Pop Quiz: If your company has conquered North America and Western Europe and is now looking for the next big market, where should you go? The no-thinking, because it’s obvious, answer is of course China. But if you want low cost of entry and a rapid return on investment you might want to aim a bit further South – to Australia.

While it isn’t as big a market as China (or even India) and may have a higher cost of living, which can make establishing a beachhead there expensive, Australia has significant enough similarities to the western world — a well-educated populace, a high income citizenship and desire for new technologies and innovations — to make success here far easier. And if you are doing ROI calculations around this decision, it has a key advantage over its Asian peers: higher acceptance of cloud services. 

How does greater cloud-readiness translate into higher ROI? Because your company can leverage cloud-based services to reach and serve Australian customers faster, cheaper, and with a better economic model that maximizes the profitability of crossing shores. And in our latest Forrester report, we show you how Australian companies are using the cloud and achieving success through this activity.

We all know that cloud computing enables new service agility and continuous customer experience improvement. Further we know that by taking advantage of pay-per-use economics we can optimize the efficiency, performance and location of the services we build in the cloud to maximize profits. And in the past two years the major multinational cloud service providers have opened Asian and Australian data centers so you can serve this market with very low latency. But it’s the readiness and hunger of the Australian consumer and business market that makes this country so attractive. 

And you can see this in the use of cloud services by Australian enterprises, as shown in this report. The key factors:

  • A tech-forward culture – Australians were fast to jump on smart phones, SaaS and now cloud platforms. And they want their mobile moments satisfied whether from on-continent or off solutions.
  • A fast follower mentality – Australia has high affinities to the US and the UK but isn’t blind to its distance from these countries. But it isn’t willing to let distance be an excuse for being late to the party. On key technology trends, Australia has been very quick to move from experimentation to full-market adoption. And that pattern is playing out today with cloud services. 
  • A highly educated citizenry – You can’t be tech savvy, especially in B2B without being able to quickly grasp the technologies that enable business innovation and Australians are all over the cloud. In fact, in our interviews with Australian cloud leaders we found a stronger understanding of the realities of cloud services that take many of their peers even in the US and Europe much longer to understand.

Several key vertical markets are the most cloud-forward and thus good immediate opportunities for partnership, early success and strong growth:

  • Retail banking – where investment banking has led could adoption in most markets, retail is the strongest in Australia. Credit the Age of the Customer down under as Australian citizens are very mobile-forward and open to banking this way. 
  • Media & entertainmenta clear leader in cloud adoption in most markets, it’s no different here. A strongly competitive market facing its own digital disruption is moving quickly to leverage cloud adoption here. 
  • Travel – If you travel the world and have’t run into Australians nearly everywhere you go, then you need to get out more. Australians take full advantage of their time off and thus local tools that help them plan the next great experience are highly sought. Qantas has embraced this trend by creating internal startups to capitalize on these opportunities leveraging cloud services
  • eRetailing, local government and many others – In fact the examples of cloud-moves being taken by Australian businesses and companies reaching out to Australian consumers actually surprised us during our research.

Bottom line: If you haven’t prioritized the Australian market and incorporated the use of cloud services to reach and serve it, you may be missing out on a fast and profitable business opportunity. Other Asian countries are harder and more costly to penetrate. While you can’t just pickup your US marketing plan, drop it on Rackspace Cloud and success will follow, you can succeed by thinking local but acting cloud.