The State of Digital Scotland Survey (2012) has thrown up some very interesting results; as a partner on this survey we would urge you to check out the key findings presentation.
One area which is of particular interest is the ‘state’ of Cloud Adoption in Scotland – something we knew the survey could shed more light on. With this in mind we undertook some deeper analysis but from a Cloud adoption perspective. We’d be very interested in your views on any of our initial findings.
What is the ‘state’ of Cloud Adoption in Scotland?
The following graphic is taken directly from the key findings presentation and indicates a high level of awareness and use of the Cloud. As the authors of the survey (Energise2-0) state:
“The level of awareness of the Cloud is high amongst the respondents but unlike other ‘hyped’ technologies, companies are translating high levels of awareness into adoption”
These results which on the surface seem positive also indicate the size of the Cloud opportunity (47% of respondents have yet to adopt the Cloud and a further 29% are adopters that could approach this area more strategically).
Whilst insightful, what this graph cannot tell us is who are our Cloud Adopters and what difference does the Cloud make to their business. To understand this, requires a more in-depth look into the survey results.
What we found
Cloud Adopters within this survey are more likely to be involved within the following sectors:
To a greater extent
- IT, Telecommunications and the Web*
- Advertising, marketing and PR*
And to a lesser extent
- Creative arts and culture
- Government and public administration
- Teaching and education
- Accountancy and business services*
Moreover, those that are marked with an asterix (*) indicate sectors where most of the respondent organisations are approaching the Cloud strategically (i.e. they have a Cloud strategy or have integrated the Cloud into their wider IT strategy).
It would be interesting to understand the motivations here; are these businesses more knowledge intensive, more experienced with ICTs or perhaps more cautious (i.e. whilst fewer adopt across a sector those that do, approach it in a “robust” way).
We have also found that the Cloud adopters from the survey are more engaged generally with digital technologies. The results tell us that Cloud Adopters are more likely…
- To have a multi-purpose / objective Web site; a site that addresses sales, brand awareness and relationship building objectives
- To support their website through e-marketing; more Cloud adopters use Social Media, SEO, e-newsletters and so on
- To use social media strategically and to integrate social media into their wider marketing activities
- To consider themselves a social business [defined below] and to seek to become a social business in future
- To be international, to use digital technology to support internationalisation efforts and to integrate digital technology into their international strategy
In short, the Cloud Adopters from this survey appear to do more digitally. What we know from this survey and others is that ‘doing more’ digitally has significant business benefit.
The question around impact of the Cloud becomes more one of chicken and egg:
- Do organisations adopt the Cloud because they are more engaged digitally? or
- Are organisations more engaged digitally because they adopt the Cloud?
Both make some sense, the Cloud is a facilitator for many of the digital practices these businesses appear to adopt. It is also logical that those companies that ‘get digital’ are more likely to move earlier into the Cloud.
Whatever the real answer we think there is one clear message – Successful Scottish businesses use the Cloud.
We look forward to your comments.
Definition of a Social Business: in addition to the extensive use of social media externally, a ‘social business’ uses social technologies internally to improve staff communication, knowledge sharing and support key processes
Finally, a health warning: our findings are indicative and due to the sample size involved are subject to high margins of error. They are intended to provide areas of discussion and perhaps even further research.