From The Fifth Estate - Editor's Blog (July 2017)
New Metrics: Cloud computing adoption in Australia
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has started assembling data on business use of paid cloud computing services and there has been a marked increase in patronage. Indeed, the number of Australian businesses using commercial cloud computing services has risen from 19 percent to almost one-third in just one year
Amazon may be the brand that everybody thinks of first in cloud computing but, here in Australia, Microsoft is taking the game right up to AWS, boosted by having its Azure and Office 365 services certified as secure by the Australian Signals Directorate, meaning its products can be much more widely adopted across government. Oracle is also making a play for market share.
In the meantime, you can be assured that the local industry is working hard on adding value to the technology in ways that will meet the needs of customers.
There are so many industries that are potentially transformed by the increased adoption of cloud technology, for example, the health sector but it is also a Prescription for Complexity according to some legal experts.
Cloud compiting is also a huge jobs growth market for IT professionals if you are suitably experienced and certified. According to a round-up of cloud computing industry forecasts published by Forbes, the cloud computing market is projected to increase from $67 billion in 2015 to $162 billion in 2017 and that the industry will facilitate over 1.9 million new jobs and $389 billion in new revenue over the next five years.
If you want to benchmark your skills against what is in demand from the industry a recent article on the CIO website did its best to define the most valuable cloud computing certifications today.
Aussie game developers press for change
Australia's game development industry was in the news recently after the release of a Digital Australia 2018 study, funded by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) with research undertaken by Bond University.
Among other trends identified by the study, it found that interactive gaming takes place in almost every home in some form or manner as well as many workplaces.
Understandably, as the sugar daddy of the research, IGEA is using the findings to push its agenda for regulatory change. However, there can be no argument that the stereo-type profile of gamers - think teenage-cum-young-adult boy introverts, pizza, pimples and propeller hats - and the reasons the broader community is playing games is changing.
Interestingly, there are also more women forging careers in the gaming industry and that has to be a good thing.
NBN continues to make Australian tech industry look lame
Computerworld has run a series of features on how Australia’s roll-out of high speed broadband has compared to the approaches taken by New Zealand, South Korea and the USA. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to guess that we don’t compare well - even our sheep-farming, rugby-champion friends from across the ditch are making us look silly.
Of course, Australia has distance, terrain and population density challenges that arguably make our efforts to achieve truly national broadband access unique and challenging but making it a political football doesn’t help.
I was also alarmed to hear a respected technology academic express fears that many people will actually face reduced internet speeds after connecting to the NBN.
What we need is a bipartisan approach that encourages innovation, competition and a view to longer term total cost of ownership instead of short-term political objectives.
It’s not just our Kiwi friends in the east islands that are making us look silly either. According to Akamai's latest State of the Internet Report, Australia’s internet connection speeds are now slower than 50 other nations, including the likes of Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya - it is a global embarrassment for us.
Meanwhile, while the costs and delivery dates of NBN are blowing out quicker than automotive airbag, there also appears to be a problem looming on the revenue side of the floundering business as Telcos plead for prices to be slashed for connectivity and patronage.
5G Standards Nearing Completion
All this NBN kerfuffle has many people hanging on innovation based around the new 5G standards that are nearing completion.
There is a race on to complete international standards for deployment and use of fifth generation mobile networks (5G) but there are some technical snags and a geo-political struggle to gain commercial advantage which may be why many of the big telcos are so-far hesitant to invest.
This article from Forbes magazine did a good job of explaining how there are still some remaining open issues with the imminent 5G communications standard before its ratification in 2018 but stakeholders assert that technical guidelines for the transformative technology are nearing completion.
It argues that the greater challenge surrounding 5G, however, is understanding the disruptive nature of the technology. Because it is more of a platform than a protocol, 5G is expected to be the creator of new business models because of its high speed mobile capability which is being tipped to dramatically enable the Internet of Things plus Who knows what else?
Meanwhile, this article on No Jitter claims “the reality is that 5G will be a major disrupter and an economic game changer, and it will most likely touch every form of business communications technology.”
Back here in Australia, ACMA expects there to be formal 5G standards by late-2018. At a telecommunications conference in Sydney, its Chairman, Richard Bean explained how ACMA’s spectrum allocation works and updated delegates on proposed new spectrum legislation.