May 2, 2014 | Written by: Andrew Stevens
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To date, much of the discussion around cloud has been broad and universal in nature. However, the benefits of cloud can be amplified for businesses in relatively remote locations, such as Australia.
That’s because cloud allows for the dramatic acceleration of global expansion and growth.
No longer held back by on-premise IT infrastructure, Australian businesses can expand their global footprint by leveraging the same cloud infrastructure anywhere in the world. The scale, speed and flexibility that cloud offers means IT is no longer a bottleneck, but rather an enabler of growth and transformation.
The opportunities are huge because, despite its pervasiveness, cloud is still in its infancy in many organizations. They’ve adopted cloud mainly for its headline attractions: reducing costs and turning capital expenditure into operating expenses. These are certainly valid reasons for using cloud, but pacesetting organisations are now unlocking the full potential of cloud as a platform to drive business model transformation, develop ground-breaking innovation and achieve rapid growth.
Australian cloud success stories
HotelsCombined.com is one of the preeminent examples of an Australian company harnessing cloud to expand globally. From humble beginnings in Sydney in 2005, the company was born on the IBM Softlayer cloud, and it has since grown to become the world’s leading hotel search engine.
In 2012, HotelsCombined.com experienced a phenomenal 67 percent user growth rate, and it now covers more than 120,000 destinations, 120 currencies and 40 languages. The IBM SoftLayer cloud platform provides the computing power to service the multi-threaded application that collects and processes all this data in real time.
Australian creative agency Loft Group is another success story. Not so long ago, its core business was designing and printing hard-copy training manuals. Today, it’s a digital agency using cloud to create and deliver e-learning campaigns to clients worldwide.
Loft Group is using the IBM Softlayer cloud platform to expand in major markets such as Asia, Europe and North America. In fact, it has achieved business growth over the past few months on a scale that would have previously taken three to five years.
Cloud is also becoming an essential platform for streamlining core operations across different regions. As the bottler and distributor of one of the world’s most iconic brands, Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) is using IBM Australia’s cloud platform in Sydney to optimize and streamline its order management and distribution processes, increase operational efficiencies and deliver a consistently exceptional customer experience across Australia and Indonesia—and eventually the rest of its South Pacific operations.
Australia as the launch pad for global success
Australians are known to be early adopters of technology, and have the potential to innovate and lead with best practice.
IBM Australia and New Zealand is also taking a leading role in the era of cloud, by redesigning our business and establishing a dedicated cloud team. The local initiative supports IBM’s position as the leader for enterprise-ready cloud services. Building on the US$7 billion investment we have made in cloud since 2007, IBM has committed a further US$1.2 billion for 2014. In Australia, this means bringing IBM SoftLayer capabilities to our shores and offering clients the full suite of public, private and hybrid cloud services.
The recent conversations I’ve had with clients indicate a growing readiness to embrace the full potential of cloud as an enabler of business transformation, innovation and growth. This, coupled with Australians’propensity to be early adopters and innovators, heralds an exciting time for pacesetting local businesses to use cloud as a launch pad for international success.