10 Jun 2021
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Cloud Radar 2021: A/NZ spearheads cloud adoption as growth enabler

By Nick Forrester

When organisations began moving IT operations to the cloud years ago, it seemed there were two primary goals to aim for: improved scalability and decreased costs. But as years have gone by, new and different benefits have emerged — and now, many companies see cloud as a growth enabler, using it to boost profits rather than focusing solely on cutting costs.

The needs of organisations have changed in tandem with advances in the cloud. In 2021, it’s not just about growth, profits, cost-cutting and scalability: digitally transforming can also foster innovation, which in turn gives companies a competitive edge. 

The rapid proliferation of AI is also conducive to increased cloud adoption, according to new research from Infosys. In its Cloud Radar 2021 report, researchers found that those who desire to leverage the power of AI find it difficult to do so without ‘huge computing power’.

Consequently, the relationship between AI and cloud has become increasingly symbiotic: as enterprises adopt AI, so too do they adopt cloud. In fact, companies with 80% or more of their business functions in the cloud reported a stronger ability to unlock value from AI using the cloud.

This all contributes to an increasingly apparent change of approach to cloud adoption, which is defined by a gradual shift in perception of cloud as a cost-saving ‘defensive’ mechanism, to one that is growth-positive and progressive.

And, according to new research from Infosys, when it comes to cloud progress, Australia and New Zealand are near the front of the pack.
 

The Cloud Performance Index

The Cloud Radar 2021 survey was conducted by the Infosys Knowledge Institute (IKI), a research arm of Infosys, with over 2,500 respondents from companies across the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Researchers wanted to discern how effective companies’ cloud adoptions were based on business performance in the cloud. But how could enterprise cloud performance be measured?

To find out, the Infosys Cloud Radar 2021 survey asked executives how cloud empowers their business across four areas of competency: speed, capability, security and resilience, and scale. Scores were sorted into four ranks: exceptional, highly effective, effective and minimally effective. 

The survey found that a ‘larger-than-average’ proportion of enterprises from Australia and New Zealand scored in the ‘highly effective’ rank, a cohort in which only 19% of surveyed respondents scored.

Not only this, but companies from the A/NZ region also ranked joint first with the US when surveyed on cloud adoption, having shifted 43% of their IT systems to the cloud. Locally this figure is set to advance to 52% by 2022, sitting joint third with France — this move downwards indicates local cloud adoption strategies are less aggressive than other regions.

“Australian and New Zealand enterprises have historically led investment into the adoption of new technologies, with cloud strategies out of these markets clearly world-leading according to our study,” says Infosys senior vice president and region head of A/NZ Andrew Groth.

“It’s interesting to see local enterprises performing well when it comes to harnessing cloud for speed, but less so across capability metrics. This shows that while Australian and New Zealand enterprises can harness the cloud to deploy and scale fast, there is still a need to drill into those growth benefits such as finding new revenue streams.”

Groth says that these benefits will see enterprises utilising the cloud to foster collaboration and unlocking value from data via AI.

“It’s this combination of using cloud to deliver on enhanced speed and capability that typifies the highest performing businesses we surveyed,” he says.
 

Maintaining the lead

Australia and New Zealand are at the forefront of cloud progress, but Infosys’ research suggests that complacency could threaten this lead. Enterprises in the region must continue to push the boundaries across their cloud strategies if they want to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage at a global level.

If boundaries are pushed, and cloud strategies remain effective, annual profits can grow by US$18 billion across Australia and New Zealand — out of a total global profit opportunity of 414bn USD.

Infosys associate vice president and head of cloud, infrastructure and security services, Vikas Tatwani, says such significant growth affirms cloud’s position at the forefront of progressive business strategies, with high performers in the cloud space outpacing their competitors by continually laying the foundations for future growth.

“Cloud provides businesses with the capabilities to rapidly launch new products and services that ensure the customer experience is adaptive and remains at its best,” says Tatwani. 

“This can also help enterprises achieve economies of scale and unlock new avenues for growth — meaning it’s not just about saving money but also finding new sources of profit.”

To learn more about Infosys' Cloud Radar, click here.

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