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The growth of cloud computing

This week, we take a look back at the growth of cloud computing. We reflect briefly on its origins – as far back in the ‘60s – but take a closer look at some impressive statistics from 2000 onwards.

We’re also sharing some statistics and facts about cloud computing in Australia, Europe, and the United States. Prepare to be impressed by the girth of the cloud!

1950s and ’60s: the origin of the concept of the cloud

The earliest record we have of the concept of cloud computing dates all the way back to the 50s and 60s – can you believe that?

At the time it wasn’t referred to as the cloud (this came over 30 years later), but in the 1950s we spoke about ‘time-sharing’ – believed to be the “underlying concept of cloud computing” while in 1969 JCR Licklider spoke about an “extended computer network”.

In these days, though, these words were more concepts – we did not have technology that provided adequate bandwidth or capacity to support a cloud computing network. That wouldn’t come until the late ‘90s.

1997: cloud computing gets its name

It’s widely believed that the term cloud computing was first used in a scholarly setting in a lecture presented by Ramnath Chellappa in Dallas in 1997.

1999-early 2000s: the cloud is in its infancy

  • Salesforce.com is created in a small apartment in San Francisco
  • The dot-com bubble lasted from 1997 to 2000, peaking on the 10th March 2000 before the bubble burst and stocks plummeted
  • Amazon weathered the storm and created its web-based retail services in 2002

Cloud computing is now segmented into three general categories:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (Saas)

Cloud computing statistics: 2015 onwards

Now, some more recent cloud computing stats that will knock your socks off!


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its first survey of cloud computing in Australia last year. Some key takeaways included:

  • Almost one in five businesses were using paid cloud services
  • More than 40% of businesses in information and technology industries used cloud computing services to streamline business
  • It is a shame to read that the most common reason for cloud resistance was “insufficient knowledge” of cloud services.
  • Respondents noted reduction in IT costs, flexibility, and increased productivity as three key benefits, and the most popular benefit was “simplicity of deployment of cloud-based solutions”.

Australia is one of the leading adopters of cloud computing – in fact, it’s predicted our cloud spend will reach $800 million by 2019.


You might be surprised to learn that Finland is the leading country for cloud computing in Europe.

According to data cited in this article, one in every two enterprises uses some form of cloud computing.

That means, therefore, that 50% of enterprise businesses in Finland use the cloud. This is more than three times Europe’s average of 19%.

The main uses of cloud computing in Europe, according to the same data, include:

  • Information and communication
  • Professional and technical activities
  • Administrative and support services
  • Real estate
  • Electricity, gas, and water supply

Security concerns are the main factor when it comes to cloud resistance.

United States

  • By 2013, cloud had become mainstream. More than half of US businesses were now using some form of cloud computing for IT.
  • The percentage of small businesses engaging cloud computing services is set to more than double by 2020, from 37% to almost 80%.
  • In a survey published in February this year, 90% of respondents said their enterprise companies plan to increase or maintain their cloud computing budgets.

Now what?

It’s astonishing to learn how old the concept of cloud computing really is. Fast-forward to this millennium, and the rapid expansion of the cloud tells us that it’s not going anywhere. Is your business ready to get its head in the clouds?

Click the button below to book a cloud computing consultation with the Telstra cloud experts at Schepisi.

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