Does the ABS really know what’s in the cloud?

Does the ABS really know what’s in the cloud?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveyed 6640 Australian businesses about their technology usage and adoption in the 2013-14 financial year and finally reported its findings just a week ago.

According to the survey, media and telecommunications businesses are the most likely buyers of cloud computing services.

However, the rate of adoption of paid cloud solutions is running at less than 20% on average across industry.

I need to point out here that many people are using web hosting services but don’t realise that is a paid cloud service. I also need to point out that adoption rates have increased dramatically in the past 12 months, since this survey was done in the 2013-14 year and we are now in the 2015-16 year.

The report noted that in the micro-business space of sole traders and those with fewer than four employees the adoption rate was slower at 16%, while in those businesses with over 200 employees it was at 37%. At the enterprise level it was still less than 50% adoption.

There was no major reason quoted for failure to adopt. Although the leading reasons were lack of knowledge of what is available, almost a quarter of businesses surveyed of all sizes claimed a lack of education, although larger businesses leaned more towards fear of security threats and data leaks than ignorance. There were also concerns of data residency and high cost of cloud solutions.

This is all really important for those of you considering or failing to consider cloud because the response from those who are using cloud solutions were that the benefits they were getting were simplicity then increased productivity and then cost reduction and flexibility.

This is most telling as it says to us that those on the other side of the knowledge and fear gap are getting tangible benefits. It also tells us that 80% of you need our help to make the change.

In our experience, businesses that adopt well planned and migrated cloud technology solutions do not look back to local infrastructure. There are many benefits to subscription-based cloud solutions, including better security from up-to-date software and better server side security from large cloud providers than from small business systems installed in insecure environments and then poorly maintained. For larger businesses the combination of third party security products such as encryption gateways, identity management and mobile device management tools can lead to significantly increased security from the legacy systems they have in place today.

So the interesting part of the survey is not what was in the cloud a year ago, it is the potential of it to add value to your business today. Staying with the ignorant or fearful will not make you an industry leader.

David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for Business IT that makes sense. How can we help?

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