Fraunhofer wants to make cloud computing suitable for medium-sized businesses

Cloud Mall Baden-Württemberg calls itself the new cloud project with which the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO wants to increase the acceptance of the technology among providers and users.

Small and medium businesses can benefit greatly from cloud services. Mostly, however, there is a lack of acceptance and trust. With the SME 4.0 agency Cloud and the " Cloud Mall Baden-Württemberg ", Fraunhofer IAO is working together with partners to provide greater clarity.

With the Cloud Mall BW , the Fraunhofer IAO is working together with partners to address the current requirements of cloud computing for SMEs, especially in Baden-Württemberg. The goal of the project is the conception of so-called cloud ecosystems that integrate infrastructure services, advanced platform services and software applications. For SMEs, new business models and concepts will also be developed. The Ministry of Economic Affairs BW therefore supports the joint project with 4.6 million euros, as Minister of Economics Nicole Hoffmeister Herb in Stuttgart on Monday announced .

The initiative, which also includes the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, the Institute for Enterprise Systems (InES) of the University of Mannheim and bwcon , also plans to establish an innovation network through which user companies and cloud service providers will exchange views can. The starting point is an online survey that companies can reach at the address .

In the first project phase, the consortium interviews IT managers, project managers and managing directors about the current state of information and communication solutions in their companies as well as the requirements of future IT. This helps respondents understand their current state of cloud computing and compare themselves to other market participants.

The agency Mittelstand 4.0 is primarily intended to support companies in digitization transformations. Especially around topics and questions about Industry 4.0. be the focus here. Business practices that use cloud computing will help organizations understand the difficulties they face in integrating cloud applications.

"Positive practice examples of small and medium-sized companies that already use cloud solutions are extremely important in order to build a kind of bridge for other companies to a technology that they do not yet know." Holger Kett, project manager at Fraunhofer IAO. The practical examples are constantly being expanded in order to introduce the public to many companies from a wide variety of industries as 'cloud pioneers'.

The practical examples can be downloaded in PDF format from the agency's website for free. The practical examples will also be presented in specially designed workshops where critics and proponents of cloud technologies will have their say. The workshops are tailored to the needs of chambers, associations and competence centers. It is these institutions in particular that are intended to sensitize SMEs in their regions as multipliers for the topic of cloud computing and to make potentials visible.