Up to 75 per cent of Australian enterprises are considering moving business-critical applications to cloud computing, but the definition is somewhat of a loose term, according to research.
A survey of some 1500 local companies by Springboard Research produced glowing results for cloud computing maturity in Australia.
It found that 60 per cent of respondents have cloud computing infrastructure in place and 31 per cent are using the technology.
Of these, only 30 per cent used the technology to cut cost, as opposed to 51 per cent across the Asia Pacific.
Springboard research director John Brand said the difference existed because Australian enterprise IT shops are mature than their counterparts and use the technology for efficiency and reliability gains, and to outsource complexity.
However the definition of cloud computing used in the report comprised of everything from datacentre upgrades to third-party hosting facilities.
Brand said the loose term was used to allow respondents to use their own definition of cloud computing, and in some instances could be considered business process outsourcing.
"We didn't want to force a definition on them," Brand said. "Everything could be called cloud computing."
Telecommunications providers were the most avid adopters of cloud computing, in Australia and globally, and view the technology as "extremely viable and lucrative", according to Brand.
He said instances of businesses moving production environments into the cloud is becoming more "commonplace", with most users having already done so with testing and development.
Better security is another reason for the push into the technology, Brand said, particularly for the retail, transport and healthcare sectors. Cautious financial organisations would consider outsourcing elements of storage data.
Virtualisation is also on the increase, with Australian businesses collectively pegged as the biggest adopters in the world.
Speaking at the vForum keynote in Sydney today, VMware Australia New Zealand vice president Paul Harapin said 2010 is the first year that creation of virtualised servers has surpassed the purchase of physical servers globally.
"It's true that [Australia] is the most highly-virtualised country in the world. We reference Australia all the time to other countries to talk about how innovative you have been."
You cannot get into the [private] cloud computing state without having virtualised your infrastructure," Harapin said.
Desktop virtualisation is gaining traction, according to Brand. He said New Zealand also has similar virtualisation adoption rates, although statistics from the country were not included in the survey.
Harapin said iPads will inevitably need to be supported by enterprise IT shops.
"No question about it. If it has happened, it will."
The Springboard research was conducted in September this year.