Californian startup swells Australia’s $4.6bn cloud revolution

08 Mar 2019

Cloud data-warehousing pioneer, Snowflake, is ramping up its Australian business just one year after opening its first office in Sydney.

The California-based company has already signed 20 commercial partners for its cloud-based data storage and analytics service, and the company hopes to quickly double that number. Early adopters include InfoTrack, RedBalloon, and Fitness & Lifestyle Group.

Snowflake is part of a major trend in Australian information technology (IT) as organisations move applications and data into the cloud – on a vast scale. To help power that trend, the company expects to hire scores of IT specialists in Australia over the coming 12 months.

The expansion will accelerate the take-up of cloud services and data analytics across the Australian economy. Public cloud services are booming in Australia, helping drive efficiency and innovation in all sectors of the economy, and many areas of the public service.

In 2018, Gartner estimated that spending on public cloud services rose 18.5% to hit A$4.6 billion.

According to Snowflake CEO, Bob Muglia, the growth of cloud-based data storage and analytics is driven by an increased awareness of the value of corporate data. In some circumstances, he says, it can offer a competitive edge.

‘There is a broad understanding of the impact of becoming more data driven,’ he says.

Launched in 2014, Snowflake’s data warehousing and analytics solution was specifically designed to ease access to structured data in the cloud. The company anticipates that demand for cloud data storage will soar as corporations seek low-cost access to big data analytics.

Currently, Snowflake partners with Amazon Web Services and launched a home-domiciled service from Sydney datacentres in 2017. This allows Australian customers to keep data onshore. A similar service based on Microsoft Azure will be available during 2019.

Snowflake is a US-based data-storage company that aims to improve clients’ access to data. It uses a variety of cloud-based tools to host client data on the public cloud and then facilitate complex analytics.