A few years ago, cloud to many organisations and analysts was just another buzzword, but today, according to Accenture Australia, cloud has evolved to where it is now considered by many businesses a core investment for their operations.
Accenture Australia cloud computing lead Alison Cairns said cloud has come a long way since it first hit the market, and while it is still in its infancy, there's still a "very steep acceleration" in terms of adoption in Australia, particularly as enterprises start to understand the benefits a lot more.
"It did start out as a buzzword and everyone use to talk about cloud thinking 'what does that really mean?', but it has almost become business as usual now. I think probably in three or four years we may not even use the term anymore; it'll just be how we operate," she said.
"Technology sits underneath everything and there are a lot of cool things we want to do with it to run our business better, particularly when it comes to mobility and analytics, and cloud acts as the enabler. So it stopped being a buzzword and it has become an essential."
Cairns said organisations are looking at using cloud to help create more intimate relationships with their customers through mobility and analytics programs.
"Once you're able to get your data onto the cloud it suddenly becomes elastic and therefore it becomes far more available. This allows all these businesses to have more intimate conversations with their own customers because they are able to find out more about them at any time," she said.
"Our businesses also talk about how creating this intimate relationship with customers involves the use of analytics. It's very hard to do that if you don't have your data in the cloud."
A key consideration when cloud is a topic of conversation for businesses is security, which Cairns said is always the first question businesses ask about.
"We usually say to the customer the very same laws that govern the data you have on the premise are the same for the cloud and that's how you are going to protect your data sovereignty," she said.
But questions concerning security are not the only ones businesses are asking suggesting there's still some time to go before businesses fully grasp the concept of cloud. Other popular ones Cairns said include "how am I going to determine what is going to across to the cloud?', "who do I engage with to do that?", "how do I make the journey?", and "when I make the journey what is it going to look like".
Cairns also notes three years ago cloud was seen as an Infrastructure as a Service, but predicts, over the next two to five years, sales growth will focus on Platform as a Service deployments. There are two key benefits for this shift: Businesses will be able to make real-time decisions using the data they have available on the cloud and cost savings.
"It's a very exciting time that we're unlocking with cloud as it is a very agile way of doing business," she said.