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Cloud computing? We don't get it, say Europeans

The majority of European PC users don't know or care about cloud computing, with only a small proportion of people using cloud services.

Europe is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to adoption of cloud services - with many people confused about what cloud computing even means.

Just under one quarter of the 4,000 PC users surveyed across nine European Union countries said they use cloud-based applications, compared to 34 per cent worldwide.

And despite the best efforts of Microsoft and other vendors to make cloud a household term, the majority of European PC users, 65 per cent, either have never heard of cloud computing or don't know what it is.

The survey was commissioned by the Business Software Alliance and alliance president and chairman Robert Holleyman expressed disappointment at the low penetration of cloud services in Europe.

"Unfortunately, most computer users in the EU have little understanding of cloud computing and have not yet moved to capitalise on the opportunities cloud computing offers," he said.

The two countries with the highest claimed uptake of cloud services are Greece and Romania, with 39 per cent of users, while adoption stands at 21 per cent in the UK, 19 per cent in France and 17 per cent in Germany.

The higher adoption of cloud services in smaller European economies mirrors a global trend for faster uptake in "developing markets", according to the BSA.

The majority of those who use cloud services, 86 per cent, did so for personal use, with only 29 per cent turning to these services for work.

The most common cloud apps used in Europe are email, following by word processing and photo storage.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

17 comments
trevorcsr
trevorcsr

In the Uk, "Cloud" means rain, flooding, disasters, thunder and lightning. I trust it really though.

lastchip
lastchip

It's not that we don't get it, much more of we see the potential dangers and don't want it. That's a big difference between what has been written and what is fact. Security for a company is bad enough when you're holding 99% of the cards, but when you're only holding 50%? Does it really need any further explanation?

hadlow
hadlow

Well, I'm pleased that there is low penetration of cloud services in Europe! Many of us are concerned, rightly or wrongly, about privacy and security. Most people will need convincing that cloud services are actually OK in this respect. The evidence so far isn't too hot. Also, I'm personally suspicious of cloud services, because if I give up using my own software, then there might come a time when I get charged for things I used to be able to do for free. Another problem for me is that unless there is a very good connection, they are just way too slow and cumbersome...

cleirens
cleirens

After reading this am I supposed to know anything more about cloud computing??

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Possibly the survey was carried out after we figured out most of it was pile of hype and BS. Or may be we figured out that when big business spouted about all the benefits we could realise and never mentioned word one about how much more they would, we became naturally suspicious.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

the business side would be very restricted by the various national laws on handling privacy data and the like. I know more and more people in Australia are using web based mail, mainly services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Live Mail just so they can keep the same email address despite changing service providers. But business is very restricted about what it can do with certain categories of data, such as the state and federal privacy laws on personal information of staff and clients.

bboyd
bboyd

At least as much...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There's a difference between not 'getting' it and not wanting it.

draco vulgaris
draco vulgaris

A year or two ago the term "cloud" appeared on my screen without definition! My instinctive reaction was that Hell would freeze over before I would trust my data to anything so poorly defined. My attitude hasn't changed much! If I were responsible for your data, I would want to have an up-to-date copy in "Iron Mountain"! If not Iron Mountain, some similar facility.

Slayer_
Slayer_

BBS and web forums are an early version of cloud computing. Your browser is fed a final version of the page, while the server does all the database queries and script execution. The "cloud" is an old networking term that refers to a network cloud. An large network that you assume works but is beyond your control. Usually the network cloud is the internet.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The article assumes the audience is already familiar with the term. The majority of the TechRepublic audience are English-speaking IT professionals with a degree of background knowledge and experience. It's not practical to explain every technical term in an article, any more than an automotive magazine would explain 'rack and pinion' steering in each new story on the subject.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you are meant to know that those damned europeans aren't listening, again. It's probably because even our right wingers are commies. :D

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

One of the most troubled EU economies (Greece) has the highest cloud usage, while the most successful (Germany) has the lowest. Coincidence? Probably, but it caught my eye.

grax
grax

It isn't that we are not "getting" it or even that we are not "wanting" it. Very simply, most of those who are aware of just don't need it.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

... Perhaps we should check how many German service providers did really good business with Greece..

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

discussion about the suitability of a marketing hype project.