“During the lockdowns and border closures, we saw more businesses using the cloud to scale their services rapidly to varying levels of supply and demand, adapt to consumer needs as they shift online and support remote working.”
The cloud continues to take businesses in Australia by storm. By the end of this year, 80 percent of Australian enterprises will shift to cloud-centric infrastructures and applications twice as fast as before the pandemic. In 2020, Australian spending on public cloud services topped approximately AU$6.7 billion, the second highest in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. In states like Victoria, around half of businesses are using paid cloud computing software. The Victorian government is also spending roughly AU$3 billion every year on ICT, with a growing focus on cloud solutions.
Cloud computing remains at the heart of digital transformation for Australian businesses for a number of reasons.
- “Cloud offers businesses numerous advantages other than cost management. It has helped them deal with business challenges introduced by COVID19. During the lockdowns and border closures, we saw more businesses using the cloud to scale their services rapidly to varying levels of supply and demand, adapt to consumer needs as they shift online and support remote working,” said Andre Conti, Lead for NEXT Solutions in NCS Australia.
- Cloud services are key for staying competitive without the need for heavy upfront investment. Offerings like SaaS and PaaS make capabilities like data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and automation easily available. IDC estimates that in two years’ time, a cloud ecosystem will power all IT and business automation initiatives in Australia.
Existing obstacles to adopting cloud services
Legacy technology: Many local companies hold large storehouses of legacy data, workloads and applications that are not properly formatted for the cloud and challenging to migrate. If not performed correctly, migrations can lead to downtime, disrupting services and causing financial losses.
Need for multi-cloud: Australian businesses seek a mix of public, private and on-premises environments that suits their business needs and to avoid vendor lock-in. Multi-cloud environments require experienced setup, continuous monitoring and breadth of resources linked to different clouds. These tasks are overwhelming for in-house IT teams, which are already bogged down with business IT projects.
Local talent gap: Companies struggle to build their internal cloud teams as there are not enough local cloud computing professionals. Over the next four years, cloud architecture design will be one of the top five in-demand digital skills in Australia, which means that businesses have to fill this gap or risk losing out .
NCS to launch cloud centre of excellence from Australia
To help businesses accelerate complex cloud transformations, leading ICT provider NCS is building a NCS Cloud Centre of Excellence (NCS Cloud CoE), which will offer experienced talent from across APAC. The centre will be launched in Victoria, which has the highest number of software development and cloud computing professionals on a per capita basis among Australia’s states . NCS Cloud CoE will offload responsibilities of managing hybrid clouds from businesses, allowing them to focus on creating better services, reaching new customers and streamlining operations.
The centre will also help expedite innovation. “Businesses don’t migrate to the cloud for the sake of it. They want to transform and offer new services and experiences to their customers,” said Chris Fleischmann, APAC Cloud Centre of Excellence Lead for NCS. “NCS Cloud CoE teams will comprise of experts in advanced technologies like AI and 5G from Australia and the region. They are well-equipped to help companies build innovative software and applications that meet future business needs.”
Not all cloud journeys are the same and NCS Cloud CoE experts have the experience to deliver complex, high-touch projects. For instance, companies that deal with confidential information, such as FSIs and insurance firms, need to comply with privacy and data sovereignty regulations. NCS Cloud CoE experts can help migrate highly regulated data and workloads into a hybrid cloud, drawing from their wealth of experience in dealing with similar issues in the government industry that they have supported for 40 years.
Rapid transformation for rapid change
NCS Australia is aiming to create 1,500 jobs in Australia by June 2022, 70 percent of which will be based in Victoria. The upcoming NCS Cloud CoE in Australia will be a milestone in the digital transformation of the state of Victoria and the country. The centre will help accelerate Australia’s innovative potential, contribute to the growing digital economy and improve workforce skills.
 IDC, IDC Worldwide Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, March 2021
 Statistics taken from Invest Victoria
 AlphaBeta and AWS, Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches, February 2021
 Statistics from Invest Victoria