Cloud models in user check

A recent survey shows the potential cost savings from cloud computing and the advantages and disadvantages of the various uses.

The German companies use after long hesitation now increasingly cloud offerings. This is confirmed by various studies such as the BITKOM Cloud Monitor. Thus already two out of three companies in Germany employ cloud services, the SMEs are with 100 to 1,999 employees, even above average.

However, these studies say little about whether the cloud is actually worth and what variation in what cases makes sense. To clarify these questions, market researchers from Research in Action (RIA) on behalf of Interxion surveyed more than 500 IT decision-makers with budget responsibility in German companies in various industries.

Accordingly, the moving of data and applications to a public cloud and the outsourcing of the IT infrastructure to a commercial data center operator (colocation) pay off the fastest. Investment in public cloud services are profitable in 87.1 percent of cases within the first year. In an outsourced data center there almost every second company creates after all (48.9 percent) within a year to cover all the initial expenses. The cost of a private cloud with a colocation provider will in almost all cases (95.5 percent) in less than two years recouped. By contrast, investments pay in the private cloud in their own data center with 90.7 percent of respondents to the latest four years.

Save vs. control

The time until the ROI is an important one, but not the only issue when deciding for or against a cloud version. In the past, companies have often been reluctant with the introduction of cloud solutions due to safety concerns. Meanwhile, the cloud offerings have become much safer and often even surpass the actions of many enterprise data centers. They also comply with the strict German privacy laws when the shared server are on European soil. But there are still reasons why companies prefer to have self-control over their servers – those ranked between gut feelings, industry-specific regulations and may well cost reasons.

Thus, while most companies know that they often benefit from cost advantages when they move less critical data and applications in the public cloud. Nevertheless, they are even often hesitant and process the workloads rather in their own IT infrastructure, even if this results in higher costs. The principle here is “better safe than sorry”.

Despite the often low-cost public cloud offerings and the alternative of the colocation model every second surveyed company uses when choosing the preferred cloud services still on the operation of a private cloud in their own data center (52.2 percent). The public cloud is favored only 34.8 percent of the company as a mainly-used concept in Germany. For outsourcing the private cloud in a colocation data center today, after all, 11.4 percent of participants decide.

For companies with high demands on the security of data but only limited data center capacity, a move of its own server in a colocation data center is a good alternative. Because they can fully operate the servers, applications and data in its own jurisdiction. The service provider takes care of this model to the smooth operation of the data center and the network connection, not the application level.

According to the study, 46.1 percent of IT decision makers were able to save between 25 and 50 percent of the cost since the introduction of cloud computing in the colocation model. In contrast, almost three quarters reached (74.4 percent) of respondents who operate a private cloud in their own data center, only savings of 25 per cent or less. With public cloud services, however a little more than half of IT decision makers were (51.2 percent) even reduce since the introduction of cloud services cost between 50 and 75 percent.

Differences by size and country

The survey shows significant differences in the use of various cloud services, depending on company size. Companies with more than 50,000 employees for the major part not to the public cloud. For this, choose only 6.9 percent of the executives interviewed for this size segment. Instead, they rely on their IT infrastructure to a private cloud in their own data center (67.2 percent) and colocation solutions (22.4 percent). Small and medium businesses with less than 5,000 employees, however, have far fewer concerns. Here, 59.3 percent of participants opt mainly for the public cloud.

Besides Germany, the survey was carried out at another 610 IT executives from France, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden. In this international comparison, Germany is 34.8 percent for the main use of public cloud offerings with France (33.2 percent) and Austria (34.2 percent) in midfield. In contrast, even every second company uses in Sweden (53.3 percent) and the Netherlands (52.5 percent) mainly the public cloud. In such cloud-savvy countries such as Sweden, few companies invest in their own data centers with private cloud solutions (29.2 percent), co-location solutions with a private cloud, however, are already strongly represented at 14.2 percent than in Germany.

Even with the investment clear differences can be seen. While the majority of respondents (59 percent) invested in the cloud in Germany is still less than half of the annual operating IT budgets, provides in Sweden every second company more than 50 percent, and one in four companies even more than three-quarters of the IT budget ready for the cloud.

As a whole biggest benefits of the cloud seen companies in Germany in addition to cost advantages, the simplicity of the test environment (9.7 percent), more scalable IT resources (9.4 percent), faster implementation, availability and rollout (8.9 percent) and higher reliability ( 8.7 percent). A better integration of mobile users (0.5 percent) is hardly relevant in Germany, but has already been implemented in the cloud-savvy Sweden of 9.4 percent of the company.


Although pleased the public cloud growing in popularity, but still put in Germany, many companies in the private cloud. Is also a fact that few companies will migrate all applications to the public cloud. Older applications often can not outsource regulatory requirements sometimes speak against it or the company’s strategy. In many cases, however, a hybrid solution offers a compromise. Here, according to the study, the inclusion of an external data center brings significant cost advantages. In addition, many providers often offer higher security and data protection than many a corporate data center.

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