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Measuring cloud services use by businesses

Cloud computing infrastructures underpin an ever-increasing range of business tools, yet measures of cloud service adoption based on business ICT usage surveys give only a partial view of their diffusion. They do not reveal the intensity or volume of use by businesses, or the amount spent on cloud services. This paper assesses the extent to which insights on the use of commercial cloud services (i.e. services purchased from external providers) can be gleaned from economic and business statistics – in particular, from supply-use tables and the underlying business surveys. The paper examines the defining features of cloud services and their treatment in various statistical product classifications, before deriving estimates on the use of specific “cloud-containing product classes” across businesses. A key finding is that efforts are needed to improve the availability of data that can be used to gain robust insights on business use of cloud services.

Available from January 27, 2021