Anexia commissioned a cloud study in Austria to learn more about, how companies approach and use cloud services, and what they expect from them. The results published in June 2018 showed, among other things, that many companies are afraid of outsourcing data to the cloud. But is that justified? Is a company server more secure?
We asked one of our experts: Stephan Bock, Head of Sales. He tells you why outsourcing to the cloud is a good option and what this would implicate.
According to our study, 21 percent of Austrian companies do not know where their servers are located. What do you think about that?
I think this is a very important result. However, in today’s connected world, it is often not directly visible and sometimes not so easy to find out at which location the cloud services are operated. One must check intensively and investigate. I can still recommend it to everyone. Especially with company data, a very clear decision should be made where the data is geographically located. One of the reasons for this ignorance is the lack of transparent information and the missing awareness of this important issue.
At the end of May the GDPR came into effect and many companies currently see it as the biggest challenge for IT. What is your opinion on this topic as Head of Sales? Do customers have to be afraid of this and what consequences do they have to expect if they fail to comply?
The consequences of non-compliance with the GDPR are warnings and penalties with high costs. But some of the consequences are also very bizarre. Curiously, the online offerings of the major US daily newspapers “Los Angeles Times” and “Chicago Tribune” are no longer accessible to European users since May. The daily newspapers are deliberately blocking out European readers because they do not want to get involved in the European rules. This shows the explosive nature of the topic very clearly.
But those who have prepared themselves properly for the GDPR don’t need to be afraid. Of course, it helps immensely to work together with service providers who support you in this respect. At Anexia, for example, we can ensure for our hosting customers that data storage is GDPR-compliant and that server systems are operated in Austria or Germany.
As a sales manager, you advise customers and look after your customer base. 6 out of 10 companies consider personal advice in German to be decisive for their purchase, as well as advice on data protection issues. What does this mean for you and your team?
This result shows me that we at Anexia are on the right track with our strategy. Even if the service portfolio has of course changed a little over the years, we still focus on tailor-made IT services for business customers today, just as we did ten years ago. The focus here is on personal advice and support. This is very important to us.
Small cloud providers score with personal advice. 50 percent of companies want to make increased use of consulting services in the future. Why do you think this is such an important topic for many people?
I think it’s an important issue for so many because I think it’s just essential to focus on what you’re really good at. Of course – nowadays cloud services from various providers can be ordered online in no time at all by credit card. Commissioning is also often very simple. It becomes difficult when it is a question of taking responsibility. Equally challenging are situations in which something does not work as it should.
From discussions with our customers and business partners, I know that we are always appreciated as a service provider for an accurate functioning IT infrastructure. We ensure proper, accompanied commissioning to ensure a stable environment in ongoing operations and ensure that all the administrative IT ballast does not affect our customers’ business. Of course, all this has its price – no question about it. Our customers, on the other hand, can focus fully on their core business.
For companies with over 49 employees who are already in the cloud, 45 percent consider it likely that they will make even greater use of the technology. Should cloud computing also be more widely used by smaller companies?
That issue is more complex. Cloud computing offers several advantages over using your own hardware and software. You no longer need your own hardware resources to store data. No software licenses with a high one-time investment have to be purchased. Furthermore, the data can be accessed from anywhere if desired. When choosing the cloud, however, it is important to choose a trustworthy partner who ensures that confidential data is treated confidentially and does not circulate outside the EU, for example. Because then difficult situations can arise due to missing or incomplete data protection rights.
Almost half of the respondents consider attacks on IT (e.g. DDoS attacks) to be irrelevant, although this year we fended off the biggest DDoS attack in Austria. How do you rate this insight? Do you see this attitude of companies as reckless?
Yeah, I definitely consider that attitude reckless. However, I can understand why this topic is not seen as relevant for many companies. When talking to customers I often hear statements like: “We have never had a DDoS attack”, or “We are far too small, we are not a target for a DDoS attack”. From my point of view, it’s like saying: “I don’t need a car insurance, because I’ve never had an accident.” That can go well for many years, but if you’re unlucky, it does hit you. And then the damage may be huge.
Often companies only become aware of what it means to be completely offline when this situation actually occurs. Many only then think about the loss of sales they suffer, for example if their online shop is. offline for just one hour.
Many customers are still unsure about securing their data via the cloud. Austria is rated as very trustworthy with 8 out of 10 respondents, followed by providers from the EU (49%) and the USA (11%). How can customers be relieved of uncertainty?
Here I can only recommend companies to enter into an open discussion with the IT service provider of their choice. In my experience, many concerns can be finally resolved when openly talking about them.