IT organisations can not adopt a “wait and see” attitude when it comes to the cloud. John Brand, vice president, and principal analyst, CIO Group at Forrester, observes that in the past, “organisations had the opportunity to sit back and evaluate [technology] and in many cases they decided to wait before adopting.” “But the level of interest and activity in the cloud from the business was something that took IT by surprise,” says Brand, as he releases the results of the latest Asia Pacific Cloud Index. The annual survey, conducted by Forrester for VMware, finds cloud adoption continues to accelerate across the region – with 64 percent of Asia Pacific organisations already using or planning cloud initiatives – an increase from 59 percent in 2010 and 22 percent in 2009. New Zealand and Australia continue to lead the region in cloud adoption, with 67 percent using cloud technologies, up from 60 percent in 2010. “We were expecting this kind of industry penetration to take around five plus years. It has happened within three years,” says Brand at the annual vForum in Sydney. In terms of adoption plans, private clouds still far outweigh public clouds, and 41 percent of respondents plan to deploy both public and private clouds, up from 38 percent in 2010. “Continued interest in both private and public clouds suggests barriers to adoption are considered challenges, not show stoppers,” says Brand. Cost savings remain the primary driver for cloud adoption – cited by 55 percent of respondents. But more respondents from New Zealand and Australia, along with Korea, view the cloud as a strategic initiative compared with their counterparts across the region, which cite cost savings as a major driver. Duncan Bennet, managing director, VMware Australia and New Zealand, say these findings suggest the majority of enterprises across both sides of the Tasman are ahead of the game when it comes to cloud computing, and are moving past technology concerns to impact on the business. Concern around data privacy and control has likewise replaced security as the main barrier to cloud adoption, particularly in ANZ, Singapore and Malaysia. The survey also finds ANZ organisations leading the way in virtualisation – 76 percent of organisations willing to consider virtualising their most business critical applications, an increase from 75 percent in 2010. Rogue IT Todd Neilson, co-president, application platform at VMware, says cloud computing has empowered the users to bypass the control of IT. “With cloud computing, users are saying if IT can’t respond to my needs, I am going to go elsewhere,” says Neilson. He cites the experience of a CIO of a US financial organisation who wanted to find out how much “rogue IT” was in use and pulled out the expense report for Amazon Services in the month of December. “I was emotionally prepared for the number to be $20,000 to $30,000,” Neilson quotes the CIO as saying, but the figure he got was for $400,000. He says a challenge for CIOs across the globe is trying to find out how to transform IT as a service. “We are at the end of the Windows era, we are on a post PC-era,” says Neilson. He says that during a recent meeting with CEOs in Silicon Valley, nearly everyone had a laptop or an iPad. In this environment, he says, “IT needs to be a universal services broker and connect to the variety of devices.”
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