Cloud computing is taking off in Australia and playing an important role in the country’s digital economy, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
A report by the ACMA shows nearly 14 million people in Australia aged 18 years and over, representing 80% of the population, had actively used cloud computing services in the six months ended May 2013, up 11% from 12.6 million a year earlier.
Those who had actively used cloud computing services and knew about it (26% of all cloud computing users) said the main benefit was the ability to access them across all devices (43%). Yet their main concern was about the perceived lack of security (52%).
According to the study, the range of services on offer is diverse and includes storage and backup, media sharing and streaming, productivity tools and communications tools.
For consumer market, the most popular service was using a webmail service, such as Hotmail or Gmail, which grew from 10.6 million users to 12.2 million, up 16% from a year earlier.
Usage of cloud computing services by Australian businesses is also increasing.
The ACMA research shows that 44% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or about 900,000 businesses, had actively used cloud computing services during the year, with webmail services (57%) and file sharing services (43%) being the most common used services.
For SMEs actively using cloud computing services, the main advantages were easier/more convenient access to services (36%), services accessible from multiple locations (15%) and that data files can be saved if anything happens to business computers (11%).