Cloud Computing has changed the way we deal with computing power fundamentally. Today, more than half of European businesses and consumers are using some kind of Cloud service. Even though the general uptake and development still lags about 3 years behind US levels, the researchers believe that the adoption of Cloud in the European Union could generate significant economic benefits by 2020.
In a study commissioned by the European Union, IDC identifies barriers that need to be overcome to reach a full uptake of the Cloud Computing model in Europe. About 60% of respondents identified technology related characteristics as main inhibitors. The lack of security, portability and change control are the main hurdles to overcome.
As the study was commissioned by a government authority that is not yet sure how to deal with the regulatory framework surrounding Cloud, IDC puts forward two possible economic scenarios in Europe depending on the level of governance intervention.
If there would be no intervention, Cloud would contribute around 88 billion Euros to the European GDP by 2020. At the same time it would generate 1,3 million new workplaces. If intervention policies were to be pursued, the adoption of Cloud could generate up to 250 billion Euros and create 3.8 million new Jobs by 2020.
Recent events like PRISM, Cloud outages and the dominance of a few providers in the market could act as catalysts for European lawmakers to use the finds of this study as an argument for strong government intervention. The question remains however if the promising relatively new industry of Cloud computing would really benefit from interventionist policies. Most innovation in the area of Cloud is carried out by start-ups and small companies that need a innovation-friendly policy environment.
In general, SMEs contribute to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU. Moreover, SMEs are the true back-bone of the European economy, being primarily responsible for wealth and economic growth, next to their key role in innovation and R&D. The question remains whether an emerging industry should be subjected to strong government intervention or not. New Cloud applications and features are developed in European SMEs every day. Often, these tools are answers to the challenges identified by IDC. ECmanaged, the pioneering European multi-Cloud management tool is one example. It addresses the portability and change control concern. ECmanaged provides a secure platform where IT professionals can launch and manage their Cloud applications and platforms in a vendor-agnostic way.
This article has been written based upon data published in the 2012 report “Quantative Estimates of the demand for Cloud computing in Europe and the likely barriers to up-take” which was drafted by advisory company IDC to the European Commission.
Image Source: http://www.ipajournal.com/2012/06/12/europes-economic-waves/