The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that almost 14 million Australians over 18 actively used cloud computing services in the six months to May 2013.
According to ACMA, that represented 80 per cent of the Australian population and was up 11 per cent from 12.6 million a year earlier.
ACMA said 44 per cent small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - about 900,000 businesses - had also actively used cloud computing services during the year.
It said active use of cloud computing services was significantly higher than levels of awareness, with 55 per cent of the total adult population estimated to have heard of the term 'cloud computing', while only 26 per cent of active cloud-computing users were aware they had used a cloud service.
ACMA said the most popular service was using a webmail service, such as Hotmail or Gmail, which grew from 10.6 million users to 12.2 million - a rise of 16 per cent over the previous year.
It said webmail services were also the most common services used by SMEs.
Other key findings were: those who had actively used cloud computing services and knew about it said the main benefit was the ability to access them across all devices (43 per cent); and for SMEs actively using cloud computing services, the main advantage was easier/more convenient access to services (36 per cent), while the major negative was that cloud services were not suited to their business (48 per cent).
ACMA said a number of current developments, and some that were just around the corner, were likely to lead to further growth of cloud computing services in Australia.
It said these included the rollout of infrastructure, increased use of complementary devices, and increased competition between service providers.
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