Australian enterprises have been hesitant in taking cloud services seriously compared to markets such as Western Europe and the US, according to IT service provider CSC.
Australia has one of the most mature virtualisation markets in the world, which paves the way for mass cloud adoption. But in CSC's experience as a cloud-service provider and systems integrator, large enterprises have been slow in cloud uptake.
"I'll be candid and say our experience has been harder than we would have liked to convince larger enterprises to take on cloud," CSC chief technology and innovation officer Bob Hayward said at a VMware cloud industry panel event in Sydney. "It has taken longer than we would have thought, and it's been harder."
The reason, according to Hayward, is that enterprises are saddled with legacy IT systems, and have lots of compliance issues to deal with, making them inherently more conservative.
"Existing processes, such as how they procure services, don't change overnight," he said.
But in the last six months, CSC has seen the tide turn, and big companies are taking cloud seriously and weaving it into their operations in a significant way. Enterprises are moving serious workloads, such as testing and development, into the cloud, according to Hayward.
"Just in the last six months, we've been seeing actual [cloud] projects going forward, not just tyre kicking," Hayward said.
One of the industries eagerly consuming cloud services is mining, though those companies are not very vocal about it, due to commercial confidence, Hayward said. CSC has a number of Australian mining companies as clients, but was unable to name them.
"We always thought of natural resources as being a bit laggard when it comes to IT — we have to revise our opinion," Hayward said. "They have changed dramatically in the last couple of years, with the high Australian dollar and other forces at work.
"They have to really become more productive, and the way they are looking to do this is through technology, automation, remote operations, and so on."
CSC is looking to introduce "mining in a box" to local mining clients, which is essentially a preconfigured set of IT offerings that can be deployed to a mining site quickly. The IT services company is also engaging with engineering, procurement, and construction management firms about deploying cloud services to mining sites.