For me, cloud computing is defined as the use of IT infrastructure to make IT resources available flexibly via the Internet.

To get an overview of the topic, I present two studies that I analyzed in the course of my research. Study 1 examines the specific use as well as the potential and risks of cloud computing. Study 2 has a similar focus, which compares the results of the two studies.

Study 1: Concrete use as well as potentials and risks

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

  • Cloud users (73%),
  • Cloud planner (19%),
  • Cloud objectors (8%).

According to the participants, particular potential is the digitization of internal processes and procedures in the company, the development of new business models and the testing of trending topics such as Industry 4.0 and big data scenarios.

A special aspect for companies is data protection, which, according to the study, is the essential factor in avoiding the use of cloud technologies. According to the study, however, more and more secret and even sensitive data is being stored in the cloud. The results are:

  • Non-critical information (81%),
  • Data worth protecting (57%),
  • Secret information (33%).

The use of clouds is said to offer potential for companies, with the study mainly citing

  • Faster IT scalability (80%),
  • Geographic collaboration (76%),
  • IT availability and performance (64%) and
  • Organizational flexibility (61%).

With the help of flexible and rentable systems, the internal IT should be changed more quickly. Another effect is that e.g. B. with browser-based software, better access to data from distributed locations is possible and distributed work is to be made easier. Furthermore, by increasing the performance of your own IT, the satisfaction of customers and employees should be increased. The last mentioned effect is the increase of flexibility in the organization. Changes in the company should be implemented more quickly through flexible changes from workplace IT and IT in general.

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

  • IT failures (43%),
  • Data protection incidents in companies (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 time. Incidents due to the misuse of data or cyber attacks are also a high risk for companies. According to the study, more than a third of the companies surveyed had such an incident in the previous twelve months. A third aspect is the increase in IT costs. More than a third of the study participants stated that the planned budget was significantly exceeded.

Study 2: Further potentials and risks

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

  • Almost a third of the IT resources of the companies surveyed are already provided from the cloud.
  • Flexibility and scalability are the most important potentials for the companies surveyed. The reasons for this are the better integration capabilities of the applications and higher security standards from the cloud providers.
  • Half of the companies state that they are more and more insecure about the correct drafting of contracts with the cloud providers. According to the participants, cooperation with more than one cloud provider is often too complex.
  • Eighty percent of the companies surveyed state that they spend a lot of time changing core processes in the company and have high costs through using the cloud.

Conclusion

The degree of cloud usage is similar in both studies. Both studies show that resources are increasingly being drawn from the cloud. The information on the potential through the use of cloud technologies largely corresponds to one another or overlaps. Differences can be found with regard to the uncertainty compared to the cloud provider, since Study 1 rather refers to risks in the area of internal IT security. There are differences in relation to the high expenditure due to changes in processes and costs.

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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/

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Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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