who is going to own legal liability if problems arise? There's a real need for CIOs and IT managers to lead the cloud discussion, but it's a discussion that must include senior management from across the business," Chandrasekaran says.

Concerns With Security and Regulatory Compliance

The Asia Cloud Computing Association cites legal and regulatory frameworks as potential roadblocks to cloud adoption in APAC. The Australian scenario might be a bit different, with cloud users being less concerned with regulatory compliance and security, particularly when it comes to private cloud deployments.

Learning Opportunities

According to Gartner, public cloud deployments might actually be safer than private or hybrid cloud. This is despite the fact that firms are more apt to deploy private cloud setups with the intent of keeping their data more secure. Gartner argues that when the public cloud is concerned, users find issue with security, regulatory compliance and the like. With private cloud deployments, though, users tend to be more lax about security.

Major Players and Major Challenges

In Australia, major users of cloud deployments include Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Komatsu and Visy, along with the Department of Defence. Meanwhile, telecoms company Telstra is keen on providing cloud services to the Royal Australian College of General Practice. Australia is also home to accounting service Saasu and email marketing service CampaignMonitor.

However, the Australian continent sees one big challenge to cloud computing, and that is a relatively expensive broadband service, which might hinder widespread adoption of cloud services. To this end, the National Broadband Network intends to provide quality service at a lower cost, which will help encourage a better rate of cloud computing adoption.