Australia leads other countries in the Asia Pacific on cloud adoption, according to F5 senior director, Mohan Veloo. But most companies are keeping most critical data on premise, he told Computerworld Australia at the F5 Agility Forum on the Sunshine Coast.
F5 is increasing its focus on the cloud market in Australia and New Zealand and expects the NBN to increase its number of potential customers.
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"Australia is quite advanced" on cloud adoption compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific, said Veloo, who is based in Singapore and manages field systems engineering for F5 across Asia Pacific & Japan.
Adoption is also ramping up in Singapore, but there "it's more of a government-initiated push," he said. Australia leads Singapore on cloud adoption and the growth is "more organic."
Cost is the major driver pushing companies to the cloud, Veloo said. It's even more a factor in high-cost countries like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, he said. "You don't really see it in lower cost places" like India and Indonesia, he said.
Moving to cloud "does drive up some costs, but in the longrun I think the cost is actually lower," Veloo said. Implementing a CRM system, for example, requires millions of dollars and "if you're lucky, it will take six months to a year."
At the end of that, "usually it doesn't work," he said. But SalesForce.com lets businesses test it and have "world-class functionality right away," he said.
An increasing driver to cloud for Australian businesses is "agility and the capabilities that the different cloud providers can provide them," he said. It's also "very attractive" to startups that don't have existing infrastructure. "You can have exactly what a large enterprise has."
"Contestability" is another driver to adopt cloud, said F5 APAC solution architect, Adrian Noblett. "If you've got a system that's able to be moved among providers at a whim, you're no longer locked into any one organisation."
Concerns about security and data sovereignty are leading many companies to a hybrid cloud approach in which they keep their critical data like financial data on premise, said Veloo. "The critical business functions will be on premise and the not-so-critical business functions will slowly migrate to the cloud."
Regulation in some countries has slowed movement to the cloud, Veloo said. Singapore requires certain tax information to be held on premise, for example, he said. "Some regulations are there to protect the local industry," he said. "I think it eventually it will go away because ultimately it's all about cost."
Another issue can be companies not wanting to give up control of the "empire," said Noblett. "They've built all this infrastructure up and don't want to let it go."
Private cloud is "a trend that a lot of companies are moving towards," Veloo said. "Public cloud depends on the information technology maturity of the country and the prevalence of very fast and reliable data connections."
The NBN is likely to increase the number of cloud players in Australia, he said. "A lot of people will start moving services to the cloud and we'll see a lot of new services coming aboard."
Adam Bender attended F5 Agility Forum as a guest of F5.
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