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Do you dare not to dare?

To anyone who has been caught up in the cloud euphoria, I’d like to recommend the study that Price Waterhouse Coopers did on cloud computing in German mid-sized industries. [Link: http://www.pwc.de/de_DE/de/mittelstand/assets/Cloud_Computing_Mittelstand.pdf] It will bring you back to earth rather quickly. Around 90 (that’s ninety) percent of German mid-sized companies say that they still do not make use of cloud services. Of that ninety percent, 88 percent say that they have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. More than half of the non-users have not even considered the topic yet. Perhaps the reason for these reservations (to put it mildly) stems from a certain immunity to hype and from a profound conviction concerning their own core competencies and abilities. Or maybe they are simply not aware of how many cloud services they are already using. Or is this again a matter of the right definition – what is cloud? Either way, this is worth to spend some thoughts on.

I think decision makers of a leading industrial nation cannot afford to be so unaffected by new technologies. This is especially so, given that most experts predict double-digit annual growth and thus increasing importance for these technologies. The most prominent advantages are saving money and gaining flexibility – and that applies especially to small and medium-sized enterprises.

But that’s just the beginning. In the long run, cloud computing will emerge as the motor of innovation for enterprises; it will change the working environment and it will even change society. Within the cloud, you can be sure that your provider will steadily modernize the infrastructure and keep it up to date, meaning: you will be ahead of technical improvements automatically.

Or think of how difficult it is to find the right experts for your IT. While there is more and more IT Infrastructure to administer in a company, there are fewer and fewer knowledgeable employees who can meet this challenge. With cloud computing services, you can compensate for this shortage and make better use of your skilled workers.

The reasons given for not using cloud services stem primarily from worries about security or a lack of familiarity with the benefits. (See my blog post here) .That’s probably not the best basis for making a decision, especially when you consider that the expectations of 93 percent of those who have dared to enter the cloud have been met, at least partially.

This whole scenario reminds me a little bit of the discussion we had about Internet or social media. Here too, we initially had a broad front of skeptics as opposed to just a few gung-ho users. People said things like, “In two years, nobody will remember Twitter and Facebook.” My answer today is the same as it was back then: “It will change, but it’s here to stay.” Just like there are good reasons for a business not to use each and every social network technology, cloud computing is not a panacea. However, before you make a decision, you should at least show some interest in the topic and explore it thoroughly.  And please start to consider some providers that can really provide you with solutions and not just a internet page to register.

“Inter esse” is Latin and it means “to be with it”. I would love to see more CIOs in Germany to be really with it.

Sincerely,

Andre Kiehne

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