Australia is leading the way in the adoption of cloud computing in the Asia Pacific region, but companies continue to be cautious about the workload of moving to the cloud, according to a new report.
Business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan recently released a report, titled State of Cloud Computing in Australia: 2011, as part of its cloud computing research program.
According to the report, 43% of Australian companies now use cloud computing in some form, while 41% of IT decision-makers say cloud computing will be a top priority in the current fiscal year.
The figures confirm the findings of another survey by technology giant IBM, which reveals 60% of chief information officers in Australia and New Zealand plan to implement cloud computing over the next five years, compared to 39% two years ago.
According to Frost & Sullivan, companies value cloud computing due to the reductions to capital and operational expenditure, cost savings, increased business agility, and the ability to deliver IT on demand.
Their report also provides a breakdown of the main cloud computing deployment models:
Public clouds are typically offered via a web application or as web services over the internet, and involve applications such as customer relationship management, messaging, conferencing, payroll and office productivity.
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Private clouds are owned by the user company and/or a service provider deployed inside a corporate firewall.
Hybrid clouds involve a combination of public and private cloud services.
According to the survey, hybrid cloud deployments are the most popular model in Australia, adopted by 22% of companies, compared to 18% of companies using public clouds.
Frost & Sullivan expects hybrid clouds to remain the dominant deployment model in the near-term due to the flexibility offered to choose the right cloud environment based on cost, security, reliability and service level agreements.
When it comes to the delivery of cloud services, the software-as-a-service model continues to lead the way, with 72% of cloud users opting for this delivery model.
However, infrastructure-as-a-service, which delivers compute and storage on a utility basis, has seen a rapid take-up in the past 12 months, with almost half of cloud users adopting this model.
Meanwhile, platform-as-a-service, which delivers a computing platform and solution stack, remains in the early stages of adoption.
According to Frost & Sullivan, companies will continue to be cautious about the type of workloads they move to the cloud, performing rigorous risk-benefit analysis before doing so.
Frost & Sullivan research director Arun Chandrasekaran says while a formal “cloud first” policy does not yet exist in most companies, the idea of a “cloud alternative” evaluation is increasingly common.
“We expect to see a number of trial deployments this year as companies dip their toes in the water and test non-mission critical applications and infrastructure,” Chandrasekaran says.