Enterprises can access computing resources hosted by third parties on the internet instead of building their own IT infrastructure. This pool of resources is most commonly known as ‘cloud computing’. As cloud services are provided online, enterprises must have internet access to be able to use them. In 2021, 98 % of EU enterprises employing 10 persons or more had this access.
In 2021, 42% of EU enterprises used cloud computing. This is a 6 percentage point (pp) increase since 2020 (36 %), and more than double the share in 2016 (19 %).
Cloud computing most commonly used in the Nordic Member States
Although the share of firms with internet access was at very similar high levels across EU Member States, the use of cloud computing varied significantly, with the highest shares reported in Sweden and Finland (both 75 %), and the Netherlands and Denmark (both 65 %) in 2021.
At the opposite end of the scale, cloud computing services were used by fewer than one in five enterprises in Bulgaria (13 %) and Romania (14 %).
Cloud computing mainly used for e-mail and storage purposes
Of the enterprises that reported using cloud computing, a vast majority (79 %) opted for a cloud solution to host their e-mail systems. About two-thirds used the cloud for storing files (68 %) and for office software such as word processors and spreadsheets (61 %). More than half used the cloud for security software (59 %).
Most importantly, these enterprises also used the cloud to access more advanced end-user software applications, such as financial/accounting (48 %), customer relationship management (27%) and enterprise resource planning (24%).
Of the most sophisticated cloud services, over half (59%) of the enterprises using cloud reported using security software applications, 47 % hosted the enterprise’s databases in the cloud and one fifth (21%) used computing platform providing a hosted environment for application development, testing or deployment.
For more information:
- Poland: data temporarily not available. As a result, the EU aggregate has been estimated.
- Eurostat Statistics Explained article on cloud computing use by enterprises
- Eurostat dedicated section on digital economy and society
- Eurostat database on digital economy and society