Cloud services are one of the most important changes brought about by the Internet. Cloud services mean that data handling capacity and software are provided over the Internet without a need for users to obtain their own equipment or software licences. A report from the Ministry of Transport and Communications outlines the possibilities of Finnish cloud services.
Using cloud services brings significant cost benefits. The economic benefits result from three different factors: direct savings, an increase in productivity and the generation of new business activities. All in all, cloud services are changing the market in the ICT field. The redistribution of the markets is already under way as traditional large IT outsourcing is gradually replaced by cloud services. New turnover in the field is being created at the same time as the digitalisation of general business operations goes ahead.
In the report, the volume of the domestic cloud market was estimated at around 140 million euros in 2012 and is forecast to rise to 380 million euros by 2015. The market will grow by an average of 40% in the years 2012–2014.
The utilisation of cloud services in Finland is still in its infancy. Cloud services are, at the moment, generally being used by startup companies. SMEs are lagging somewhat behind them and large businesses are mostly only at the stage of piloting cloud services. There is no significant difference between different sectors in this respect.
It was observed that there are still many obstacles and hindrances to the utilisation of cloud services. These are divided for the most part into a lack of expertise and awareness, and questions relating to legal aspects and regulatory matters. Various actions can be taken to resolve these issues and increase utilisation. Internationally, it has been found that it is beneficial when the public sector acts as an active forerunner by investing in the development of digital services and supporting the shift of public administration services to a cloud basis.
Suomalainen pilvimaisema. Liikenne-ja viestintäministeriön julkaisuja 14/2013 (The Finnish Cloud Environment. Ministry of Transport and Communications publications, 14/2013)