The cloud is undoubtedly on the rise, but how widespread are cloud solutions in European companies really? The study “Cloud Insights 2016” provides an insight into the status quo.
- about how companies in 10 European countries use the cloud.
- the role of the public cloud today.
- how companies deal with shadow IT.
- what role security concerns play in the cloud.
- how companies are tackling the challenges of data security and compliance in the cloud.
- the advantages companies associate with the cloud.
- which selection criteria are used to select a cloud provider.
- how far companies are with the introduction of cloud services and what role the cloud is likely to play in the future.
Cloud Insights 2016 – the study
The “Cloud Insights 2016” study surveyed 800 people who deal with the cloud on a daily basis. The study concept at a glance:
A total of 800 qualified interviews were conducted with CIOs, board members, managing directors and senior executives.
People from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Spain were surveyed.
We have summarized the most important findings for you below. You can download the complete study here.
Finding 1: The private cloud is still predominant, but the public cloud is catching up!
There is a clear trend: At around 58 percent, more than half of all companies surveyed already use cloud solutions. With a share of 61 percent, the private cloud still dominates, but the public cloud is catching up fast. Some 33.6 percent of those surveyed are already working on cloud solutions from public providers.
Finding 2: SaaS solutions are on the rise
Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are of particular interest to companies. Over 40 percent of companies already use services such as Office 365 from the public cloud, and are thus able to at least partially banish traditional software installations to the past, while 38.6 percent see this as a perfectly conceivable option.
Shadow IT is a hot topic wherever you look
Shadow IT, i.e. the use of IT services that have not been approved for use by central IT, exists in many companies throughout Europe, but how shadow IT is handled varies. Here are some of the key findings:
In Germany, 56 percent of those surveyed were against the use of such systems, which is the highest figure by far.
In Spain, on the other hand, some 60 percent of companies rely on corresponding cloud applications.
In Denmark, only 26.3 percent of companies use services that are classified as shadow IT.
How German vendors can benefit from the fragmented cloud market
The proportion of cloud providers has grown rapidly in the last few years, so how do companies respond to this fragmented market – especially in the light of the Safe Harbor ruling? The study shows that companies do indeed rely on different providers, most frequently using the services of the following:
- Microsoft: 39 percent
- IBM: 27.9 percent
- Google: 27.9 percent
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): 19.9 percent
It should also be noted that data security concerns and the Safe Harbor ruling could make cloud providers based in Germany, where data protection laws are very strict, more attractive.
Cloud security is a top priority, but security concerns remain
Almost all companies surveyed see cloud security as a major concern, which is no wonder – after all, the economic and image loss caused by a data breach is immense! It is therefore no surprise that the vast majority, some 85.3 percent of the companies surveyed, would like a secure encryption function for cloud services. For more information on encryption, click here.
Conversely, many companies are still very uncertain about data security. Of all the companies that have not yet opted for cloud solutions, 64 percent say that security concerns deter them from using them. This factor is considered particularly critical in Germany, where some 81 percent of respondents shy away from using the cloud for security reasons.
Data security, compliance and usability – that’s what counts
Data security and compliance requirements in the context of cloud use are a major concern for companies throughout Europe. Companies see the points listed below as important or business-critical compliance criteria that cloud providers should definitely meet.
Compliance with national data protection guidelines: 58 percent
Contracts governed by national law: 54.7 percent
Compliance with EU data protection directives: 53.2 percent
Domestic data storage: 44.3 percent
Provider with a national branch office: 34.4 percent
Services only provided from a domestic data center: 33.9 percent
Provider with its head office in the same country: 30.7 percent
Services only provided from a data center in the EU: 29.3 percent
Most companies, some 60.2 percent, believe that they have a duty to protect data themselves, while 60 percent of those surveyed believe that the responsibility for data protection lies with both the cloud provider and the company. Only 20.1 percent see the cloud provider as being solely responsible.
The most important selection criteria at a glance
When it comes to individual cloud services, companies consider security, easy management and user-friendly administration, the provider’s integration competence and the price to be the most decisive criteria. Interestingly, the price comes last, at 81.3 percent.
The following picture emerges with regard to the key selection criteria by which the companies surveyed judge cloud providers:
Technological expertise: 49.6 percent
Good price/performance ratio: 49.5 percent
Industry expertise: 40.6 percent
Process expertise: 31.4 percent
Service level agreements (SLA): 31.4 percent
Location of the data center / data storage: 29.1 percent
The benefits companies see in the cloud
Just over half of the companies surveyed believe that the cloud will open up new business models for them. About 29 percent at least consider it to be a possibility. The benefits that companies most frequently see in using the cloud are:
- Faster implementation of IT projects: 44.9 percent
- Development of new products/services, introduction of new business models: 40.5 percent
- Improvement of internal communication: 39.9 percent
- Improvement of the company’s responsiveness: 32.1 percent
- Faster responsiveness to IT problems: 31.9 percent
The digitization plan
A significant majority of companies are actively exploring the possibilities offered by the cloud. The majority of companies surveyed in every country have a clear roadmap for implementing digitization strategies, or at least a basic strategy. In Europe, only 8.8 percent of respondents on average have not yet drawn up a cloud strategy.
Decisions on the company-wide use of cloud services are usually made by corporate management (70.4 percent).
The most important findings at a glance
Below is a summary of the key figures from the cloud study:
- 92.8 percent view security as the most important criterion for a cloud service.
- 64 percent have reservations about the cloud for security reasons.
- Private cloud solutions are already being used or are being planned by 87.6 percent of companies.
- Shadow IT: 48 percent of the companies surveyed across Europe use cloud services not approved by their IT department.
- Compliance with national data protection guidelines is the top priority for 58 percent of respondents when selecting providers.
- 58 percent would like an encryption function for cloud services.
- When it comes to data security, 62.2 percent of those surveyed see the responsibility as being shared between providers and companies.
- At 70.4 percent of companies, the management is responsible for deciding on the introduction of the cloud.
- Detailed roadmaps for the introduction of the cloud have already been developed by 43.5 percent of the companies.
Outlook for 2017
Market analysts agree that the cloud will continue to grow in importance in the coming year, with the lion’s share probably going to the public cloud segment. At the same time, demand for cloud integration is increasing, as very few companies will completely move their established IT landscape into the cloud. So the cloud trend for 2017 is hybrid!
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