Australian organisations continue to be apprehensive about cloud computing services due to a dearth of data centres located in-country, according to IDC.
However, they are becoming more open to the idea of migrating some workloads to the cloud and are using private clouds as a first step.
On the back of IDC’s latest Cloud Services and Technologies End-User Survey the analyst firm’s Asia-Pacific cloud computing lead, Chris Morris, said common concerns were around security across the network, and security of data.
“They are the big ones consistently and really haven’t changed since last year,” Morris said.
“I think to a large degree it reflects the continuing confusion a lot people have about where and when cloud services and computing is appropriate. What we are recommending and continue to talk about are that decisions about using cloud have to be based on the workload in question. So for workloads such as email and collaborative tools, for the vast majority of people public cloud services are a no-brainer decision.
“Public clouds are mostly focussed at small and medium enterprise. To be honest the level of security that is available from the major public cloud services exceeds anything that the small and medium enterprise would be able to put in place themselves, in my view.”
Morris agreed announcements by organisations such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Department of Defence that they would look to using cloud services should help break down this apprehension and give encouragement to the cloud migration trend.
“That is going to help and one of the areas that is going to have to change is public cloud services currently are pretty much a one size fits all proposition,” Morris said. “The service level agreements that are provided are pretty rudimentary if they exist at all. Where the large user organisations with special needs like the Commonwealth Bank or Defence will be pushing is for the cloud providers to improve their SLAs to the point where they can match the requirements that their organisations have around security, data sovereignty, governance and all these other factors that come into their IT program.”
As a result of that, rather than the one size fits all service that is commonly available, IDC contends that a stepped market structure, from free solutions supported by advertising revenue through to very-high available and secure services that are hosted in-country, will emerge.
And it is this point -- locating more data centres in Australia -- which would be a boon to the cloud computing trend. Morris pointed to Fujitsu’s moves to establish facilities in Australia and announcements by others like Verizon Business and Harbour MSP, as examples of organisations catering to this need.
In comparison players like Microsoft are delivering services from overseas, in the software giant’s case from Singapore, while Google steadfastly refuses to reveal where it houses its facilities. In contrast, HP has local data centres as does IBM and CSC.
In recent months there has been a rush on building data centres with both ICT players and property developers announcing new facilities.
Notably, for Morris it is the telco players that are in an advantageous position to provide cloud services.
“Local telecommunications service providers that are making their presence felt as they make the most of their unique combination of assets: Their investments in local data centers, highly reliable secure data and voice services, and a burgeoning range of partnerships with non-telco partners,” Morris said.
Morris will be presenting at IDC’s Cloud Computing Conference 2010 in Sydney on 26 August.