Oz firms lead the world in AI adoption

Australian enterprises are vastly ahead of their global counterparts in infrastructure modernisation and a shift to hybrid multi-cloud in the country is underway, with AI and sustainability goals being the primary drivers. 

These are the key Australian findings from the sixth annual Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index released today.

For the sixth consecutive year, Vanson Bourne conducted research on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,500 IT and DevOps/platform engineering decision-makers in December 2023. 

The respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and geographies, including North and South America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific-Japan (APJ) region.

The ability to support AI had a considerably higher impact on the infrastructure choices Australian organisations made, with 44% of respondents citing this as a primary driver, compared with 35% of global respondents.

According to the research, this AI desire led to 99% of Australian respondents following a “cloud-smart” infrastructure strategy  – leveraging the best environment (that is, a private data centre, public cloud, or edge) for the unique requirements of each workload – compared with 90% worldwide.

Aaron White, general manager and VP, at Nutanix APJ, said this year’s findings made it clear Australian organisations were ahead of the pack when it came to infusing their businesses with AI.

“It’s clear the interest in AI can no longer be chalked up to FOMO or hype as Australian enterprises aren’t wasting any time getting their businesses ready for the age of AI,” White said. 

“While to the casual observer familiar with ChatGPT, it might seem that ‘AI’ is just a website you visit, but for an enterprise to become AI-ready there’s a lot of work that needs to be done – and that starts at the infrastructure level,” he added.

With Australia’s cloud-smart approach well entrenched, all of local respondents reported moving applications from one environment to another over the past year, compared with 90% globally.

When asked the primary reason for shifting applications between environments, more than half (58%) of local respondents said they did so to integrate with cloud-native services such as AI and ML, making it the highest driver among Australian businesses. 

In comparison, only 40% of global respondents reported migrating applications to integrate with such services.

“Australia is in pole position when it comes to enterprise AI adoption and this appears to be due to the heavy-lifting that’s been done with infrastructure modernisation,” White said. 

“While many nations struggle with a technical skills gap, it’s more pronounced in Australia,” he said. “This could be a strong motivator to implement AI as it promises to level the playing field and increase competitiveness on the world stage.”

Further key findings from this year’s Australian results show a massive shift to hybrid multi-cloud underway. All global regions exhibited a similar expected decline in the proportion of on-premises data centre, private cloud, and hybrid cloud models deployed over the next few years. 

In Australia, the proportion of hybrid multi-cloud IT models is forecast to increase significantly, from 14% today to 55% in the next one to three years.

Also, ransomware is keeping business up at night despite progress. Significantly more Australian organisations reported the ability to fully restore their operations following a ransomware attack in just a few hours compared with the global average (41% vs 29%). 

Despite this seemingly above-average result, all Australia respondents agree their organisation could make improvements to its ransomware protection stance. 

Further, 90% of Australian respondents believed ransomware and malware protection remained a “significant to moderate challenge” for their organisation to manage.