Friday, 17 July 2015 06:24

Cloud computing on the rise, says ABS Featured

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Nearly 20% of Australian business use paid cloud computing says the ABS, which has started to measure such things. But the data is a year old.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest edition of its ‘Business Use of Information Technology’ data (ABS 8129.0), which this year includes for the first time information on the usage of cloud computing.

The data is everything we have come to expect from the ABS. It is accurate, it is comprehensive and it is out of date. The information pertains to the 2013-14 financial year, which ended more than a year ago. While the data is welcome, its usefulness in such a fast moving field is unfortunately limited.

The data shows that 19.4% of Australian businesses used ‘paid cloud computing’ as at 30 June 2014. The proportion changes significantly by industry, from nearly half (43.1% in Information Media and Telecommunications) to just 9.1% in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.

There is also a significant difference by size of organisation – more than one third (36.9%) of those with more than 200 employees used paid cloud computing, compared to just 16.0% of those with less than five employees.

The data is broken down further to examine how organisations are using cloud computing, for cloud applications (86.7% of cloud users), to use cloud computing power to run their own applications (9.8%), and for storage (56.7%). Again, the numbers vary considerably by industry and size.

There is a detailed breakdown of the percentage and number of industries that are using the Internet for business, how they use it, and what technologies they use to access the Internet. The full data set, with extensive cross tabulated tables in Excel, is available here.

The proportion of of Australian businesses with an Internet presence is now (well was a year ago) 47.1%, but most of those without a website were smaller organisations.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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