American Cloud Computing Boom Leads to Economic Growth in Germany
Cloud computing has long been a major factor in the growth of the American IT sector, but there's new evidence that the cloud is making an impact abroad as well. Bitkom's latest Cloud Monitor report says that 37 percent of companies in Germany used cloud computing in 2012.
The U.S. has been at the forefront of the cloud computing movement. According to Wired, the federal government spent $724 million on the cloud in 2012 alone – and considering the White House's recent launch of a new big data initiative, that figure should only increase in 2013 and going forward. Cloud computing has led to improvements in environmental science, medical science, national security and education.
Wired found that of the $28 billion in worldwide revenue generated by cloud services, 62 percent was in North America, while Europe accounted for less than a quarter. But now we're beginning to see Europe follow suit, led by its largest economic power, Germany.
Germany's 37 percent rate of cloud computing use marks a significant increase from 28 percent in 2011. Furthermore, 29 percent of German companies polled said they were planning to adopt new cloud technology in 2013.
Not coincidentally, the German IT sector is projecting a prosperous year overall in 2013. A separate Bitkom study revealed that 78 percent of IT companies were expecting higher revenues this year, and 57 percent plan to add more staff, according to AutomotiveIT.
Smartphone sales soaring
Mobile service providers were cited as one especially strong area, as a recent boom in smartphone and tablet sales has led to increased demand for both cloud computing and mobile solutions.
On the whole, the German economy looks poised to rebound in the first quarter of 2013 after a sluggish close to 2012. Reuters reports that private sector activity is increasing in February for the third consecutive month in Germany.
"The early snapshot of February PMI data highlights that Germany remains on track for a return to gross domestic product growth over the first quarter of 2013," Markit economist Tim Moore said. "Despite the slight loss of momentum since January, the survey suggests that Germany can still be relied upon as an engine of growth for the euro zone."
Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures growth in manufacturing and services, stands at 52.7, well above the mark of 50 that separates growth from contraction.