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Hybrid the key to cloud benefits

Australian enterprises are embracing the cloud and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) but the hybrid cloud (a mix of private and public) is the best route to gain the full benefits of cloud computing.

At a media/analyst briefing hosted by Rob Willis, regional managing director for Oracle Australia and New Zealand, Telsyte’s senior analyst Rodney Gedda, and Michelle Rapaport, director, Marketing and Customer Experience at CHOICE, discussed the cloud journey from different perspectives.

According to Telsyte’s Australian Infrastructure Cloud Market Study 2017,  spending on cloud IaaS offerings will pass $1 billion by 2020, up from $621 million in 2016. By that year, cloud IaaS is expected to be used by 99% of Australian enterprises.

Oracle Rob WillisWillis (left) said, "Telsyte’s study shows strong growth and investment in infrastructure cloud services. While work remains to be done before Australian enterprises will achieve the full IaaS benefits we are seeing increasing numbers of customers powering ahead with transformation powered by the cloud. There is just so much more they can do in the cloud.” 

Gedda said 34% of Australian enterprises now had a “cloud first” policy and 49% of them indicated they planned to increase cloud spending, demonstrating a determination to achieve the benefits the cloud can offer.

Of the remaining 66%, 34% said they had a cloud strategy in the initial phase of deployment and 16% had reached the test and development stage. A further 11% used cloud hosting, but lacked any integration with on-premise systems, and only 9% still had no strategic cloud use.

Hybrid cloud was high on the agenda, with 72% either creating a hybrid cloud platform or investigating the approach. This is an increase from 60% in 2014 and 56% in 2013.

“Hybrid cloud aligns well with the preferences of IT leaders when it comes to application hosting. A total of 57% intend to run most of their IT infrastructure in-house and augment it with selective cloud resources for different applications. This compares with 24% who said they intended to run most IaaS in the cloud while also retaining some on-premises infrastructure,” said Gedda.

“Hybrid allows organisations to be agile when choosing the mix of platforms and services that best meets their requirements,” said Willis.

Rapaport said that CHOICE had a small IT department and a massive need for IT. After a request for proposal process in mid-2014 to begin its cloud journey, it chose Oracle because of its end-to-end stack and data security. Having a small IT team meant that they engaged external consultants and the move took about five months hooking up its three core systems from NetSuite, Salesforce, and Sitecore.

“Our aim was to facilitate greater levels of personalisation and communication between Choice and its members with the aim of increasing membership retention and offering more tailored services to them. It has enabled us to know our customers better,” she said.

Gedda said, "When a business need arises, rather than having to go through the traditional process of acquiring and deploying new hardware, the services can be obtained rapidly and treated as an operational expense."

Willis said, “This is a move we expect to see accelerate with our recent expansion of cloud infrastructure services delivered locally from within Australia.  We have democratised the cloud for small to large business alike. We are the only vendor to offer Australian customers a full-stack platform cloud service and a true hybrid offering with mirrored environments whether in-the-cloud or on-premise, giving customers unprecedented choice and flexibility in how they work.”

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!