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The cloud debate - how and why it's gathering pace
Posted by Acumen Republic on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 0 Comments
I've been using cloud-based services for a little while now. I'd say the cloud has been my friend for at least 12 years when I signed up to Hotmail - a service I still use today.
Then there's my daily use of online search services - it's hard to remember what I did BG (before Google). And more recently the boom in social networking services, from Twitter to Facebook to Pintrest, all running from the cloud.
From a consumer-focused point of view, I guess we are pretty familiar with cloud computing services, having used them for years.
Adoption of cloud services in the business community has been slower, with some confusion in the marketplace about the benefits and risks of moving to cloud computing, particularly with regard to the security of data, which is the lifeblood of any business.
Recent years have seen a change though, with cloud computing becoming a more central part of business strategies and more organisations testing the cloud with smaller projects before committing to more significant investments.
This is mainly due to the market for cloud computing services in Australia maturing rapidly, and businesses better understanding the opportunities, benefits and risks associated with it.
Investment in Australian data centers and network infrastructures is at an all-time high, which will ensure that there is a wealth of well-managed and flexible data centre provisioning available that will satisfy current and future demand.
The number of quality local Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers abound, offering high performance and scalable data storage and competing well with the more established international providers. Platform-as-a-Service vendors are enabling the virtualisation of applications and the market for securing all the data hosted in the cloud is mature and reliable.
Importantly, application and software vendors are now providing specific services that meet the needs of both small and large organisations and individual industries, making the move to the cloud all that more appealing for a wider range of businesses.
This is particularly true of small to mid-size businesses, which have been using hosting for some time. The lower start-up costs and ability to increase resources and services as required makes good operational sense, and being more nimble with generally less complexity in their businesses than larger organisations, the move to cloud services can be a painless one.
The public sector is also getting involved, with Australia's G-Cloud strategy aimed at developing a principles and risk based pathway for agencies to rationalise their technology asset base and to adopt cloud computing where it makes sense.
Altogether, this movement signifies a shift towards more confidence in the value, reliability and security of cloud computing services, which is likely to turn into a gold rush if the projects currently invested in start delivering the dividends that they promise.
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