For me, cloud computing is defined as the use of IT infrastructure to provide IT resources flexibly over the Internet.

In order to get an overview of the topic, I present two studies, which I have analyzed in the course of my research work. Study 1 examines the specific use, potential sands and risks of cloud computing. Study 2 has a similar focus, which allows the results of the two studies to be compared.

Study 1: Concrete use as well as potentials and risks

The first study is Bitkom’s Cloud Monitor (2019) and is based on the survey of over 500 companies on various aspects. The study shows that more than 70% of the companies surveyed are using cloud technologies. The results are:

  • Cloud users (73%),
  • Cloud Planner (19%),
  • Cloud Deniers (8%).

According to the participants, special potentials are the digitization of internal processes and processes in the company, the development of new business models and the testing of trend topics such as Industry 4.0 and big data scenarios.

A particular aspect for businesses is data protection, which the study says is the key factor in preventing the use of cloud technologies. However, according to the study, more and more secret and even worth protecting data are being stored in the cloud. The results are:

  • Non-critical information (81%),
  • Protective data (57%),
  • Secret information (33%).

The use of clouds is intended to provide potential for companies, with the main mention in the study being of:

  • Faster scalability of IT (80%),
  • Geographical cooperation (76%),
  • Availability and performance of IT (64%) And
  • Organisational flexibility (61%).

With the help of flexible and rentable systems, the internal IT is to be changed faster. Another effect is that browser-based software, for example, is designed to provide better access to data from distributed locations and facilitate distributed work. Furthermore, by increasing the performance of our own IT, the satisfaction of customers and employees is to be increased. The last impact mentioned is the increase in flexibility in the organization. By flexible changes between workplace IT and IT in general, changes in the company are to be implemented more quickly.

In addition to the opportunities and potentials, there are also concerns and obstacles for the study participants. The most important are:

  • IT outages (43%),
  • Corporate data protection incidents (39%) And
  • Increase in IT costs (34%).

It failures in particular can have a serious impact on companies and even prevent work for a short period of time. Furthermore, incidents caused by misuse of data or cyberattacks are a high risk for companies. According to the study, more than a third of the companies surveyed experienced such an incident in the previous 12 months. A third aspect is the increase in IT costs. More than a third of the study participants say that the planned budgets have been significantly exceeded.

Study 2: Other potentials and risks

The second study was carried out by the consulting company Lünendonk (2019). Interviews were conducted with more than 130 IT decision-makers from the IT sector. The main results are (Lünendonk 2019):

  • Nearly a third of the IT resources of the companies surveyed are already deployed from the cloud.
  • Flexibility and scalability are the most important potentials for the companies surveyed. The reasons are the better integration capability of the applications as well as higher security standards by the cloud providers.
  • Half of the companies say they are increasingly unsettled about the correct contract design with the cloud providers. In particular, working with more than one cloud provider is often too complex, according to the participants.
  • Eighty percent of the companies surveyed say that using the cloud will have a lot of effort in changing core processes in the company, as well as high costs.

Conclusion

The level of cloud usage is similarly high in both studies. Both studies show that resources from the cloud are increasingly being sourced. The information on the potential stake in the use of cloud technologies is broadly consistent or overlapping. There are differences in uncertainty with the cloud provider, as Study 1 tends to refer to risks in the area of internal IT security. There are overlaps in terms of the high costs caused by changes in processes and costs.

Sources

Bitkom. (2019). Cloud Monitor 2019-A study by Bitkom Research on behalf of KPMG. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.bitkom.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/bitkom_kpmg_pk_charts_cloud_monitor_18_06_2019.pdf

Lünendonk. (2018). IT strategies and cloud sourcing in the course of digital change in Germany. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.luenendonk.de/produkte/studien-publikationen/luenendonk-studie-2019-der-markt-fuer-it-sourcingberatung-in-deutschland/

Image source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/wolke-monitor-cloud-computing-2570253/

Gender note: I have used the male form for easier reading. If no explicit distinction is made, women, miscellaneous and men as well as people of any origin and nation are always meant. Read more.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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