The European North-South divide has been one of the most important and widely debated problems of Europe for long time. The countries of the European South have for decades lower levels of economic and technological development and performance than the countries of the European North; though there has been a convergence between the European North and South for some time, recently, due to the economic crisis, this trend has stopped, and on the contrary a divergence is observed. It is widely recognized that in order to overcome this negative situation, and achieve a gradual convergence between these two regions, it is important not only to cut wages and public expenditure in the European South (which has been the dominant approach so far), but also to make wider and better use of new technologies and boost innovation. This paper contributes in this direction, comparing empirically the European North and South with respect to one of the most important, innovative and disruptive new information and communication technologies (ICT): the cloud computing (CC). CC is emerging as a new paradigm of providing ICT support of firms’ and activities, which can not only reduce costs (especially investments), but also enable the rapid and low cost experimentation with and exploitation of new emerging technologies, and also support and facilitate innovation and external collaboration. In particular, we empirically investigate and compare Northern and Southern European firms with respect not to the ‘quantity’ of CC use, but to its ‘quality’: their CC adoption motivations and orientations. Our study has been based on a dataset collected through the e-Business W@tch Survey of the European Commission from 556 European firms from the glass, ceramic and cement sectors. It has been concluded that Southern European firms of the above sectors view CC as a means of reducing ICT investment, while Northern European ones view it as a means of supporting and facilitating product/service innovation, and also of reducing cost and increasing capabilities of their existing external electronic collaboration (with business partners and experts) for the development of innovations. Furthermore, both Northern and Southern European firms of the above sectors view CC as a means of experimentation with and exploitation of new emerging technologies.
Loukis, Euripidis N. and Kyriakou, Niki, "Cloud Computing Adoption Motivation in the European North and South" (2015). MCIS 2015 Proceedings. 26.