German companies have made a paradigm shift with regard to cloud computing, as was recently confirmed by the analysts at IDC.
They reached this conclusion after surveying around 320 IT and technical decision-makers at companies in Germany with at least 20 employees. The deployment of cloud computing is making great strides at companies of all sizes and from all sectors – even medium-sized enterprises, which had previously been particularly cautious , have increasingly put aside their concerns, according to IDC’s findings.
At the moment, 60 percent of the respondents are actually still in a very early phase of their move to the cloud, meaning that they are involved in pilot projects, are pressing ahead with individual initiatives in specific areas of their businesses, or have not yet defined a cloud strategy. This is, however, expected to change “significantly” over the next 24 months. The report states that by that time two-thirds of the companies will be using cloud computing comprehensively, and working towards a cloud-first strategy. The deployment of cloud solutions has thus become a fundamental and essential response to digitization, which the majority of users (52 percent) perceive to be a key challenge.
“Over the medium-term, cloud computing will become the de facto IT architecture model and technological framework for digital transformation at all companies,” comments IDC analyst Matthias Zacher. The need to make a distinction between technology-driven IT services, on the one hand, and business and process services, on the other, is being pushed increasingly into the background for fields of business which crucially require easily consumable cloud services.
The users’ own experience, the general availability of cloud computing know-how as well as changing boundary conditions are all cited by IDC as altering perceptions and perspectives. While specialist fields are increasingly setting the pace for the use of cloud services and cloud computing is changing traditional job roles in IT departments, new transformation projects are also opening up opportunities for new providers. And users are, incidentally, more and more willing to incorporate cloud services from various providers into their IT landscapes.
Security and legal aspects still play a core role in using cloud services for 47 percent of those surveyed. According to IDC, concerns about security are common to companies of all sizes and in all sectors, although naturally financial service providers and authorities are most sensitive in this regard. Around 31 percent of respondents were mindful of availability issues. This includes the aspect of the availability of the required broadband connectivity, which could prove a regional problem for some medium-sized companies and poses “a real competitive disadvantage”.
Overall, the experts recognize that the outcomes of the study show that most companies now find themselves in the midst of a shift towards cloud computing as the dominant model for using IT resources. Providers also now have to gear themselves up for the change. Offering cloud technology and services is by no means enough anymore. Their customers’ changing purchasing behavior is forcing them to embrace new sales and marketing approaches.
In a totally unconnected piece, “Wirtschaftswoche” journalist Michael Kroker recently cited IDC analyst Giorgio Nebuloni’s estimate that the share of German companies’ cloud-based expenditure for infrastructure such as servers, storage systems or switches is set to double from 23 percent in 2013 to 47 percent by 2020. In absolute figures that would represent IaaS revenues of more than 2 billion dollars.
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