Real Leaders

Nearly a Third Say Cloud Storage is Essential, But National Opinion is Divided


  • Latin America countries have highest numbers strongly agreeing that cloud storage is essential to them.
  • GermanyCanada and Australia not convinced. 

Internationally, nearly a third of all surveyed strongly agree that cloud storage is essential to them, with agreement peaking in MexicoBrazilTurkeyChina and Russia.

Market and consumer analysis company GfK asked Internet users in 22 countries about how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement “it is essential for me to access or store my photos, documents, music, and other content in ‘the cloud'” (with ‘the cloud’ defined as “a secure Internet location that you can access from any location or device”).

Almost a third (31 percent) indicate strong agreement (top two boxes in a 7-point scale) that the cloud is essential for them – consisting of 13 percent who agree completely and 18 percent who are next to agreeing completely.

This compares to 18 percent who significantly disagree (bottom two boxes in a 7-point scale) that the cloud is essential for them – made up of 10 percent who don’t agree at all and 8 percent who are just short of total disagreement.

Arno Hummerston, Global Director of Digital Market Intelligence at GfK, comments, “With a significant percentage of everyday people saying the cloud is essential to them, there is clear market potential for technology companies offering services that enhance the cloud experience – for example, increased security or customizable services, such as digital photograph albums which can easily be shared with other people.”

“The growing attraction of the cloud is not so much about storage – a decent external hard drive delivers that – but about convenience: being able to access files from any device or location, without having to carry around an external hard drive or USB stick. It also eliminates the risk of breaking or losing your storage device and all the items it contains. In particular, the cloud offers a simple way to secure the photos and videos taken with smartphones, when their internal storage capacity becomes full or the device is not accessible – with the bonus that you can then access your images from any of your devices. Bearing these usage reasons in mind will help businesses tailor their offers to resonate with the growing ‘cloud market’.”


30-39 year olds most dependent on the cloud

Overall, the group most dependent on the cloud is the 30-39 year olds. In this age group, 37 percent place themselves in the top two boxes for agreeing that the cloud is essential to them to access or store their photos, documents, music, and other content – compared to just 12 percent in the bottom two boxes for saying it’s not essential. They are closely followed by those aged 20-29, with 35 percent in top two boxes for agreement and 13 percent in bottom two boxes for disagreement.

It’s only when we look at the older age groups that the balance swings the other way. For those aged 50-59, only a quarter (24 percent) strongly or completely agree (top 2 boxes out of 7-point scale) that the cloud is essential to them, while 29 percent disagree (bottom two boxes). And the divide for those aged 60 or over is even clearer, with just 19 percent placing themselves in the top two boxes, while over a third (35 percent) indicate strongly that the cloud is not essential to them (bottom two boxes).

Latin Americans are cloud enthusiasts; Germans, Canadians and Australians yet to be convinced

Looking at individual countries, Mexico is the clear ‘cloud leader’, with almost half (49 percent) of its online population giving top-two agreement that the cloud is essential for them. They are followed by Brazil at 44 percent, Turkey (43 percent), China (40 percent) and Russia (37 percent). Argentina, which completes the Latin America countries included in the survey, also shows high cloud dependency, with over a third (36 percent) of the population placing themselves in the top two boxes agreeing that the cloud is essential for them.

The other end of the scale is dominated by Germany, where half (50 percent) of the online population strongly disagree (bottom two boxes) that the cloud is essential. They are followed by Canada (39 percent), Australia (37 percent) and Sweden (34 percent).

“For me, it is interesting that it is mainly countries that adopted the Internet early on, that do not see cloud storage as essential,” comments Arno Hummerston. “Late Internet adopter markets, which tend to be more mobile-oriented, having leap-frogged PCs, have more people who say cloud storage is essential. The implication is that those who started off on PCs or laptops (which have large internal storage) now have a significant mental adjustment to make, in accepting cloud storage. But those who have mostly only ever used mobile devices find cloud storage normal.”

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