The use of cloud computing to manage business documents and transactions is becoming more prominent throughout the world. The technology has proven to lead to increased profitability for those who have implemented it, but in some cases, unwarranted uncertainties are preventing companies from recognizing this advantage.
Despite high usage rates, apprehension exists in the European market
The cloud has already expanded in a significant way across most of Europe. According to statistics from EuroStat, Nordic countries are leading the way in adopting cloud solutions. Finland, Sweden and Denmark all rated in the top four in terms of having the highest proportions of enterprises that used the technology, with 51 percent of Finnish companies indicating they used some sort of cloud-based service. The source found that the average rate of usage throughout the continent was 19 percent, and that there were 10 nations that rose above this number.
Among cloud subscribers, EuroStat noted that email leads the way for all services, with 66 percent using it. The second-most popular solution is cloud storage, with 53 percent overall indicating use, and three northwest European countries - Ireland at 74 percent, Iceland at 74 percent and the U.K. at 71 percent - lead the way.
Despite widespread acclimation globally, a certain mystique continues to surround the cloud. The source remarked that of those enterprises which have not yet begun to move any services to the cloud, the most common reason cited was a lack of knowledge about the technology, at 42 percent. Furthermore, 37 percent indicated apprehension regarding risk of a security breach, and 33 percent were uncertain about the location of cloud-based data.
All of these concerns should be alleviated by the fact that, according to Systems and Software, cloud data centers are inherently more safe than on-premise servers, due to their advanced security methodologies and initiatives. However, a certain "cloud," so to speak, continues to hang over the industry, as many potential users remain unjustifiably skeptical about security.
Meanwhile, overall implementation is skyrocketing
An IDC white paper, entitled "Successful Cloud Partners 2.0," surveyed over 700 Microsoft partners worldwide and found that those with more than half of their revenue coming from the cloud made 1.5 times the gross profit when compared to other partners. The study noted that on average, the respondents make 26 percent of their income from cloud-related products and services, a number that is expected to surpass 40 percent in 2016.
While the North American and Western European economies have largely implemented cloud computing over the past decade or so, in emerging markets like Latin America and Asia, the concept is still fairly new. The IDC study predicted that the cloud will grow in developing places 1.8 times faster than established markets, and will close the gap on them. By 2017, the source projected that newcomers will account for 21.3 percent of the public cloud market.
"Spending on public IT cloud services will grow to $108 billion in 2017."
The source predicted that spending on public IT cloud services will grow from $47.4 billion in 2013 to $108 billion in 2017. Software as a service is projected to remain the highest-grossing cloud solution category through 2017, as it is expected to make up 57.9 percent of the overall industry. However, IDC said that the platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service sectors will grow faster than SaaS over the next five years.
It appears as though fewer companies are viewing the cloud in a skeptical manner with each passing year, and, eventually, the technology will become the standard for business practices throughout the world. Developing nations are catching up to the traditional powerhouses in North America and Western Europe, so it's only a matter of time before the world is predominantly run via cloud computing.