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Europeans are amongst the slowest people worldwide to adopt cloud computing, new research carried out by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) suggests.
Fewer than a quarter of the 4,000 PC users surveyed by the anti-piracy body reported using cloud services, including webmail and online word processing services, compared to 34 per cent globally. The results also showed a severe lack of understanding as to what cloud computing is, with 65 per cent saying they had "never heard of it" or had "only heard the name".
This latest investigation follows a declaration by senior executives at storage giant EMC that Europe is struggling to keep up with both the US and emerging markets when it comes to cloud adoption.
The BSA research, which forms part of a wider global survey, also revealed that smaller European economies had the highest cloud adoption rates. In Greece and Romania, 39 per cent of those interviewed reported accessing cloud services. Conversely, the EU’s largest economy, Germany, was the country with the lowest rate of cloud adoption at just 17 per cent.
Robert Holleyman, president and CEO of the BSA, said: "Cloud computing is all about scale. To reap the full benefits, Europe needs a cohesive digital single market that is globally integrated to ensure that computer users in the EU can choose freely among the best cloud services on offer, and that European cloud providers can exploit growth opportunities in the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets outside Europe."
The European Commission is due to release its own paper, Cloud Computing Strategy for the European Union, which is aimed at increasing cloud uptake within the single market, before the end of the year.