People tend to think of Germans more as worrywarts than as “doers.” Recently published numbers from the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK – Society for Consumer Research) seem to confirm this, on paper anyway. In a direct comparison between countries, Germans are apparently extremely sceptical when it comes to the Cloud. Ironically, this doesn’t seem to stop them from storing their data there.
Look right, dodge left
The convenience the Cloud offers is tantalizing. Cloud services today are also so simple to use that any qualms users have over data privacy or data security seem swept away in everyday use. Practical advantages overshadow potential risks. This is one way of explaining why Germans seem to be looking right, but moving left when it comes to the Cloud.
World leaders? 50% against the cloud
And that’s exactly how it looks: the GfK asked 26,000 internet users in 22 countries whether they agreed with this statement: “It’s absolutely essential that I can store my data in the cloud and have access to it there.” Overall, 31% of all those asked answered in the affirmative – in Germany, only 12%. On the contrary, half of German citizens who took part answered with a categorical “no.” The Cloud didn’t face that much rejection in any other country, not even in Russia or South Korea. Surveys from Bitkom, in contrast, estimate that every fifth German uses Cloud services like Dropbox, Skydrive, or iCloud.
A threatening suggestion?
What makes Germans so sceptical? The answer could be strict data protection policies. If the Cloud needs such strict rules, it must be threatening in some way, people might think. After all, following NSA scandals and user tracking à la Facebook, they might feel they have good reason not to trust their private data will be protected.
The business world takes a wider view
That makes it all the more comforting to hear that German companies – according to Cloud Monitor 2015 – do value the potential of the Cloud. According to current surveys, 44 percent of them use Cloud services. Another quarter of companies are actively engaged in exploring such services, and may begin using Cloud computing in the near future. Of course, the group of sceptics even in professional settings is certainly not negligible, at 32%. But looking at the big picture, it seems that acceptance of the Cloud is progressing more than steadily in the business world.
This likely has to do with the fact that business products have to offer more in the way of data security and data privacy to gain clients. Memory space on exclusively German servers, for instance (offered by new EASY ECM Cloud Services) is an important argument to win over doubters to the advantages of the technology. Maybe the consumer segment could learn a thing or two.