The number of companies using cloud solutions has risen significantly in recent years and is continuing to grow. Ten years ago, only one-third of the companies surveyed for our Cloud Monitor (37 percent) said that they used device-independent, internet-based software. Since then, the situation has changed completely, with the vast majority of companies now using cloud solutions: 84 percent of respondents, compared with 82 percent last year. For Cloud Monitor 2022, we surveyed IT managers from more than 550 companies.
Keeping pace with the competition means using the cloud
In three years from now, companies expect 60 percent of their applications to be run in the cloud, illustrating just how important it has now become. One year ago, this figure was as low as 52 percent. The number of companies ruling out the option of cloud computing altogether remains extremely low at just three percent. Time will tell whether these companies will also jump on the cloud bandwagon or whether they will be left behind. The survey clearly shows that the cloud market will continue to grow over the coming years. 13 percent of the companies surveyed are just about to start using the cloud. One thing is clear: cloud computing is practically unavoidable for any company that wishes to modernise its IT.
Cost savings are the most common objective
Cost savings are the main motivating factor for using the cloud. As a notable recent example, the coronavirus crisis has pushed companies to examine their overheads. In this respect, cloud solutions can be a cost-effective and flexible solution for IT in particular. Accordingly, three-quarters of the companies surveyed expect cloud use to lead to lower costs, making it the most common objective cited by respondents. This is followed by a reduction in CO2 emissions, which was mentioned by 55 percent of those surveyed.
Cloud solutions can be used to defend against various cyber attacks
What do internet-based solutions need to offer? Companies are in agreement that tools should be stable and reliable, and that they need to keep working even in the event of partial failure. For 70 percent of the companies surveyed, it is also important for the data centres for cloud applications to be located in the legal area of the European Union. Our survey shows that security is becoming an increasingly relevant issue. Almost 40 percent of respondents said that they had been subject to ransomware attacks in the last twelve months. The cloud can also help in this respect: 72 percent used cloud security measures to fend off these attacks.
Sustainability and how the cloud can help achieve it
Companies are increasingly focused on ESG criteria (environment, social and governance) and achieving sustainability targets, and cloud computing can help them to attain ESG objectives at various levels. Respondents find the cloud to be most useful when it comes to enabling flexible working models, such as working from home. Six in ten companies consider this to offer very high value added (59 percent), with three in ten saying it offers quite high value added (30 percent). Eight in ten respondents believe a general reduction in CO2 emissions (79 percent) and increased energy efficiency or reduced energy consumption (78 percent) to be considerable benefits. Meanwhile, 61 percent of the companies surveyed expect cloud solutions to simplify their ESG reporting.
SAP administration is mostly outsourced
Along with procurement and industry-specific applications, ERP applications are among the most common uses for the public cloud. SAP S/4HANA is one of the most frequently used ERP systems and has been available in the cloud since 2017. In total, 13 percent of the companies surveyed use a cloud-based variant of SAP S/4HANA. Our survey clearly shows that the tool's administration is largely outsourced to external service providers, with very few companies having an internal admin team. This clear outsourcing trend indicates that companies using cloud services are doing so in order to reduce their personnel costs. Another reason to use the SAP cloud is the peace of mind that the software is always up-to-date and that the regular updates provide security.
The Cloud Monitor has tracked the development of cloud use and the experiences of cloud users in German business since 2012. It is conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft. The sample for this year's survey encompasses 552 German companies with at least 20 employees. The respondents are managers from the organisational area of information technology and members of executive boards or senior management.