Cloud Services in Switzerland

Into the future with Hybrid Cloud

Cloud growth is racing ahead throughout Switzerland. Only those who opt for a hybrid infrastructure can remain in the race.

Text: Christoph Widmer, 1

Swiss IT decision-makers go for security. This is reiterated by the "Swiss IT 2017" study, which was conducted by the IT trade journal Computerworld with the market research institute IDC. 594 managers and IT decision-makers in Swiss companies took part in the online survey between November 2016 and January 2017. The IT and expert decision-makers questioned by Computerworld and IDC placed most importance on data protection for Cloud Services – and this was independent of sector. Security was followed by the desire for high availability and data storage in Switzerland.

Swissness and security are particularly apparent in the areas of development and infrastructure: Managed Cloud models have a greater market share among IaaS and PaaS than Public Cloud solutions, as Computerworld ascertains – referring here to the "Swiss Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2016" from the IT analyst Experton.

The Cloud makes things easier

Cloud Computing also concerns Swiss IT decision-makers beyond the subject of security. Among the IT decision-makers surveyed by IDC and Computerworld more than a third ascribe the most importance to Cloud Computing, followed by the trends "Customer Centricity" and "Mobile Enterprise". This is also reflected in double-digit growth each year. It should come as no surprise that Cloud Computing is so important – when you see what IT departments mostly have to deal with. The excessively high requirements placed on the technical departments and the high degree of routine tasks are the greatest "pain points" according to the IDC. Cloud services can help here: They not only take the burden off IT departments in operational terms but are also able to fulfil the requirements of the specific departments faster than conventional infrastructures.

Companies opt for Private Cloud

As the IDC has found, Public Cloud services predominate over wide sections of the IT stack. Customer Relationship Management and collaboration solutions have long been available from the Public Cloud. Solutions for Logistics, Finances and Human Resources Management also effectively cover Supply Chain Management and Enterprise Resource Planning . Besides platforms and infrastructure from the Cloud, Software as a Service offers are also continually increasing. However, these are not really in demand among Swiss customers at present: "Our survey clearly reveals that Swiss CIOs check precisely, as part of a Cloud strategy, which services remain in-house, which ones are outsourced and which ones are obtained from the Cloud", explains Stella Gatziu Grivas, Cloud expert at the Northwest Switzerland University of Applied Sciences (FNHW).

Despite the dynamic development of the Public Cloud market, 63 percent of the companies questioned utilise solutions in the Private Cloud area. Here too, the reason lies in the need to retain user security. "In certain sectors, the regulatory hurdles are an enormous challenge", explains Gatziu Grivas. "Financial or health services, for instance, more or less only allow data storage in Switzerland." Whoever opts for a local provider such as Swisscom holds all the aces in their hand when it comes to data storage in Switzerland.

Rethinking towards "Hybrid Cloud"

In its analysis, the IDC ascertained that user companies need to change their thinking in order to remain competitive. Even if companies often use Private Cloud services for fear of data misuse – they must also implement cost-effective Public Cloud services. Only with Hybrid Cloud models would companies fully meet the requirements for flexibility, efficiency and lower costs, the IDC determines.

In this respect, the Swiss IT landscape still has plenty of scope for development: Only 28 percent of the companies questioned already use Hybrid Cloud models. For more than half, there are no plans whatsoever to use Hybrid Clouds. Cloud expert Gatziu Grivas shares this view: "In my opinion, companies really do need Hybrid Cloud models to remain competitive. But Swiss companies are firmly on course because "the Private Cloud offers a good starting point for this."

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