Cloud to add $3b to Aus economy: KPMG

But Cloud take-up in Australia is still in the early stages when compared to the US and Europe

A new report by accounting firm KPMG takes a look at the Cloud in Australia and estimates more than $3 billion could be added to the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) in 10 years, as well as drive growth of start-ups and small businesses.

The government-backed report, entitled Modelling the Economic Impact of Cloud Computing, interviewed 29 organisations from sectors accounting for 80 per cent of Australia’s GDP, including business, financial, and property services, education, media, and telecommunications.

It predicted that if 75 per cent of ICT spending within Australian organisations were made up of Cloud services, then the savings would result in an increase in annual GDP of $3.32 billion after 10 years.

KPMG chief economist, Nicki Hutley, said that smaller businesses and start-ups could benefit from the cost-effectiveness of Cloud computing.

"Start-ups can now exist cheaper," Hutley said.

"They can apply for services as required. That is a huge change in the game plan for small business in Australia. There will be adoption [of Cloud computing] across large companies for lower costs, but the real game changer lies in smaller end of town.”

However, the report found that Cloud take-up in Australia is still comparatively lower than the US and Europe, but adoption is expected to grow in alignment with increased awareness.

“More businesses are now beginning to realise that the potential benefits of adopting Cloud can be very large in either cost and/or time savings, as well as providing increased potential for innovation,” Hutley said.

According to the communications minister, Stephen Conroy, who launched the report, the uptake of public Cloud in Australia has been slow due to a number of barriers such as data sovereignty and inferior broadband issues.

"Australia is still in the early stages of [Cloud] adoption, but Cloud computing is starting to provide significant benefits to business across multiple sectors,” he said.

“There are barriers, however, including the speed and latency issues of our broadband networks.”

Conroy added that the National Broadband Network (NBN) would help overcome such speed and latency disturbances.

“World-class broadband infrastructure is critical if we are to see the benefits of Cloud spread throughout the economy,” he said.

“[The NBN] delivers the infrastructure necessary to maximise Cloud computing flexibility and scalability… The NBN and the Cloud are a natural fit, each leveraging the potential of the other.”

The communications minister said he hopes to stop by Google’s headquarters in San Francisco during an upcoming visit to the US for a conference in New York to open discussions with the internet giant to invest in an Australian data centre.

Salesforce and Amazon Web Services have reportedly been looking into data centre investment in Australia as well.

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