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Cloud computing: Australian lessons and experiences


 Cloud computing: Australian lessons and experiences

Cloud computing: Australian lessons and experiences
Cloud computing promises to bring sweeping changes to the way organisations use information technology. It is currently a focus of attention in business, government and the IT industry. Despite this,decision-makers are still struggling for insights on what it really means in practice, the benefits achievable today, and the challenges associated with trying to exploit it in large enterprises. To answer these questions KPMG has collected and analysed experiences across Australian organisations identified as aggressive adopters of cloud services.
Key findings
The cloud computing phenomenon is real,accelerating and to be taken seriously Some Australian enterprises, including large businesses, are already following a ‘zero software strategy’, aggressively adopting cloud computing wherever it makes sense. Examples were found of organisations already renting more than 80 percent of their applications as network accessible services from external providers. The biggest benefits are unexpectedDecision-makers almost always start with the goal of using cloud computing to improve the cost/efficiency of IT, then progressively discover bigger, strategic benefits in business flexibility, agility, collaboration, improved customer experiences, and reduced time to market for new products and services. Location is important Although the cloud makes it possible to access services located anywhere inthe world, there is a strong desire for services located within Australia’s borders. A significant barrier to take-up is the wide variation in maturity and quality of cloud services and service providers A particular problem is the inability to get enterprise-grade service level agreements. Common challenges Common challenges include uncontrolled adoption of cloud applications in largeorganisations, non-compliance with local regulations (especially those that relate to the handling of customer information), concerns about regulations applying to services in other jurisdictions, preparing ‘apples to oranges’ business cases for cloud computing, and measuring the performance of cloud service providers.

© 2009 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network ofindependent member firms affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss cooperative. All rights reserved. KPMG and the KPMG logo are registered trademarks of KPMG International. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Cloud computing: Australian lessons and experiences 

Part I: Introduction

Decision-makers are now regularly hearing the term‘cloud computing’, but there is still a great deal of confusion about what it means, and what it can do for business. As happens so often in the computer industry, the language has evolved over time. ‘Cloud computing’ has only recently been coined as the catchall term describing a range of related phenomena, including: • the notion of accessing computing resources as external services, instead of asproducts that are purchased, installed and managed within an organisation • the ability to rapidly scale the allocation of computing resources to match up/ down fluctuations in business demand • the shift to utility-based pricing, so organisations need only pay for computing resources based on actual usage, as they do, for example, with electricity. Perhaps the most universal way of expressing thetransition from traditional, on-the-premises computing to cloud computing is via a visual metaphor, as shown in Figure 1. At the heart of cloud computing lies the notion that the computing resources can be reliably and efficiently accessed, by mainstream businesses, as a pooled resource over networks. That concept has been around in one form or another since the 1960s, but in recent years it...
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