New research has found many people in Europe lack knowledge of cloud computing and the benefits it can provide for them. According to data collected by non-profit trade organisation Business Software Alliance (BSA), understanding of what cloud computing is and how it works is low in Europe when compared to the rest of the world. The term covers a range of technologies that are delivered to end-users via a network. It has become one of the key trends in recent years and many businesses are looking to take advantage of the opportunities available.
Typically, this may involve hosting applications or storage services on a remote data center, but it can cover a wide range of services from providing remote desktops to infrastructure such as dedicated servers. It can often prove cheaper for a business to use cloud computing for data centers as opposed to running them on-site, as many businesses may not be able to put large amounts of resources into capital outlay projects or the maintenance and support needed to run on-site data centers. The fact cloud services are hosted remotely means users can access documents and applications wherever they are and from whatever devices they choose. This may be an increasingly importance consideration for businesses in the coming years, as more workers expect to be able to use their own gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets, to complete tasks when they are away from their desks.
Awareness of cloud computing differs from country to country across Europe, the BSA found, with more than one in four PC users in the UK (28%) and 24% of people in Greece reporting high levels of familiarity with the concept, which compares to one in ten PC users in Poland and France. Only 24% of the respondents to a poll by the body indicated they use cloud computing products such as online word processing, which compares to 34% globally.