Eurostat: “Cloud computing services used by one out of every five enterprises in the EU28”

Paris, Jan, 07, 2015.-  Instead of building their own IT infrastructure, enterprises have the possibility to access computing resources hosted by third parties on the internet. This shared pool of resources is most commonly known as “cloud computing”. As cloud computing services are delivered on-line, enterprises must have internet access to be able to use them, which was the case in 2014 for almost all enterprises (97%) employing 10 persons or more in the EU28.

eurostat cloud computing EU

Although the share of firms with internet access was at very similar high levels across Member States, only a fifth (19%) used cloud computing services in 2014. Not surprisingly, the largest proportion of enterprises in the EU28 using the cloud was by far recorded in the information & communication sector (45%), followed by the sector covering professional, scientific and technical activities (27%), while the share ranged from 14% to 20% in all other economic sectors. Enterprises relied on a cloud solution mainly for their e-mail services (66%) and for file storage (53%). Those enterprises using cloud services reported that the risk of a security breach was the main factor limiting a larger use of the cloud. For the remaining 81% of the enterprises not using the cloud, the insufficient knowledge of cloud computing was considered as the main blocking factor. These data come from a publication issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and form part of the results of a survey conducted at the beginning of 2014 on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) usage in enterprises, with a special focus on the use of cloud computing services.Half of enterprises use cloud computing services in Finland.

The highest shares of enterprises using the cloud in 2014 were observed in Finland (51%), Italy (40%), Sweden (39%) and Denmark (38%). On the opposite end of the scale, cloud computing services were used by less than 10% of enterprises in Romania (5%), Latvia and Poland (both 6%), Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary (all 8%). In sixteen Member States, the most common use of cloud computing was for e-mail services, especially in Italy (86%), Croatia (85%) and Slovakia (84%). Cloud computing services were principally used for the storage of files in eleven other Member States, with the highest proportions being observed in Ireland (74%), the United Kingdom (71%), Denmark and Cyprus (both 70%), while hosting the enterprises’ database was the most common use in the Netherlands (64%).

eurostat cloud computing
Security issues are the main factor limiting the further use of cloud computing services

Enterprises already using cloud computing services reported several factors limiting a further usage of such services. The risk of a security breach was mentioned by 39% of these enterprises in the EU28 as the main limiting factor, although with some differences between large enterprises (57%) and small and medium sized enterprises (38%). Large enterprises and SMEs differed also somewhat as regards other limiting factors. The uncertainty about applicable law (46%, compared with 31% for SMEs) and the location of data (46%, compared with 29% for SMEs) completed the top 3 of the factors limiting large enterprises from using the cloud. The cost of cloud computing services (32% for both SMEs and large enterprises) and the lack of knowledge around these services (32%, compared with 17% for large enterprises) came second among small and medium enterprises. Lack of knowledge is the main factor preventing EU enterprises from using the cloud For those enterprises in the EU not yet using cloud services, insufficient knowledge was the main factor in 2014 preventing enterprises from using the cloud computing (this reason was invoked by 42% of all enterprises not using the cloud), followed by the risk of a security breach (37%). These two top blocking factors can be found in all economic sectors, except in the information & communication sector and in professional, scientific & technical activities. For enterprises in the latter two economic sectors the risk of security breach was reported as the main blocking factor while reasons linked to uncertainties about applicable law and about the location of data came second among the factors preventing them from using the cloud.

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