Almost three quarters (72 percent) of Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) businesses use at least one form of cloud, according to ZDNet's Cloud Priorities 2013-14 survey.
By comparison, the Asia survey reports that 66 percent of businesses are cloud users. High satisfaction levels with cloud deployments in both regions are driving businesses to extend the range of cloud services they use.
While private cloud is currently the most common cloud variant, ANZ businesses will rapidly increase their use of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) in 2014.
Most popular cloud flavours
Fifty three percent of businesses use on-premises private cloud (35 percent doing so consistently and 18 percent periodically), making this the most widely deployed cloud flavour in ANZ to date, but public cloud usage is also widespread. Software as a service (SaaS) is the most prominent of public cloud services (48 percent are using it), while 38 percent and 33 percent, respectively, use IaaS and PaaS. Hybrid cloud is the least widely used — by only 26 percent of businesses.
Cloud up in 2014, led by IaaS adoption
Cloud growth will continue in 2014, due to first-time adoption by non-users and increased usage by existing cloud users. A total of 15 percent of businesses will begin using IaaS for the first time in 2014, while 23 percent will increase their usage. PaaS growth will be next strongest, with 12 percent first-time adopters and 21 percent extending their use. Hosted private cloud will have the lowest adoption rate, at 11 percent.
With the burgeoning use of cloud, it's easy to forget that this is still a very recent development in business technology. In fact, cloud is one of the biggest transformations in IT history, and also one of the quickest. The adoption timescale of IaaS/PaaS is typical. Half of the adopters started using IaaS and PaaS services in the last 12 months, with 30 percent having started in just the past six months.
While 50 percent have been using IaaS/PaaS for a year or more, just 27 percent have used IaaS/PaaS for two years or more. These early adopters have moved up the cloud learning curve, and are using public cloud for multiple use cases, including storage, backup and recovery, network, compute, web hosting, and e-commerce services.
The move to cloud is a fluid one, and will continue for the next several years. A lot of recent adopters are grappling with initial cloud use cases right now, learning about what works and what doesn't. As they gain experience and become more confident in cloud as a reliable business delivery model, so they are likely to extend their cloud services.
The more businesses that report benefits from cloud and prove that the model works in practice, the more likely the late movers will get with the cloud program.
Cloud won't be for everyone, especially some businesses in regulated sectors like financial services, government, and healthcare. Even some unregulated businesses believe their needs are best met with on-premises infrastructure. However, with increasing numbers of ANZ-based IaaS/PaaS providers, obstacles like security concerns and latency are being whittled away. The benefits of cloud are becoming more obvious, and the challenges appear less forbidding.
The bottom line
As the research report concludes:
IaaS/PaaS is working for a large majority of the ANZ organisations that use it. They will increase their reliance on it, and the value of the uses cases they entrust to it. Larger organisations have moved first, but small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) see the benefits, and are quickly following. The business agility and cost advantages reaped by cloud users will force non-users to join them, or face the consequences of competing at a disadvantage. Expect IaaS/PaaS usage to keep growing strongly through 2014 and 2015 as businesses keep looking for more efficient and responsive business delivery capabilities.
More about ZDNet Cloud Priorities 2013-14
ZDNet's ANZ's Cloud Priorities survey, based on a sample of 580 organisations, charts the growth in cloud usage in the region. ZDNet will report further highlights from the IaaS/PaaS section of the research over the next two weeks.
Stay tuned for more IaaS/PaaS insights covering: IaaS/PaaS budgets, most common IaaS/PaaS use cases, most important IaaS/PaaS use cases, business objectives for moving to IaaS/PaaS, and satisfaction levels with IaaS/PaaS.
For a free download of the ZDNet IaaS/PaaS survey findings, click here (PDF).