By Aimee Chanthadavong

Australia is the most mature cloud market in the Asia Pacific region and it’s only expected to continue grow, which will have a domino-like affect on a number of sectors including retail, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The Australian cloud computing market was worth US$ 882.4 million in 2012 and is expected to reach US$ 3.33 billion in 2016. Frost & Sullivan expects this market to grow at a CAGR of 40.3 per cent from 2011-2016. 

At Frost & Sullivan’s ICT outlook briefing 2013 held in Sydney, Andrew Milroy, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, said there are currently 43 per cent of Australian businesses who have already adopted cloud computing but highlights the country’s adoption of it is divided.

“There’s a polarised adoption of cloud in Australia. We have CEOs of banks, for example, taking advantage of the public cloud through using mobile applications to allow customers to complete transactions,” he said.

“But there is a conservative element such as in the retail sector where they’re rather dull adopters of new technology because of their concerns in regards to privacy, cost and so on.”

Milroy also highlighted cloud computing is transforming the way in which organisations and individuals engage with one another. One key change is the reduction in the size of IT departments and much great cross industry convergence.

“This doesn’t necessarily there’ll be mass redundancies but rather IT budgets would be reduced and dispersed and the idea of technology spending would be embedded into other departments like marketing,” Milroy said.

“For example, cloud will shrink IT departments due to automation and as a result this eliminates a lot of task traditionally done by the IT department such as software upgrades.”

The use of new technologies also lowers the barriers to entry for many markets. A clear trend has emerged over the past several years whereby cloud is driving retailers to open virtual e-commerce stores.

“Agile technology coupled with good brand and detailed information about customers makes it easier for retailers to show less respect to traditional boundaries and therefore open virtual stores and more e-commerce stores,” Milroy said.

One retailer who has exemplified this best is Apple who has entered first the music industry and now into multiple media industries.

“Technology is destroying the traditional boundaries between industries. Some of the world’s most successful firms such as Amazon, Google and Apple recognise this. These firms use their brands, their customer relationships and their ‘state of the art’ technology to seamlessly move from one industry to another, ‘terrorising’ incumbents in the process,” Milroy said.