Which cloud is winning the race in the German SME sector?

vom 16.03.2021

16.03.2021 I by Sarah Böttcher

The Corona pandemic has put the competitiveness of companies to the test. For some it acts as a turbo, for others as an accelerant for business success. More than ever, the right cloud strategy is becoming the decisive factor.

Flexible and modern ways of working, maintaining business capability and cost savings have become more important for companies due to the Covid 19 pandemic. According to Frank Schmeiler, IT analyst at Techconsult, a flexible IT infrastructure is crucial for companies' business and competitiveness: »This race cannot be won with traditional IT and monolithic architectures. The age of hybrid and multicloud has long since begun.«

In a recent study, Techconsult took a closer look at cloud infrastructures in German SMEs. 67 percent of the survey participants see modern IT infrastructures as the necessary basis for their competitiveness. Thus, with a share of 63 percent, the majority are already dealing with hyperconvergent and thus virtualized IT infrastructures (HCI). An HCI solution is either already part of the IT infrastructure, is planned within the next twelve months or is being considered as an alternative. Even though the general attitude toward the introduction of hyperconverged infrastructures is positive, the current penetration rate remains relatively low, with a deployment level of ten percent.

A call for help

But what are the reasons for this low penetration rate? 31 percent of the IT managers surveyed have security concerns, 29 percent cite a lack of know-how in the company and 23 percent cite the complexity of implementation and too high operating costs as reasons against an HCI solution.

Similar pitfalls also play a role in migration to the cloud. According to the results of the study, many of the companies surveyed do not yet see themselves as being well enough positioned when it comes to the transformation to the cloud. More than a third complain about a lack of resources and know-how (31%) and, according to the study, cannot cope with the management of hybrid IT infrastructures without external help.

In addition, just under a third of respondents (32%) cite data security and data protection as another challenge in implementing their own cloud strategy. Moreover, disillusionment and disappointment had spread in many cases during implementation. Above all, provider independence (43%) is criticized.

Companies are in a dilemma here: the discrepancy between the need to migrate the business model to the cloud and the lack of resources or know-how is becoming greater every day. According to Andreas Weiss, Director of EuroCloud Germany, the need for information, clarification and assistance is particularly great in medium-sized companies.

Which cloud is winning the race?

The use of a suitable cloud architecture requires a clear strategy and depends not least on the existing IT infrastructure. Different cloud strategies are pursued depending on the requirements. Almost half of the companies surveyed (46%) currently prefer a pure private cloud solution. Just under one in five companies (18%) use exclusively public cloud services, while 36% rely on a hybrid or multicloud infrastructure.

Different degrees of deployment can be identified depending on the size of the company. With a deployment level of 55 percent, midsize companies with 500 to 999 employees currently rely most frequently on the private cloud, while in large companies the hybrid model has caught up with the private cloud share at 43 percent. Pure public cloud offerings, on the other hand, are used more frequently than average by smaller companies with 50 to 99 employees.

According to the study results, the trend is clearly toward hybrid and multicloud structures. While pure private cloud use drops to 39 percent, 40 percent want to increase the flexibility and agility of their IT infrastructure by using mixed cloud models. In a comparison of companies, it is the smaller midsize companies (100 to 499 employees) and every second company with more than 1,000 employees that prefer this model in the future. In this segment, the proportion of pure public cloud use is also rising to 17 percent. This is gaining in importance, especially among small companies, where it will rise to a level of use of just under 30 percent, according to the study results.


The study, »Well equipped? Hybrid cloud infrastructures in German SMEs« was designed and conducted by Techconsult on behalf of gridscale. In November 2020, 150 user companies from a wide range of industries with 50 or more employees were surveyed on the development and deployment of hybrid IT infrastructures.
The study was conducted in partnership with the industry association EuroCloud Germany and is freely available on the gridscale website.

Click here for the study and the original article in german.


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