Australia - Data Analytics, M2M, Cyber Crime and Data Centres
Global Cloud Specialists are Driving Growth in the Australian Data Centre Market
BuddeComm has been supportive of the data centre market since the 1990s. However, it took nearly 20 years for the industry to reach its current position. The arrival of cloud computing, Big Data, M2M and IoT allowed for a large range of new services and applications, especially aimed at small and medium organisations.
The data centre market includes telehousing facilities, co-location facilities, cloud and IT services, content hosting, connectivity and interconnection. They are important for a range of business and government applications including new developments of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (M2M).
These developments have given an enormous boost to the data centre market, with investments totalling $5 billion over the 2011-2016 period. Investment in datacentres in Australia is still very strong, driven by the large number of global and local cloud specialist providers entering the local market, particularly the global providers Microsoft, Amazon and CenturyLink. Currently the developments are highly centralised in the capital cities, but a more decentralised trend is expected to develop over time.
Data centre customers are migrating from co-location services and managed hosting to cloud services. Cloud providers are the fastest growing segment of most Australian data centre providers.Government continues to increase in maturity in their understanding of cloud technologies, how to use cloud to the best of their advantage, and how to optimize their existing infrastructure.
BuddeComm describes ‘big data’ as looking at intelligent outcomes that can be achieved from data collaboration. The most critical issue here is strategic management, rather than technology. However the fact that big data has become a vital tool in competition is forcing many companies to transform their organisations from a company-centric approach to a customer-centric one.
The fact that this development is being driven by data-rich organisations such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and many others operating in the digital economy is an indication that data management is a critical factor here. In other words, if you don’t have your company’s data systems and structures organised in a customer-centric way you won’t be able to deliver a good customer experience.
Connected information management, however, can go much further. There are many other players involved in the broader ecosystem, and by sharing and combining relevant data sets and then analysing those large data sets we can find new correlations that can be used to spot business trends, assess customer behaviour, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on.
Obviously this needs to be done on a permission-based or opt-in basis, but if the customer sees the value of it they can become involved. Nevertheless privacy is an issue that requires close scrutiny.
With the NBN and LTE now well and truly underway it is important to look at what will be the value of this new infrastructure to the development of a network that will be dominated by sensors and devices.The infrastructure that is now being built offers a range of features such as ubiquitousness, affordability, low latency, high speed and high capacity. It will link millions of devices, such as sensors, that will enable us to manage our environment, traffic, infrastructures, and our society as a whole much more efficiently and effectively.
The ‘Internet of Things’ (referring more to personal devices such as wearables and smartphones) and M2M (referring to a more industrial use based on sensors) are going to be real game-changers. They will transform every single sector of society and the economy and it will be out of this environment that new businesses – and indeed new industries – will be born. LTE and later on 5G will take a leadership role in the development of M2M but the NBN is also a key infrastructure element as more and more applications will require high quality video. These developments are closely linked to big data, data analytics, cloud computing and data centres and these elements all play a fundamental role in the success of this new infrastructure.
The number of connected M2M devices in Australia will grow to somewhere between 25 million and 50 million by 2020.
With the internet having become a critical national and international infrastructure a whole range of privacy issues have come to the fore in relation to the digital economy and the digital society. Some of these issues are in relation to national and international security and tens of billions are spent by governments using the internet as a surveillance tool. This has led to a frenzy of activity by governments to, on the one hand, protect their sovereignty and, on the other, use the internet for their own security activities.
Separate to this are the commercial issues. With internet services becoming pervasive it can be argued, rightly or wrongly, that there are some services that people simply have to have. This is exploited by the companies involved, with requests for a range of highly private data in exchange for the free use of these applications and services.
Another issue relates to the free flow of information over the internet. In countries with little infrastructure- based competition there is a threat that these providers will use commercial arrangements to favour some over the rest. This is known as the net neutrality issue and, while this issue is mainly of concern to the USA, other countries are also keeping a close eye on possible monopolistic misuse.
On top of that is the issue of international governance of the internet and its basic infrastructure. However, with widely diverging interests from countries such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea on one side and Europe and North America on the other, there is a long way to go before any consensus can be reached, if ever.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Canberra Data Centre (CDC), Australia Data Centres, Telstra, Optus, HP, Macquarie Telecom, Datacom Systems, Global Switch, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Equinix, NextDC, Polaris, Digital Realty, IXnet, Metronode, Nextgen Networks, Vocus. Optus, Telstra, IBM, Vodafone, CSIRO, Jasper, Bechtel, UniSA, Cobra, ARTC, Sydney Water, Sense-T.
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