Cisco has revealed that 29 percent of Australian businesses have no cloud strategy, with 58 percent of companies pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy -- up 86 percent from last year -- according to the Australian findings for IDC's Cisco-sponsored Cloud Going Mainstream: All Are Trying, Some Are Benefiting; Few Are Maximizing Value report.
The global IDC survey saw 11,350 IT-related executives interviewed, with 260 Australian respondents involved.
Australia is also lowest on Cisco's list of hybrid cloud adoption, sitting at just 41 percent. Ahead of it are South Korea, on 55 percent adoption; Japan, at 54 percent; China, at 52 percent; Germany, at 51 percent; Canada, at 47 percent; the United Kingdom, at 46 percent; the United States, at 45 percent; and France and the Netherlands, both at 42 percent.
"Australia is consistently referred to as an 'early adopter'; however, despite growing global adoption rates of cloud solutions, Australian organisations face substantive challenges in optimising their hybrid cloud strategy," said Rodney Hamill, general manager of Cloud, Cisco Australia and New Zealand.
"Locally, this is evident with 42 percent of organisations missing a hybrid cloud strategy, 30 percent of organisations having an 'ad-hoc' cloud strategy, and only 2 percent of organisations possessing an 'optimised' cloud strategy."
IDC broke down cloud usage into five categories of increasing maturity: Ad hoc, opportunistic, repeatable, managed, and optimised.
The ad-hoc category is the first stage in cloud awareness; the opportunistic phase sees companies undertake short-term cloud experiments; the repeatable stage is when a company standardises self-service cloud; the managed stage is when a business implements company-wide best practices for cloud usage; and the final optimised stage is when a company makes use of internal and external providers to drive innovation.
"The greater the level of cloud maturity, the better the level of business outcomes, including increased revenue and more strategic allocation of IT budget," the report explained.
"The most mature cloud organisations are defined by their use of DevOps; hybrid and multi-provider cloud; microservices; containers (Docker); and cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT)."
IDC found that 79 percent of businesses in the optimised level of cloud use DevOps for their cloud environments, whereas just 12 percent of ad-hoc cloud businesses use DevOps; 80 percent of optimised organisations use microservices architectures, while just 9 percent of ad-hoc businesses do; and Docker container services are used by 75 percent of optimised organisations, but only 25 percent of ad-hoc organisations.
In all, 62 percent of Australian organisations use some form of cloud, but only 25 percent of Australian companies have optimised, managed, or repeatable cloud strategies, betraying a lack of "cloud maturity" in the market.
IDC listed the barriers to reaching the higher levels of cloud adoption as being "skill gaps, legacy siloed organisation structures, and IT/LOB misalignment".
Australian businesses said they expect their private cloud spending to increase by 47 percent over the coming two years, with 67 percent of Asia-Pacific respondents saying OpenStack is an important part of their cloud strategy.
Hamill also announced the launch of the Cisco Business Cloud Advisor Adoption Report tool, which allows companies to formulate and guage their cloud strategy.
"The Cisco Business Cloud Advisor Adoption Report tool is highly beneficial to businesses focused on improving their cloud adoption and, more importantly, optimising their cloud strategy by offering a concise assessment of their assets, gaps, and benchmarks their cloud proficiency to that of similar organisations, and provides a subsequent 'road map' to better cloud practices," Hamill explained.
Earlier this week, Cisco announced that it would be partnering with Salesforce to co-develop products and solutions combining Cisco's Spark and WebEx collaboration tools with Salesforce's Sales and Service clouds, integrating chat, video, and voice features.
Cisco's Jasper IoT platform will also integrate with Salesforce's IoT cloud.
Last month, Cisco also announced plans to acquire ContainerX, a virtual cloud container-as-a-service startup run by engineers from Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix.
Cisco in June said it would bolster its enterprise IT security portfolio through the acquisition of enterprise API cloud-access security company CloudLock. The company's approach works via software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps including Microsoft Office365, Google Drive, and Salesforce.